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I just got the news that Vicky Holmes, one of the original Erin Hunters, is leaving the Warrior Cats team. She’s been in charge of the ebooks for a while, and after writing Pinestar’s Choice, she decided she had run out of cat stories in her head. No matter what people say, she always wrote about the clans for self-betterment. She wasn’t in it for the money. She wrote because her fans loved it, and she loved it above all else. My friends, who also love Warriors, have a few words of goodbye for her.
“You have written amazing stories that inspired me to read when no other books did the trick.”
“Thank you for writing stories that have inspired my daughter to be a writer.”
“She gave Warriors fans a better idea of what happened outside of the books and she made me cry in Ravenpaw’s Farewell. She will be missed.”
And here are my words, straight to Vicky herself.
Your books have been a core of inspiration throughout my writing career. They made me create clans with my friends. They made me host a fight club in the recess yard of my elementary school where I taught 3rd graders how to fight. The battle between Bloodclan and Lionclan is a battle I often use as source material for my own content. Your world building skills help shape my own. I can’t thank you enough for all the great stories you have written. Warriors is a series that keeps me inspired to be a writer, from it’s descriptions to battles to your very own love for your own content. That’s something we don’t see a lot of in today’s world. Thank you for writing about the five clans. I wish you good luck on your future books and the greatest life I can wish for you.
Oh. My. Starclan. This was AMAZING! I finally got this book in the mail on the 20th, and I read it all in one day! What a ride! The Hunters have been topping themselves with each new book released for A Vision of Shadows. The Apprentice’s Quest was fine, Thunder and Shadow was great, and Shattered Sky was amazing. I can’t wait for Darkest Night to be released.
All the clans are shaken after the disastrous attempt to take back Shadowclan. Windclan ran away and closed their borders. Riverclan is heavily injured. Thunderclan is in chaos trying to keep a cool head above the storm. Alderheart knows what the prophecy means, how they must find Skyclan, but Darktail’s threat is so overwhelming, it’s preventing them from finding the solution to their problem. It doesn’t help that Riverclan is taken over as well later on. The chaos and disorder that affects the clans is a perfect storm of conflict that makes you wonder if the clans will actually win this time, what they will have to sacrifice to achieve this. Of course, if you’ve read the books for a while, you can assume that somehow the clans will survive. But not knowing how is the best part.
The Kin are the cats who follow Darktail, including rogues, Shadowclan cats, and even a few kittypets. Many cats originally joined because they thought Darktail would lead them to a life of glory and adventure. What they got was far worse. What makes the Kin so realistic is how it’s run. Darktail’s closest Kin, including Raven, Sleekwhisker, and even Violetpaw, are given all the prey they want. They can do as they please to be happy with their Kin. Others follow not because they want to, but because they’re too afraid to do anything else. Some sneak out of camp to the Thunderclan safe haven, but some are caught. Cats like Dawnpelt are taken to the lake and drowned, never to be seen again. That fear of death forces the Kin into submission as Darktail lives in comfort.
I’m giving Purdy a section here, because he died and I MISS HIM SO MUCH! His personality and stories warmed my heart. I fell in love with the old cat. I’m going to miss him. OH PURDY YOU WERE SUPPOSE TO LIVE FOREVER WHY DID YOU HAVE TO DIE NOW?! (blows nose)
Alderheart is trying to help his clan survive against Darktail while trying to find Skyclan at the same time. He cares deeply for Twigpaw and Violetpaw, only wanting what’s best for them. He’s basically like their adopted father, in a way. Compared to Firestar or Bramblestar, Alderheart is a nervous wreck. He jumps ahead on plans to help everyone, even though doing them at that moment causes multiple problems, such as he and Mothwing getting herbs from Riverclan and getting Needletail in trouble. He’s protective and kind and anxious, a well crafted character.
Needletail’s character has bounced around over the past three books. She was a rebellious apprentice who wanted to restore Shadowclan to it’s former glory. She wasn’t given the right foundation by her clanmates, which caused her to turn to Darktail for the support she needed. LZRD WZRD explains it well in his video on Needletail’s Radical Teenage Angst (man, I can’t go one warriors post without mentioning this guy, can I?). She fell in love with Rain because he could make her smile, make her feel as though she belonged. When Darktail killed Rain, he began Needletail’s path back to the ways of Starclan, realizing that what her elders taught her was morally right, and that what Darktail wants is evil.
She’s given a very powerful scene towards the middle-end of the book, where Violetpaw fails at drugging Darktail with poppy seeds to free the Riverclan prisoners. He takes Needletail to the lake and starts to drown her. When Violetpaw confesses, Needletail swims out of the lake and is told to kill Violetpaw. This scene is incredibly powerful, because of how much Needletail’s relationship to Violetpaw has been built up. They’re like sisters, like true kin. For a moment, it looks like Needletail will actually kill Violetpaw, but turns around and helps her escape, sacrificing her life. It finishes her arc with a dramatic ending worthy of this series.
Violetpaw and Twigpaw
The two sisters have been through a lot. They were separated into Shadowclan and Thunderclan (for a reason that was kinda lazy, and definitely terrible for them) and both spent quite a bit of Thunder and Shadow wanting each other. Violetpaw’s trying to stay alive in the Kin, witnessing Rain trying to kill Darktail and Rain’s subsequent death. She stayed by Needletail’s side, refusing to leave her alone. Meanwhile, Twigpaw wants to go find Skyclan and her father, making everyone believe she’s dead. Yeah, Violetpaw definitely takes priority right now, Twigpaw. Sorry. I’m not saying her story is worthless, it’s the best way to bring back Skyclan. But did she have to ‘die?’ She didn’t really die, but they wrote it off in a really lazy way. Violetpaw’s story is much more interesting.
