Satisfying Conclusions & the Problem of Endings

I’ve seen a lot of endings this year. The end of Game of Thrones finally aired after 8 years. The first major arc of the MCU came to a close with Avengers Endgame and 22 movies over 11 years. And I finally got around to playing Kingdom Hearts 3, which wrapped up a series of 7 core games spanning 17 years. In less than a week the final entry in the Skywalker saga, The Rise of Skywalker, will hit theatres. As we wrap up a decade, many franchises I’ve been super invested in are wrapping up as well.

And that leads me to today’s discussion. Maybe because I’ve seen so many this year, I’ve been thinking a lot about endings, the weight we put on them and the culture we’ve built around them. We live in a content-rich society, and I think that has both its benefits and its drawbacks.

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5 Tropes I Can’t Stand

A couple of weeks ago I shared some of my favourite tropes – the sort of things that make me want to watch a movie or read a book. This week I decided to do the reverse – the tropes that pull me out of a story or make me likely to put it down and never pick it back up. The sorts of tropes that can really ruin an experience.

For obvious reasons, I’m not going to call out any books or movies that are guilty of this. Many of these are common enough, that I’ve no doubt you can think of a few that have one or several of the tropes I’m about to mention. I’m not here to spill any tea.

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Are Tropes Bad?

If you’ve been in the SFF sphere long enough, you know tropes are a thing, especially in speculative fiction. And while I think they serve a very specific purpose, I think they can sometimes be seen as a bad thing. I’m sure you’ve heard of books or movies described as too ‘tropey’. I think there are certainly valid reasons for why one would want to be wary of using too many tropes, but do they deserve the sort of bad reputation they seem to have?

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5 Tropes that Never Get Old

We consume a lot of media. Some would say too much. But with such an abundance of movies, games and books, there are bound to be a few tropes that you get tired of.

ALAS! This post is not about that. It’s about my FAVOURITE tropes. The ones that, no matter how many times I’m exposed to them (which as a gamer and SFF geek can be pretty often), I never get sick of them. These are tropes that encourage me to read that book or play a game, rather than turn me away. And by nature of my interests they also happen to feature fairly prominently in the SFF genres.

But they’re still fun and I will always adore them. Here we go!

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Developing Your World Using Characters

I’ve already mentioned SO many times that the characters are the most important part of the story. They are the what get you invested and wanting to know more, and you want to see the effects of your worldbuilding play out in the individual experiences of the people in it.

If you’re like me, a lot of your ideas start with characters. Rather than a concept for the world I’m building, the people in it are the first thing I think of, and the first element I want to explore. So it makes sense then, if you are unsure where to start your worldbuilding, to begin with the characters.

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