Character Types: The Damsel in Distress

Daniel’s decided he has better things to do in life, so Anna moves out from behind the camera to discuss the damsel in distress character type with Josiah. Is the damsel in distress a worn stereotype that should just be thrown out, or is it possible for even a damsel in distress to be a compelling character? We tackle this question and more in this video!

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Previous Stereotypes:

The Mentor

Profile photo of Josiah DeGraaf
Josiah DeGraaf is a high school English teacher and literature nerd who fell in love with stories when he was young and hasn’t fallen out of love ever since.
He writes because he’s fascinated by human motivations. What causes otherwise-good people to make really terrible decisions in their lives? Why do some people have the strength to withstand temptation when others don’t? How do people respond to periods of intense suffering? What does it mean to be a hero?
These questions drive him as a reader, and they drive him as a writer as well as he takes normal people, puts them in crazy situations (did he mention he writes fantasy?), and then forces them to make difficult choices with their lives.
Someday, Josiah hopes to write fantasy novels with worlds as imaginative as Brandon Sanderson’s, characters as complex as Orson Scott Card’s, character arcs as dynamic as Jane Austen’s, themes as deep as Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s, and stories as entertaining as Wayne Thomas Batson’s. In the meantime, you can find him writing articles here or short stories at his website (link below) as he works toward achieving these goals.
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  1. Love it, guys. Great work, as always. I can’t wait for the next video— sounds extremely interesting. This is very much a great discussion.
    And what’s wrong with Let it Go???? It’s loads of fun to sing— all those high notes and long holds. What’s not to love???
    And no, that was not sarcasm. 😀

  2. I’m pretty sure that is the hardest any of your videos have ever made me laugh.
    I always thought the Damsel is Distress was a ridiculously overused stereotype, but you made some good points. There are some female characters I hadn’t thought of as damsel in distress up until now just because they tried to take action. This was great! I can’t wait for the next!

  3. This is hilarious, not to mention informative and helpful! I love the beginning scene; it’s so true. “A good princess waits for the prince.” 😛

  4. Yeah, Anna. You get to be in front of the camera. Got to do this, #bringAnnaback. 🙂
    Awesome video though, I wrote a story recently with the damsel in distress as my main character. It was loads of fun to do. 😀
    Can’t wait till the next video. Keep up the great work.

    • Lol, yes! I’ll be passing that along to her and Daniel. 😉 Glad to hear that using that character for your MC worked so well! We definitely need some more good examples of this in fiction.

  5. LOL! This is great. XD Awesome job, y’all! The theatrics at the beginning were my favorite. xD

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