Violetpaw is trying to survive with the Kin under Darktail’s terrifying leadership. She realizes her mistake about her and Needletail staying there and tries to keep on Darktail’s good side while still trying to help the other clans defeat him. She and Darktail have a very creepy relationship. Darktail acts very kind and wise around Violetpaw, even though he knows she knows that he’s really not. He lets her have the best prey and tells her they have a connection as unwanted kits. It’s REALLY creepy. Like, SpottedxThistle creepy. She uses her connection to him to help a few cats sneak out of camp to Thunderclan, and tries her best to help the prisoners escape by drugging Darktail. That fails, Needletail dies, and Violetpaw runs to Thunderclan. I really love both of their characters, with their stories and personalities. Twigpaw is a bit of a mary sue, but Violetpaw is a full package of awesome.
Onestar and Darktail
Oh my, was this a plot twist. Onestar is Darktail’s father. This ties together their arcs and characters so well!
As Onewhisker, the Windclan leader was quite the diplomat. When he became leader, however, he cut himself off from others and protected his clan and his clan only. He turned into a massive jerk, one everyone in and out of the world of the clans hated. Revealing his backstory ties how he acts together so well. He had kits with a kittypet because he kept bragging about how he was such a brave warrior. When the kittypet had a kit, who would become Darktail, he didn’t want to get in trouble and sent them away. This interaction turned him from diplomat to xenophobe because he knows what happens when you interact outside of your clan. Granted, he’s still a jerk for other reasons, but this changes what everyone thinks of the Windclan leader.
Darktail’s mother, Smoke, taught him to hate the clans and hate his father. He carried a warrior name so he could show them their defeat in cruel irony. He used his charm to gain followers and destroy the clans. He scared his father into hiding, taking his last two lives. Their final battle in the lake takes them both down to their graves, tying up everything they’ve done in a neat, soaking wet bow. It’s time for Harestar!
Hawkwing and Skyclan
Skyclan is finally back where they belong! Twigpaw has brought them back to the lake and to the four clans, turning them back to five! (Great, my fanfiction is all out of wack now). Not only that, she’s met her father, Hawkwing, deputy of Skyclan. Skyclan has been a loose end for far to long, and it’s nice to see them finally come into the main series. Hawkwing is a gem. He’s a very kind and loving cat, and immediately loves his daughters. However, he wants them to leave their clans and join him in Skyclan. That’s definitely going to bring some drama. I’ll need to read Hawkwing’s Journey soon and learn more about him!
Family is a huge theme in Shattered Sky. Twigpaw spends a lot of the book trying to find her family. Darktail’s group call themselves ‘Kin’. Violetpaw loves Needletail like a sister. Hawkwing wants to be with his kits. It’s something that echoes through every word. The book wants us to know we must protect our family and love them, that family will do anything or each other, that family isn’t always related through blood. It’s been a theme throughout many warriors books, since a Clan is basically one big family. It’s a well written and powerful theme of Warriors.
Oh, the fight scenes. How I love you! The book had plently of action, from the first battle to Rain’s death, to Riverclan VS the Kin, to Onestar and Darktail’s end in the lake. There was even LIGHTNING during that last one! Every fight scene kept you zooming around, following the blows and the pace. Each one was unique with different terrain and backstory and emotions. The final battle felt like every clan was coming together doing what they were born to do, harnessing the original emotions of the first series. Perfect action, perfect pacing.
This book is one of my favorites, one I’ll definitely re-read. I’ll never regret buying this book.
They aren’t the damsel in distress. They aren’t your girlfriends or the frightened princesses. They aren’t some little bird who need your help to fly. Nope! They’re the bad guys! Today I’m counting down 12 of my favorite female antagonists to celebrate the end of Women’s History Month.
12- Yzma (The Emperor’s New Groove, 2000)
This purple, uh, ‘prettie’, was a wild card of personality. Yzma was Emperor Kuzco’s head adviser and chemist, a loyal employee of his family for years. She made many choices for the Emperor behind him back, causing her to be fired without a single thought. Her loyalty turning to anger, she decides to kill Kuzco and rule the empire. She plans to poison Kuzco, but instead of poisoning him, she turns him into a llama. Thinking Kuzco is dead, Yzma rules the empire, but soon learns her servant Kronk never killed him. They set out to find the llama emperor, and at the end, chase him down. She ends up turning into a cat, and is overthrown.
Yzma’s chemical genius is unappreciated by the other characters of the film. Being able to create potions that can change anyone into anything is pretty cool for a skill! Easy to keep your servants in check then!
What some don’t remember is that Yzma cared for Kuzco. She basically raised him, and felt so horrible when he fired her without hesitation. She was betrayed, and got her revenge. Kuzco even tries to vouch for Yzma, saying she would never kill him. What Kuzco did was wrong, and caused the whole snowball of effects that was The Emperor’s New Groove. Of course, Yzma’s personality in general helped grow Kuzco’s negative personality. Like many Disney villains, Yzma is hilarious, trying out complicated ways to kill Kuzco. She’s a comical powerhouse of throne hungry mania, with hilarious lines and actions.
