Today, Mythcreants turns one year old! Our year-long discussion of storytelling, roleplaying, writing, and worldbuilding has revealed ideas that are important enough to repeat. Let’s review those concepts, and some of the posts that love them:
An audience arrives with basic expectations about your work, whether it’s the role of the main characters or the operation of the world. If you violate those expectations during critical points in the story, they’ll be unhappy with you.
Meeting expectations doesn’t mean you can’t turn conventions on their head. Make your story stand out by contrasting it with similar works.
Whatever you do, think it out ahead of time. If you add things to your world because they’re convenient in the moment, your universe will slowly fall apart. Then your audience will know you didn’t do your homework.
There are few things more disastrous for a story than confusion. Worse than simply disliking your story, your audience won’t be able to experience it at all.
Another issue that plagues many stories is chronic conflict deficiency. Once the story ventures too far into wish-fulfillment, there may not be enough challenges to keep it interesting.
Luckily, there are many cures for conflict deficiency. Do yourself a favor, and preemptively build numerous conflict hooks into your story and your world.
A satisfying story is shaped by the characters in it. Give your protagonist difficult and important decisions to make, then let them use their skills and ingenuity to save the day.
Stories become much stronger when both the storyteller and the audience identify with the main character. Use the outlook of your protagonist to set the tone of the story, and never break character for the sake of your plot.
Don’t let your story become a two-headed dragon trying to run in opposing directions. Keep all of the elements tightly related to one another. Your story will be stronger for it.
Neglecting basic geography will make your work feel sloppy and contrived, whereas putting extra thought into your story and setting can create a deeper, more immersive experience.
There’s lots of work to do, but time is precious. Save it where you can.
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