Why Disenchanted works, a character study

Often when I’m talking about why a show works, I find myself pointing out one strength over and over. The stories I love the most are the ones with the best characters. 

That being said, instead of breaking down all of the reasons why Disenchantment season three works, I thought I’d focus on just this one element. 

We’re not going to go into all of the characters in this season. There was a lot, and most of them were good. We’re just going to look at the five main characters, and what made them so well written.


Elfo was one of the most sickeningly nice characters for the first two seasons. The only nice one. And he got shit on, constantly. Bean took him for granted, Luci actively tortured him. And this season he’s just done with it.

Good for him.

But instead of handling this responsibly, Elfo’s lashing out in every and any direction. He’s looking for love in some self-destructive places. He’s having a hard time keeping his emotions under any kind of control. While this is obnoxious, it’s also realistic. People don’t have mature and level responses to things all the time, neither do elves. It makes Elfo a more realistic character that he’s being kind of an oversensitive prick this season.


Originally tasked with being Bean’s personal demon, Luci has decided that he doesn’t care to live his life for another. Even if he’s living his life to mess with another. He’s decided to branch out and take care of his needs. He bought a bar and seems to enjoy running it. That being said, he’s still around when his friends need him. Or when he wants to express his love for them by torturing them.

Luci also finds himself growing attached to King Zog in his illness, which we’ll discuss later. At first, he resents being treated like an emotional support pet for a crazy person. But in the end, he wants to be helpful. He wants to help take care of the people he cares about, despite his selfish instincts.

He’s still a demon, but he’s not a very good one. 

King Zog

Some hard stuff has happened to King Zog. Like really hard. His first wife tried to kill him, a couple of times. His second wife finally had enough of him and ran off to be a pirate. He was briefly in love with a bear. On top of that, his daughter is a rebellious handful, his closest advisors are plotting against him, and he was trapped alive in a coffin for a while.

Rather than just having him shrug all this off with a cliche ‘I’m getting too old for this shit’, he has a psychotic episode. He starts making weird quacking sounds, can’t make decisions. He’s scared of everything. He can’t feed himself.

This is kind of funny. But it’s also kind of what a realistic physic break might look like. I appreciated that. 

I also appreciated that, even though Zog’s a meathead and selfish, he’s ready to do what he needs to for his people. I don’t want to spoil things. So I’ll just say that he shows humility, and does something that we don’t see a lot of characters with power do.

He gives it up.

Queen Oona 

Queen Oona was the biggest surprise in this season. I wasn’t expecting to see her much. It kind of felt last season like they put her on a bus. Or in this case, a pirate ship. 

Instead, she comes in with her brand of support for Bean. She’s there when she’s needed, but she’s not there to take on the whole situation.

And it’s not for the sorts of reasons we usually see. She’s not leaving Bean to take care of things herself because Bean needs to be strong. She’s doing it because she’s got her own life to live. This is still her family, but she’s got her own thing going on. Her own badass pirate thing. The evolution of this character from a walking joke to a feminist badass has been really fun to watch. It’s an example of how you do character evolution well.


Finally, we get to the main character, Bean. 

Bean is what I would call a flawlessly flawed character. She drinks, she’s selfish, she’s a pain in everyone’s ass. I don’t know why anyone thought she needed a personal demon. She does well enough getting into trouble on her own. 

But it’s not just pain in the ass behavior with no purpose. Bean doesn’t want to care about anything, but she does. She isn’t just selfish and then starts caring about others. She seems as though she pretends not to care. She is trying to numb herself to a world she didn’t feel qualified or able to fix. When allowed to change things, to fight for things, she does it.

It’s amazing what someone can do when they think they might make a change. And what sort of debauchery they’ll get into when they care but feel helpless.

So what do you think? Have you seen the latest season of Disenchantment? Let us know in the comments. 

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Sylvermoon Volume IX is available now!

It’s a new book! Yay! Even better, it’s a collection of speculative shorts by some of the best indie authors around. Including, of course, me.

Some awesome authors you might recognize are G. Russell Gaynor, Madolyn Locke and Greg Alldredge, to name just a few.

Some of the stories are whimsical, some are terrifying. All are pretty freaking good.

Here’s a link if you want to check it out.

I hope you love Sylvermoon Volume IX. It’s a joy to participate with these awesome authors every year. And the end result is always amazing.

Why Savage Legion Works

I love a good, thick fantasy novel, let’s just get that out of the way, first. And we were to judge Savage Legion by Matt Wallace only on its size, it would be a winner. 

Fortunately, it’s got a lot more going for it. It’s funny, has great characters and was just overall fun to read. 

Today, we’re going to break down why Savage Legion works. And if you haven’t read it yet, we’ll also be talking about why you should. 

The first thing that really stuck me with Savage Legion was that it’s set in the present tense. This was a weird decision that was, frankly, a bit jarring at first until I got used to it. It was one of those brave decisions that we all want to make, but we’re too scared to. 