11- Mapleshade (Warrior Cats Series, 2003-Present Day)
Yes, this she cat does fall into the category of female villains who become evil because of a man (or tom). However, there are many layers to her motivations and personality. You just need a closer look.
Mapleshade was a Thunderclan warrior who fell in love with Appledusk of Riverclan. She gave birth to his kits, and since this union was forbidden, she was banished from the clan. When she tried to move to Riverclan, her kits drowned in the river, causing Appledusk to hate her. She became a rogue and sought to avenge her kits. She first killed the Thunderclan medicine cat Ravenwing at the Moonstone for revealing her affair with Appledusk. Then she killed Frecklewish with an adder for watching her kits drown. Finally, she tried to kill Appledusk’s new mate Reedshine for having the kits that should be hers. She ended up killing Appledusk instead, and went to a barn to die. But death isn’t the end of Mapleshade’s story, oh no!
She awakens in the Dark Forest, the perfect place to plot her revenge. She plans to ruin the lives of Appledusk’s descendants, and chooses young Crookedkit, later Crookedstar, as her victim. She makes him promise to put his clan over his family, causing his entire family to die. She plans the downfall of the clans, training like minded cats in the clans to overrule them. In The Last Hope, she launches her famed attack, and is killed a second time by Spottedleaf, removing her forever from the world.
Mapleshade is a strong fighter with a determined spirit. She cared for her clanmates, and wanted love. When they betrayed her, she took her revenge, ruining the lives of many cats. She was a fierce leader for the Dark Forest, a villainess rival to Tigerstar. She hates many cats who got to have kits and fall in love, be respected by their clan mates and have a good life, such as Sandstorm. She’s put low on this list due to her motivations, but her attitude and determination still keeps her strong.
10- Mama Fratelli (Goonies, 1985)
This gangsta mama has a special spot in my heart for villains. Growing up with Goonies, it’s impossible for me not to like her and her sons.
Mama broke her son out of jail in a pretty impressive prison breakout and chase scene. Fire literally surrounded the building! How is that not cool?! She and the sons hide out in an old restaurant to run their counterfeiting operation, which just so happens to be over some old pirate treasure. The main kids come to the restaurant to find the treasure, and avoid the criminals for a while, until they go down underground and send Chunk to tell the authorities. Chunk is caught, and they threaten to blend his hand inside a blender. He reveals the existence of the treasure, and the Fratellis go after the kids. Near the end, the Fratellis capture the kids on the pirate ship and begin to send them to their drowning deaths. But Mama Fratelli’s deformed son Sloth comes with Chunk and frees the kids. The kids out of the cave, Mama triggers a trap that destroys the grotto where the ship lays. The Fratellis are then arrested for their crimes.
Mama is a tough counterfeiter in all regards. She’s fine with murdering children to gain a pirate’s treasure, shredding a kid’s hands for information, and neglecting Sloth due to his deformity and slight mental slowness. She tries to acts like she loves her sons, but it’s clear she sees them as either employees in her business or a hazard. She’s smart enough to plan her son’s prison escape, avoid the cops, and keep her operation running for quite a while. A cruel, smart addition to the list.
9- Mother Gothel (Tangled, 2010)
I highly doubt mother knows best in this situation. Mother Gothel was obsessed with her beauty, using a magical golden flower to restore her youth. The flower was stolen by the king and queen, which turned into Rapunzel’s hair. So Mother Gothel stole the child as her own personal fountain of youth and kept her locked in a tower. When Rapunzel escaped, she learned the truth about Mother Gothel and her birth, which caused Mother Gothel to stab Eugene in the gut. Before he died, he cut Rapunzel’s hair off, also cutting off Mother Gothel’s life source. She fell out of the tower window and withered away into dust.
Mother Gothel delivered her own form of abuse to Rapunzel. She lied to the girl, saying the world was too dangerous for her, that people would try to abuse her gift. She put Rapunzel down every minute, avoiding nice comments. She has a theatrical air around her, quite dramatic. Unlike other female Disney villains, she doesn’t have any magical powers. She relies on her intelligence and cunning. She is the most selfish person you’ll find in modern fiction. Abusive, vindictive, selfish, and smart. The perfect mix of traits for a villain.
8- Ursula (Little Mermaid, 1989)
This half octopus was banished from Atlantica, given a vendetta against King Triton. When his curious human loving daughter Ariel came swimming by, she the key to Triton’s downfall. She struck a deal with Ariel to fall in love with Eric. As Ariel tried to win her prince’s heart without her voice, Ursula sabotages the girl so that she does not succeed. When Ariel came close to the kiss, Ursula took her voice and used it to try and marry Eric herself. When that too is foiled, she holds Ariel ransom and forces Triton to hand over the trident and crown. This is when she goes full villain and tries to kill everyone. She was given the most epic death Disney could give to a character onscreen- being stabbed through the gut with a ship.
Ursula’s abilities are powerful, though her greatest strength may be her charm. She knows what she wants, and what others wants, so she can easily manipulate them into doing just what she needs. When they fail, they’re a perfect addition to her garden of souls. She can also shapeshift and bind unbreakable deals.
Ursula is a chaos loving creature, who also nonchalantly committed cannibalism on screen (if eating a fellow fish creature counts). She did show a soft side to her two loyal followers, Flotsam and Jetsam. She treated them well, even though she yelled orders at them all the time. Their death caused Ursula to turn even more murderous than before, turning into a giant monster to avenge them. She’s classy, tricky, vengeful, with a soft spot for two eels and all things chaotic. That earns this lady a place on this list.
