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The Phantom Stranger

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The Author Tract · 7:02pm Apr 11th, 2018

Everyone knows that you cannot objectively remove the authors from their works. Now, let's see where it gets toxic. Often times, writers want to convey some kind of message in their works. Kingdom Come was a graphic novel dedicated to how good intentions can lead to evil. Spider-Man One More Day and One Moment in Time are basically long essays about why marriage is just a piece of paper and is ultimately a useless institution. Keep in mind, I did not say that these were good messages. Let's cover the ways that authors expose their thoughts in the worst ways possible.

The Author Avatar
Characters like Talon Ted and Peter Parker are perfect examples of what not to do when it comes to author avatars for different reasons. The former quite literally fires off the moral without a hint of nuance and the latter is used to make Joe Quesada feel younger. Both of them leads to highly one-sided arguments to justify actions like Peter selling his marriage. In the case of Peter, Mary Jane is also a self-insert because she said Joe Quesada's other famous quote, "See, to me, the reason I wanted to get married was to have kids. If that's no longer a part of the equation, then marriage is just a piece of paper."

The Worf Effect
This applies mostly to fan works. What is the best way to show off that your character is more threatening, more powerful, and overall better than what is in canon? Make them so overpowered that nothing works against them. This leads into a whole tirade of how might makes right. If you think that it would lead into a great argument on a moral level. Nope. Might makes right. This character can argue better than anyone, has more willpower, and able to survive anything. Considering humanity's perception of perfection isn't complete, there is a disconnect between what is shown and what is told in the story.

How can you be less nuanced than having a character speak your message for you? Have your narration do it for you. That way, you don't have to have a character leave. This way, the author can hammer in the message as hard as possible at all times, seeing how the narrator tends to be omnipresent and omniscient in most stories. It's more tolerable if the narrator isn't omniscient because the character can learn. An omniscient narrator needs no new knowledge.

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Comments ( 5 )

You linked the wrong Friendship is Failure story. Talon was in Friendship is failure 5 not 1

[without a hint of nuisance]

I think you used the wrong word here.

Perfectly summarized.

Fixed. It's a miracle that that was the only mistake, considering I did this from mobile.

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