It did, as I said, take a bit of getting used to. But once I was accustomed, it was great. I felt more in the moment. This was not a tale being told. It was a story that was happening right as I was reading it. 

Now, am I saying everyone should start writing all their books in the present tense? No, probably not. But it wouldn’t hurt to take a few artistic chances. They might lead to the best thing you’ve ever written. 

Now, let’s talk about Taru. Taru is the first and only non-bionary person I’ve seen in a fantasy book. And instead of their whole story being about that, they’re an actual person who has thoughts and opinions outside of their sexuality. 

What a concept! 

I’m sure I’m missing a ton of non bionary characters out there, but the only one I can remember was on an episode of Bones. They were not handled well, to say the least. 

Taru is loyal, funny, brave and scary as hell. And if you want to write about a non bionary character, this is how you do it. 

Another thing done well in this book is the world building. This world, and the city of Crache feels real. It feels like something that would evolve in our own world. The politics, because there’s a lot of politics in this book, make perfect sense. The enemies battling Evie and the other savages feel real. And when the characters, one by one, come to horrible realizations about their government and the people who run it, that feels real too. 

Finally, let’s talk about connecting plotlines. Early in the book we’re introduced to three very different women. Evie, Dyeawan and Lexi. It’s only as their stories progress that we find that they are very much tied together in the deadly web those in power are weaving. 

Now, I’ve seen this done well and I’ve seen it done poorly. I’ve seen it done as a plot device to simply show the world from diffrent points of view. 

That’s not what’s going on here. This is giving vital understanding of the scenes and plans unfolding that we just wouldn’t have with just one character. While the three main characters meet face to face only once or twice, their stories are barreling head on towards each other. I’m honestly not sure who’s going to be enemies or allies when that time comes. And that’s the sort of thing that gets a reader itching to read the next book. 

So that’s why Savage Legion works. It takes chances, it depicts people from different walks of life well, and it shows multiple plotlines coming together in surprising and wonderful ways. But now I want to hear what you think. Have you read Savage Legion? Why do you think it works? And what would you like to see me talk about next? Let us know in the comments. 

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Why Truth Seekers works

Say what you will about Amazon (and I do) but they are putting some of the most original, creative and brave shows out there right now. I’ve already talked about several of their shows and why they work. And today we’re going to talk about another one. Truth Seekers.

I won’t lie, I was first drawn to Truth Seekers because I am a huge fan of Shaun of the Dead. I tend to have certain actors that drive me to watch anything, and Simon Pegg is one of those actors. (He’s also amazing in Star Trek.)

Sometimes that leads me to watch some shitty things. Truth Seekers is not one of those times.

The story of season one is thus. Gus, a cable repair tech, is saddled with training a new partner named Elton. 

Elton John. Yes, that’s real.

This is stressful for Gus because he likes to work alone. But it’s also getting in the way of his ghost hunting side gig.

Yes, Gus is a Youtube persona who hunts for ghosts. 

This is all well and good when he’s posting time-lapse videos of a door opening by itself. It becomes quite another sort of adventure when the ghosts start acting like they’re in a horror movie and not in an episode of Ghost Hunters.

So let’s talk about the three biggest reasons Truth Seekers works. 

The characters

Okay, I point out characters in almost every single why it works post. There’s a reason for that. This might be an unpopular opinion, but I don’t care. A good cast of characters can save a dull story faster than the other way around. 

Every one of the characters, from main character Gus to Elton’s agoraphobic sister Helen, every character feels real. Everyone feels like someone you might honestly meet on a day to day basis. 

More than that, though, is the interactions between characters. Gus is devoted to his dad, even though they fight constantly. He misses his wife every day, and he’s not the least bit shy about it. Elton and his sister have a relationship that gets better the more you learn about them. 

I cared about each of these people. I wanted them to succeed. I wanted them to be okay. There wasn’t a single character I didn’t believe to be an honest person. This is because we see the bad along with the good. We see selfishness, anger, pain. But these aren’t just traits thrown in so the authors could say they made a character with good and bad traits. The flaws and strengths of each character made sense given what they’d been through.

Everyone’s got a secret

Mind you, my opinion of these things came from watching the whole first season. It takes that long to get to know each character’s true motivations. Why does it take that long? Because everyone is lying to each other all the time.

Not for cruel or selfish reasons. The reasons for the lies are best left discovered by the viewer. 

This works so well because there are so many secrets waiting to be discovered. And every secret is a payoff for the viewer. These payoffs are scattered through the season, keeping the viewers guessing while doling out bits of satisfaction as we go along.

The ending is shocking but makes total sense

This is something I love in fiction. Something so hard to do. The ending of this season is a twist. It’s a hell of a twist and I don’t dare ruin it.