7- Cruella de Vil (101 Dalmatians)
Cruella de Vil, Cruella de Vil, if she doesn’t scare you, no evil thing will! To see her is to take a sudden chill! Cruella, Cruella, she’s like a spider waiting for the kill! Look out for Cruella de Vil. If you don’t know it by now, Cruella is known as one of the more heartless Disney villains. She’s a wealthy fashionista looking to make a coat out of the pelts of dalmatian puppies. Now that’s evil! She steals 99 puppies across London, fifteen of which belonging to the main characters, and takes them to the Old De Vil Place. The pups escape, and are chased after by a furious Cruella across England. They get into a car accident while chasing them and are presumed arrested. Not much to say about her personality wise sadly, but her sheer anger and all in all evil traits have put her on many Top Villains lists.
6- Lord Dominator (Wander Over Yonder, 2013-2016)
This cartoon baddie sure packs a punch! She doesn’t have some wimpy girl name, no, she has an epic name. She is LORD DOMINATOR. BOW BEFORE HER. She is the main antagonist of Wander Over Yonder’s second season. At first, she was thought to be a dude by the characters of the show due to her armor, but that was eventually discovered. In the episode My Fair Hatey, she sings an epic song to celebrate women and how she will not date Lord Hater and is a villain for the fun of it. It’s basically the anthem of villains now. The main character Wander often tries to turn her good, but Dominator refuses him.
Even with her masculine armor, Dominator holds no quarrels with looking fabulously feminine. She’ll wear a crop top and a long flowing skirt and kick your butt with her lava powers. She is able to manipulate both lava and ice, and has her own army of tiny robots. When in her armor, Dominator is a powerful force with remnants of Darth Vader. She is a pure evil woman, who wants to destroy the galaxy for fun. In reality, she’s a geek. Just an absolute geek. She loves to freak out about chaos and destruction, providing a mirror of hyperactivity for the hero Wander. She’s still evil, just hyperactive as well.
All in all, Lord Dominator is an amazingly well written woman, with strong motivations, well developed personality, and the greatest fashion sense of any villain I’ve seen. Sorry Cruella, her geek socks beat you and your puppy coat.
5- Bellatrix Lestrange (Harry Potter Franchise, 1998-Present Day)
She killed Sirius. This woman is evil, evil, evil! A pure blood member of the Black family, Lestrange was a fanatic loyal Death Eater. In the later eighth book, it is revealed that she even somehow gave birth to Voldemort’s kid Delphini. She was one of the death eaters that tortured the Longbottoms and part of the Azkaban breakout in the fifth book. Her goal was to kill all members of her family the betrayed the blood line, like Sirius and Nymphadora. She fought to be the last death eater alive in the final battle, and was killed by a mother’s determination. You don’t try to kill a Weasley without the Weasley mother chasing you down and killing you with a zap of her wand.
Lestrange was a powerful witch, mistress of the dark arts. She could easily take down experienced Aurors, with a particular skill with the Cruciatus Curse. She was also skilled at non-verbal magic, dueling, and occlumency. Truly a powerful witch to fight.
Lestrange was as crazy as they come. With a cheerful glow on her face as she murdered her family, she always believed she was better than everyone (except of course, her beautiful Lord Voldemort). She shared the Black temper, and the passion for certain people. She truly cared for her sister Narcissa, even though she hated everyone else. She could lead her fellow death eaters on an attack, never willing to disobey Voldemort. At least this psycho lady is loyal. She truly loves to torture others, and despises anyone not of pure blood heritage.
4- GLaDOS (Portal Series, 2007-2011)
This robot overlord loves testing to death. By that I mean she kills her test subjects if they complete all the tests. GLaDOS (Genetic Lifeform and Disc Operating System) was originally Caroline, the beautiful assistant to Cave Johnson, the head of Aperture Labs. As his health declined, Johnson ordered that if he died before the technology to put his mind into a robot was created that Caroline was to take his place. She refused, but was forced to become GLaDOS. The scientists put multiple personality cores onto GLaDOS to keep her in check, one being Wheatley, who was designed to be the world’s biggest moron. She eventually flooded Aperture with neurotoxin on Take Your Daughter to Work Day, but the surviving scientists were able to place a morality core onto her.
In the first game, she lead Chell, the player, through the tests, but she escaped at the last test (a pit of fire). Chell defeated GLaDOS, destroying her, but the robot was revived by Wheatley’s stupidity later on. In the middle of the second game, Wheatley replaced GLaDOS as head of Aperture. He turned mad, put GLaDOS’ personality inside a potato, and sent her and Chell into the ruins of the old Aperture facility. She remembered Caroline’s past, her old personality returning. When the two defeated Wheatley, GLaDOS deleted the part of her where Caroline lived, and let Chell go free.
As a robot, GLaDOS is able to commit many cruel acts. She is in control of every part of Aperture, and sees through cameras scattered around. Her deadly neurotoxin kills all living things. Her tests are mind numbing, giving you an amazing sense of satisfaction when you beat them. Her witty personality keeps the game alive and entertaining. As Caroline, you sympathize with how she did not want to live forever, but had no choice. Of course, that’s not the best part of GLaDOS. The best part is her personality. It’s snarky, it’s witty, it’s funny, it’s a joy to hear.
3- Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty, 1959, and Maleficent, 2014)
Listen, not inviting someone to an event like Princess Aurora’s royal christening is basically a MAJOR insult. Like, MAJOR. It’s like the White House is hosting a party and the First Lady isn’t invited. So can you blame Maleficent for being mad?
