September, 2015

Analysis

Five Terrible Games in Speculative Fiction

Ron_in_Quidditch

Characters in stories play games just like you and me.* But what do they play? Some stories can use real games, but strange fantasy cultures should have strange fantasy games. Unfortunately, most writers aren’t game designers, and many of their creations fall flat. Others fall … read more »

Storytelling

Is Backstory Necessary?

Batman's backstory explains why he chases criminals dressed as a bat.

We received this question from Ruth Huish: Often I read a book and they spend so much time focusing on the subplot that I just want to say, “Get over it! I want to hear about the time-sensitive plot at hand.” And usually that plot … read more »

Meta

We’ll Be at GeekGirlCon 2015

GGC-2014

Mythcreants has a panel at Seattle’s GeekGirlCon this year. The panel is titled Matriarchies, Patriarchies, and Beyond: Depicting Gender in Your Fictional World. We’re scheduled for Saturday, October 10th, at 11:30 am. Read more »

Worldbuilding

Six Consequences of High Magic

High Magic

Some fantasy settings, like anything written by Brandon Sanderson, impose strict limits on what magic can do. Others – like The Wheel of Time,* The Malazan Book of the Fallen, and just about any D&D setting – do not. In these worlds, magic is both … read more »

Storytelling

Why & How to Kill a Hero

The famous execution scene in Game of Thrones.

Unless you’re writing a slasher,* killing an important protagonist is a tough decision that can have a profound effect on your story. For most works, it will have both benefits and drawbacks. Understanding the dynamics of character death can help you avoid pitfalls and select … read more »

Roleplaying

Six Strange Stories From My Gaming Table

Catullus_at_Lesbia's_by_Sir_Laurence_Alma_Tadema

Roleplaying games never go the way you expect, which is the entire point. Predictable campaigns are boring campaigns. Players are smart, and they need room to experiment. When things veer into strange territory, you get the best stories, tales you’ll still be talking about years … read more »

Worldbuilding

Using Taboos in a Culture

Medieval_Royal_Funeral007

Every society has different norms of behavior. Friendly greetings are expected; eating with your hands is frowned upon. Failing to follow the norms will make you stand out in negative ways, but you will probably be left alone by most people. Unless those norms are … read more »