That being said, once you know the ending you’ll see all the little clues that led up to this making perfect sense. It’s hard to do. But if you can create an ending that is surprising but also makes sense, you’re golden. 

So what do you think? Have you seen Truth Seekers? Do you think it works? Let us know in the comments below. 

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My favorite bullet journal spreads to keep your life in order and plants alive

This month I began my seventeenth bullet journal. Her name is Sage. 

In all this time, I’ve never really taken the time to share my bullet journal strategies or collections with you. I’d like to say I don’t know why, but I do. 

My bullet journal isn’t as pretty as most of the ones you see online. 

I love watching those videos on Youtube of people making these gorgeous spreads. It’s one of my favorite things about getting ready for a new month. And I’m not a terrible artist. I try, I do.

But here’s the thing. The pages I’m going to share with you today don’t need to be aesthetically pleasing to help you out. The important thing is the information you’re tracking, not the decorative doodling. I’m going to suck it up and share some pages with you today. If you don’t bullet journal, I hope this inspires you to start, artistic abilities or not. 

These are not my daily, weekly or monthly spreads. These are extra spreads that save my ass and help keep my life in order. At least, as much order as it can have. If you’re interested in a post about what goes into my daily, weekly and monthly spreads, let me know in the comments. 

Future log

Everyone’s got a future log. I just think mine’s the best. 

It’s very simple. I’ve just written the days of the month, followed by space to add in things as they come up. I set this page up every time I start a new bullet journal, keeping notes for the next twelve months.

What you track here will be up to you. But I keep track of holidays, holy days, birthdays, upcoming book releases, upcoming show releases, or anything else I might need to know about when that month comes around. I also make sure to build in at least three blank spaces for things I’ll find out about as I work through this bullet journal.

I like to keep the decorations on this page minimal and clean. I’ll be referring to this page a lot, and a clean page is less likely to get tiresome. It also gives me space to add things in as I need to. 

Yearly goal page

Again, this is a pretty common spread, but one that does wonders for my mental health. I keep a list of my life goals at the top of the page. Not really because I think I’ll forget. But because I want to keep my focus. 

Then I write down all the things I want to accomplish in a year. I like this list to be simple, but specific. Get a new computer, beat my 2020 income, produce Off The Bone season one. Later on, I’ll have a page dedicated to a step by step process for a goal if it needs it. Here is the space for just a bullet point list. This is what I want my big-time goals to be for this calendar year.

It is the best feeling to cross off a yearly goal. I made a couple of goals I knew wouldn’t take all year to accomplish just so I could get to that feeling sooner.

In case of emergency page

No, this isn’t a list of emergency numbers or anything like that. That information is at the front of the book. 

No, this is a list of things I need to remember for an emotional emergency. 

Maybe I’m feeling down. Maybe I’m having an anxiety attack. Maybe I’m so tired I don’t think I can go on.

When I get like that, I tend to forget my coping mechanisms. I don’t think I’m the only one who does this. Even something as simple as making a cup of tea, I can’t think of that when I’m in that sort of mood.

Fortunately, I can go to my emergency page and see the little notes I’ve left myself. 

I feel stressed. Okay, Make a cup of tea, light a candle, and journal about it. I feel sad. Read my gratitude list, light a candle, find a small win and draw. It’s the spread that has saved me mentally more times than I can count. 

Goodreads goal

This is another one that a lot of people have, but I love it. It’s pretty simple. I drew little rectangles to represent books I want to read. Then I write the title in the book. I keep track of when I started it and when I finished it. And as I make progress on the book, I slowly color it in. 

You might notice on the page that there are also three smaller rectangles at the bottom of the page. Those are the books I finished for my goal this year before I started this bullet journal. 

I also keep a list of books I want to read at the bottom of the page. Honestly, I wish I’d done a two-page spread for this. I’ll probably do that next time.

Rolling shopping list

You know what, there are a lot of apps to keep shopping lists on. Do you know what I never have with me? My tablet.

But I’ve always got my bullet journal. So if I suddenly notice that we’re low on Tums, I can write that down right away. Then, when I go to the store, I know what I need.

When was the last time I…

Here’s another page that has saved me a ton of hassle. On it, I keep track of things that I need to do, and when the last time I did them was.

When was the last time I washed the bedding?

When was the last time I took a day off?

When was the last time I ran a virus scan?

You get the idea. I check this page every week when I’m making my to-do list. And I know if it’s been too long since I’ve backed up my files. Instead of just being pretty sure it’s been too long.

Plant care log

If any plants in my house are alive, it’s because of this spread. I keep a neat list of all the plants I have when the last time I watered them and fed them.

This again saves my brain from having to remember when the last time I remembered to water anything. And it saves the lives of my little green darlings.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of every page in my journal. But it is a list of pages that help me out. If they help you out, give the post a like or share it.

Thanks a lot, guys. See you next week. 

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