So at the beginning of the 50’s film, Maleficent gate crashes the party and tries to get the king and queen to apologize for not inviting her. When they refuse, she curses Aurora with the famous death by spinning wheel curse and leaves. She basically spends sixteen years hanging out in her castle trying to find the baby after she is taken away. When Aurora completes the curse, Maleficent captures Prince Phillip so he cannot break the spell. When he’s freed, she turns into a giant dragon and begins an epic fight scene, though is killed.
Her personality and character becomes even more defined in the 2014 movie Maleficent. There, she had been kind and friendly to other mythical creatures and fell in love with the boy who would become king. As an adult, he stole her wings, she becomes ruler of the Moors and seeks revenge with her raven Diaval. This is when she curses Aurora, but knows where the child lives. Since the fairies raising her are idiots, she ends up caring for the child and saving her so the curse will be completed. As Aurora learns of Maleficent and grows attached to her, the villainess develops a motherly love for her cursed girl. Sadly, she is unable to lift the spell before her sixteenth birthday. Her maternal love wakes Aurora, she gets her wings back, and unites the kingdoms.
Maleficent is smart and cunning, a powerful fairy. In the first film, she is true evil. Anyone who calls themselves the Mistress of All Evil has to be evil. She thinks herself above everyone else, only caring for her raven. She’s soft spoken, proper, and elegant. In her own personal movie, she shows many different sides of her personality; loving, full of wrath, powerful, and always elegant. A perfect addition to the list.
2- Dolores Umbridge (Harry Potter Franchise, 1998-Present Day)
This lady. This witch. The hatred she inspires is strong. You may want Voldemort to be defeated, but you wanted this lady DEAD. After Harry’s stunning accusations that Voldemort has returned, the Ministry of Magic sent Umbridge to Hogwarts as both the next DADA teacher and to watch Dumbledore in Harry’s fifth year. She presides to be terrible at her job, torture students, actually be HAPPY and POWERFUL around a horcrux, and basically the worst human being to ever exist. She does so many horrible things, I can’t even mention them all in this article.
The part about her that may be so stunning and relatable is that us normal people face people like this all the time! Paper pushers who really just hate humanity. The mention of her name makes you want to punch a flower in the face and burn all things pink and every cat photo on the internet. She’s THAT well written.
So who is the top villainess? That role would have to go to…
1- Harley Quinn (DC Franchise, 1936-Present Day)
Oh Harley. How could I not include you? Surprisingly, she was first introduced in Batman The Animated Series. She was Dr. Harleen Quinzel, a top psychiatrist intern working at Arkham Asylum and a skilled gymnast. She studied the Joker, who manipulated and tricked her into falling for him. After helping him escape, she became Harley Quinn. Her relationship with the Joker was very abusive, the best abusive relationship ever written. She has a close relationship to Poison Ivy, and can fluctuate between loving the Joker and hating him. She’s known as one of the most famous DC villains to be created.
Harley shares the Joker’s love of a laugh, making great jokes and better fight scenes. She has multiple different persona, her most common one her fun loving crazy Joker obsessed identity. Of course, she also acts like Harleen Quinzel at times too. She needs to be obsessed with something, anything, in order to feel complete. In one word, you could describe Harley either as crazy or passionate. Both would be extremely accurate.
The biggest writing flaw about her though is that she could fall in the category of being evil because of a man. However, this is subverted, because she became Harley in order to be with Joker, not to hurt him. In any case, with good and bad parts of her personality, Harley Quinn is the greatest female villain to be written.
Oh yes. As all the old people you see every year at Thanksgiving say, “Children are the future. Which means you and Dan better get started, Nancy!” Children are innocent flowers before they reached the puberty monster. Well most of them.
Children have as much variety as adults and teenagers. So why don’t writers write them like that? Kids aren’t Shirley Temple. They’re Calvin, they’re Philip Hamilton, they’re Lilo, they’re baby Moana, they’re the first years of Hogwarts, they’re Boo! Children are innocent, yes. But they aren’t dumb. They can figure out why their parents are crying.
So what’s the key to writing kids? Well first off, don’t put them into the kid stereotype. Shirley Temple pioneered the art of dumb kids with no personality except cute, dumb, and happy. Whoever wrote Shirley Temple sure hasn’t been inside a room of preschoolers.
When I was helping out in the children’s group of my church, tying the shoes of a 4-year-old boy, he had a lot to say about a lot of stuff. He told me Noah (from the ark story) put the sun into an oven each day to warm it up. He told me that space ends in the morning and begins at night. That’s not right, though. He must be dumb. Wrong, wrong, wrong!
The boy was four years old. He had no way to know or understand how space is infinite, or how the sun covers the stars because of how bright it is. The only gas he knows is the one that comes out of him! He took what he knew and thought them as fact. Long ago, cavemen might have thought the same thing about the black stuff in the sky. They thought the sun was a ball of fire, not gas.
What makes him unique is the fact that he came up with his own ideas. He can understand the world enough to theorize what is happening around him. He knows the sun is warm. He knows ovens are warm. He’s been in church so many times, Noah’s story is nailed into his head. So he made the idea that Noah warms the sun in an oven. Perfectly understandable, don’t you think?
Okay, so a four-year-old thinks a man that had been dead for centuries heats the sun in a technology that didn’t exist when he was around. That’s only the tip of children characters. In order to show you the other parts of children, I have to show my favorite child character at all- Lilo.
Lilo is the young Hawaiian girl living with her sister Nani, who meets the odd alien Stitch and becomes his best friend. This girl, how do I even describe her? She’s funny. She gets angry and doesn’t handle it right (like most kids). She fights with and loves her sister. She has her own crazy theories on the world. She’s smart enough to defeat aliens! Lilo is the type of child character writers should strive to write.
Let’s go over everything piece by piece. Lilo is funny. She is funny not only because it is her personality, but because she is a child. Anything a child does can be hilarious. Their developing attitudes and actions often make us laugh. Even if your child is very serious, they can still be funny with their little emo attitudes.
Lilo gets angry and doesn’t know how to handle it. She lashes out and screams and cries because she doesn’t have the emotional experience adults or teenagers have. She can’t handle her emotions as well, which causes outbursts. Again, your child may be better with their emotions. They are still most likely not as experienced as older people.
Lilo fights with and loves her sister. Children have deep, trusting relationships with their family and friends. They fight with them and care for them, just like adults.
Lilo has her own crazy theories on the world. With a child’s developing mind, they are still learning how the world works. So give your child their own creative, personal theories.
Lilo is smart. Children are incredibly smart! They may not be able to solve complex mathematical equations, but they are still intelligent! Remember what you talked about as a kid? You talked about all these weird things, like global warming, and why penguins don’t live in the north pole, and all these other little debates with your friends over what you know. So remember. Children are little people, with their own personalities and thoughts.
Spring break has come to my small town, and that means no social interaction and staying locked up in my home, anxiety free. That also means…
HARRY POTTER MARATHON!
I’ve gotten to Prisoner of Azkaban and watched one it my favorite scenes- the DADA boggart lesson. As a spider skidded around in roller skates, I thought of the nature of the boggart, and how it sees your deepest, darkest fear. This is something you could never guess about another person, but something every author knows about their characters.
Grab a piece of paper. No, don’t use a journal, you’ll never remember which one you put it in. Grab a piece of large blank paper. At the top, write down ‘Character Fears’ To start, write what your fear is. It helps to realize the different ideas you can put down. Here are a few fears from my own characters, and personal notes.
- Doepaw- Bonepelt, the warrior who killed her mentor, Sparrowfire (I write warrior cat fanfiction, sue me).
- Ghoi- Everyone he loves dead. (Don’t be afraid for deep meaningful fears)
- Sim- (SPOILERS, SORRY)
- Hailpaw- Freezing in the snow
- Yuv- Falling. (You can also have average fears. Not everything is intense).
Make your own list of as many characters as you can. It really helps improve characterization skills. Be as scary as a boggart to your characters so you can equip them with your own version of one of the most popular spells in Harry’s world. Riddikulus!
I was scanning around LZRD WZRD, one of my favorite Youtubers, watching his video on Shadowclan, when I saw there was a new video on his channel. This video was about amendments to the warrior code. YES!! I hurried through his video, where he proposed The Convention Of Cats, where warriors fans make changes to the code and help to improve it, while still keeping to the warriors spirit. You can watch the amendment he came up with, but I’m going to discuss different amendment ideas I’ve seen and how the Hunters have written such an intriguing list of laws, along with how you can make sure a great constitution of rules as well.
My own idea stems from the 14th code of the warrior code- An honorable warrior does not need to kill other cats to win their battles, unless they are outside the warrior code or if it is necessary for self-defense.
This law has two major flaws. It allows warriors to kill innocent loners and kittypets who stumble into the territory. This is what caused poor Tiny to become Scourge, form Bloodclan, and become a cat who this rule was made for. It didn’t have to happen. Warriors should defend territory, but they should also know when to tell a cat to leave and not attack.
It also accounts for another horrible act- clan murder. All a cat has to do is kill another cat alone and they can claim it was in self defense. No investigation needed. So the rule I suggested was:
To preserve the morals of individual clan cats, honorable warriors should not kill to win battles. If a cat kills another, the killer must justify their action to the clan, with an investigation to follow.
Good, right? Here are a few other examples of amendments the code could take.
- flakeywhiskers- If a medicine cat has fully apprenticed another cat, they are allowed to have mates
- Iggy Jaystar- Kits should be allowed to leave camp as long as their mother or father accompanies them in order to prevent wild and dangerous exploration. If one or both parents are dead, a responsible warrior can escort the kit.
- Cutecatlover11502RBX- If a cat outside the clans wants to join a clan, a panel of senior warriors, including the medicine cat, the deputy, and the leader will make the cat take a series of tests, then decide if they are able to join. Final desicion comes to a clan vote. This is so that the leader cannot let anyone join the clan.
- dewshi- If a cat outside the clans wants to join, they are given two moons as a try out time to see if they can provide for the clan. If they cannot, they must leave. If they can, they are accepted as a full member of the clan.
- Flower1815- No cat should be denied the chance to be a warrior, even with injuries and disabilities.
These are my favorite examples at the moment, and all present an interesting argument!
Since this blog isn’t totally devoted to fandoms and cats, I have to talk about writing somewhere. So today that would be the laws of fictional worlds. The Hunters created a fascinating set of laws that drive the heart of every warrior cats story. These laws have been broken time and time again, causing unique conflicts related to law and religion. When you write a list of laws, you need to nail down the big basics. These are rules against things such as
And other major crimes. These laws present themselves as territory rules, leadership rules, and the all important 14th code. You can also add in what I call ‘Extensions’, things that are okay in some societies but not in yours!
- Marital laws. In Warriors, medicine cats cannot have mates or kits. Maybe there’s a group of people in your book who this could apply to!
- Authority laws. Who is placed in power? What laws keep people in check in their spot? In the warrior code, this includes who gets food first, leadership ascension, and leadership dominace.
- Outsider laws. How do you deal with those not from the world these rules apply to? Are you friendly or hostile?
- Military Laws. What laws are in place for the military and veterans? How do countries fight? What can you do on the battle field?
These are only a few types of laws. Add as many as you want, but make sure to have a reason and history behind them!
As for the warrior code, it is the most well written set of laws I’ve seen in fiction, filled with good and bad parts to use in the story. If you have any amendments to the warrior code you want to make, comment below or tell LZRD WZRD about them on YouTube. Talk to you soon.
Oh, time travel. Thou art cruel and frustrating. I don’t know why time travel annoys me as much as it does. Maybe it’s the complication in every action. Maybe it’s the way writers think that everyone enjoys being confused and having no idea what happened. Time travel is a staple of science fiction, spawning untold monstrosities of time travel stories. The two most common types of time travel can be summarized as –
- The Paradox – The character changes something, everything goes to crap, a cat blows up, eldritch monsters rain down from the sky, the world collapses.
- The Timeline – The character changes something, and everything is changed. Save a cat from dying? The apocalypse happens. Save mother from dying? People who never had superpowers get superpowers even though they never met the person (I’m looking at you, Flash).
So many shows have episodes that are about time travel, even though their story is not about time travel. The writers have never had experience writing time travel, which causes them to fall into one of the two time travel tropes. I’m not saying they shouldn’t do an episode about time travel, but they need to be more prepared for the genre they’re about to dip their pens into.
Taking Saturday as the day where all I do is go for a walk, stay in the house, and watch Disney movies and YouTube videos while eating Rice Krispie Bars, I watched Alice Through The Looking Glass on Netflix. When Alice in Wonderland came out, I was still living in my home in North Dakota. I don’t know why I didn’t remember it was the Jabberwock and not a dragon (though the two look very similar). So you can be sure I was looking forward to watching the new movie. I think I screamed when I saw Alice as the ship captain. You go, girl! When I learned that Alice would be traveling back in time, I groaned. I thought it would be just like the world of Wonderland to add all these confusing time travel rules, but surprisingly, it didn’t!
When Alice tried to stop Iracebeth, a.k.a the Red Queen, from hitting her head and enlarging it, the event still happened, even after Alice pushed away the clock that was supposed to hit Iracebeth. She realized what Time said was right, and spurts out an excellent theme; you can’t change the past, but you can learn from it. The event allows her to figure out what happened to the Hightopps, and save the Hatter.
This shows that there are multiple ways to use time travel- all it takes is a bit of imagination, and maybe a touch of madness. So, here are a few time travel methods, rules, and other aspects of fiction that can help refresh a time travel story
- Invisibility – The time traveler cannot be seen by anyone in the past. They cannot interact with anyone. They simply see. Good for historians. (The Intangible Time Travel trope).
- Memories – Time travel is activated through objects, like photos and journals, related to past memories. Only for use of traveling to the past, can cause the ‘bloody nose effect’ with brain damage due to multiple timelines (The Butterfly Effect, 2004).
- Time Holes- Holes scattered across the world that can pop you to different times. Must be aware of opening and closing periods, and which portals take you where.
- Dreams- Okay here me out. You fall asleep- and you wake up as a past ancestor/reincarnation. The ancestor you pop into could be controlled by a higher power, like in my example, or from a focus point of the person/time period you want to go to. (Warrior Cats, 2003-Present)
Those are just a few unique ideas I’ve found that could help make your time travel story unique and interesting. If you want timelines, that’s fine! Just make sure the effects make sense. I mean, if one person who was supposed to die got saved, it’s not like people who never had superpowers are going to get superpowers, right? (glares as Flash again). Instead, make people who know the saved person be affected. Do a chain effect with that, and understand what they and their descendants do that could change the timeline.
Oh, how us fans love our relationships. Calling them ‘ships’ for short, we pair up two lovebirds who are meant for each other and imagine them in every romantic setting, no matter how cheesy it seems. But when should relationships in your writing be platonic or romantic?
Romance has become the cliche to end all cliches that everyone still loves. Writers pair up two people and everyone goes nuts. This annoys me to no end. Somethings, two people should just be friends. They don’t always have to fall in love. More often than not, writers create a female character that only fills the role of ‘love interest’ for their hot male lead. That’s it. That is the starting point of their character development. Everything is centered around their imminent relationship. It makes me want to break something. Maybe the writer’s hand for thinking that was actually a good idea.
Don’t get me wrong, romance can be wonderful, but only when it’s written right. You need to decide if the two characters you want to marry are really a good fit for each other. According to the fans of Marvel, the writers made that mistake with Hawkeye and Black Widow by giving Hawkeye a wife.
Since the ‘Clintasha’ (Clint and Natasha) topic is the trigger button of many a shipper, I should probably address it. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, the Avengers spend a few nights at the farm of Clint, and his wife and kids. This sent the fandom insane, especially those who shipped the witty Clint and the skilled Natasha. They were meant for each other, but Clint’s already married? Why?
There are both pros and cons for the writers to make this choice. I’ll start with the cons, since everyone is so mad about it.
The two were SHIELD agents, fighting against evil with an extremely well-developed relationship. Natasha beat the mind controlled Clint to a groaning pulp, but was still there to talk to him about the experience and work through it. Clint had her back on every mission and was able to match her comments with witty answers. Platonic or romantic, this relationship was real, strong, and wonderful. But then came Laura Barton.
I don’t like hating on characters that aren’t written to be hated, but this woman has never been brought up in any other part of the story before Ultron. Yes, the relationship between Clint and Natasha is unchanged, but the writers have missed a major opportunity by not letting the two get together. Instead they crammed in an awkward, underdeveloped relationship. It was even the reason they made Clint ‘retire’ in Captain America- Civil War, which honestly everyone knew was temporary. Making Clintasha platonic has hit a serious blow in the fanbase, making more than a few people mad.
Letting the relationship of Hawkeye and Black Widow grow more romantic gives the audience a relationship they love, that they want to see more of, that they truly want to succeed. Instead they threw in a rush job that if they truly wanted, should have had more time to develop. Let us meet his wife without a bigger threat looming overhead. Tell us why we should care about Clint and Laura.
There was also another way they could have gone with this idea, discussed in the Tumblr thread below.
For those who have difficulty reading the text, it shows an alternate scene in which Laura is not Clint’s wife, but his sister. Tumblr user aroskywalker discusses how this would be better than a wife. Clint’s still developed, a sister is still important, parallels to the Maximoffs, and more characterization with only five minutes really changed. Plus, it still gives the Avengers a place to go with the threat of Ultron.
Now here comes the part that would make the shippers mad. The benefits of another love interest for Clint.
Clintasha has become platonic in full canon, but that doesn’t mean the writers have backed themselves into a corner. There are many interesting ways they can take a platonic relationship. There are many interesting angles (which could still be explored in the sister idea) of a platonic relationship. All the writers have to do is take advantage of this.
So this is an example of a ‘sunken ship’ (a ship that can never be real in canon) that did not fair well with the fans. So how do you prevent that mistake, and still make the right call about your characters?
Take a step back from the two characters and figure out their personalities. How well do they mix together? What makes them like each other? Could it develop into something more? Also, look at their backstories. Characters with similar backstories could have a more likely chance to connect and fall in love due to shared experiences.
The extent of their relationship in the end depends on what you feel would work with your story. Maybe there’s another character they could fall for, or maybe they could simply be best friends. They could even be enemies, coming out of their past with different, conflicting views. Go with what you feel is right. If you truly want two characters to be together, maybe tweak a few points of their personalities and backstories to help them fall deeper in love. Don’t base your entire character on their relationship, however. Make sure both characters can stand on their feet before one sweeps the other off and carries them away.
To prepare my mind for the blur of work, rehearsal, and trying to squeeze in time to write my rough draft that would be this week, I watched Hidden Figures last Saturday. After watching the film, I had to write a review on it.
Hidden Figures tells the true story of three black women working in NASA in 1961. These women are the famous Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan, three brillants computers. Katherine was one of the leading mathematicians in the launch on the Friendship 7, which would be the story’s climax. Mary became the first female engineer in NASA, and Dorothy was the first African American supervisor at NASA. The story focuses on their struggles as they try to help their nation reach the stars.
The characters of these three women were incredibly well developed, each one with their own distinguishable personality. One of the greatest developmental parts of the movie was as Katherine worked in the Space Task Group (Spoilers ahead). As the colored women’s bathroom was a half mile away, she would take forty minutes just to go to the bathroom. One rainy day, her boss, Al Harrison, got mad as she was not at her station. When she came back, Harrison started yelling at Katherine, and what did she do?
She started one of the most well written rants I’ve seen in film in a long time, about how she has to go five miles farther than everyone else for every scrap of recognition, and yet she still has to drink from a separate coffee pot and use a bathroom a half mile away. This causes Harrison to throw away the ‘Colored’ coffee pot and allow desegregation of the NASA bathrooms. It was a great scene of character development for both Katherine and Harrison.
Katherine and her fellow computers are wonderful feminist and racial icons. They have a very real relationship, with jokes and laughter and teasing and all the little things that make up the perfect friendship (I didn’t even mean to make that pun, but I do not regret it). Katherine’s burns on Harrison caused the entire theatre to go “OOOOOHHHHHH!”
The story contains virtually every element of 1960’s America. Soviet Union threats, racial and gender rights, women wearing pants for the first time, space, church, every little detail imaginable. It brought me into the 1960’s in a world where women and African Americans were starting to be able to do more and more, and space seemed closer than ever.
The supporting characters were also gems to watch interact with each other. The main character’s husbands supported their wives while still passing along a few sexist comments common of the era to make realistic, enjoyable men. The same goes for the men of NASA, like John Glenn and Al Harrison. They underestimated the skills and abilities of the main characters, but had quite a few redeeming features. Even Paul Staffords, who arguably could be called the film’s main antagonist, was quite redeeming.
The climax had me hanging onto every moment. Since I had never heard of the Friendship 7 before the movie, I had no idea the outcome of the launch. I enjoyed the parallel in the beginning of the scene, with the white man running to find Katherine, taking the same path she had to take when the bathrooms were segregated. I was curled into a ball in my seat, hoping the calculations could help save the day.
Each scene was packed with emotion and laughs, weaving together a story for the ages. Hidden Figures has started off the 2017 year of film with a bang from the 60’s, and a movie I’m sure people will not be quick to forget. If you excuse me, I’ll be listening to Runnin’ by Pharrell Williams on repeat as I hurry to and from my responsibilities, internally screaming.