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:
Meet the Expectations of Your Audience
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.
Five Ways You Should Never End Your Story
Maintaining Belief During Fantastical Stories
Or Better Yet, Subvert Them
Meeting expectations doesn’t mean you can’t turn conventions on their head. Make your story stand out by contrasting it with similar works.
Why Breaking Stereotypes Makes Stronger Characters
Six Reasons You Should Read Discworld
Episode 18: Subverting Expectations
As Long as You Aren’t Inconsistent
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.
Four Problems With Multimedia Continuity
Know How Your Magic Works
Five Star Trek Technologies Taken to Their Natural Conclusion
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.
Three Ways You Can Use Description to Mess With Your Readers
Five Tips for Running a Mystery Game
The Four Rules of Using Fake Words
Without Problems, You’ll Have Problems
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.
Five Characters That Are Too Powerful
How Team Rocket Villains Ruin Stories
Episode 20: Bringing Utopias and Dystopias to Life
So Create Some
Luckily, there are many cures for conflict deficiency. Do yourself a favor, and preemptively build numerous conflict hooks into your story and your world.
Five Ways to Add Conflict to Your Story
How Metagaming Can Improve Your Campaign
Four Ways to Limit Magic & Technology
Then Let Your Characters Solve Them
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.
Balancing Character Agency
Creating a Party Leader
Using “Yes, and…” in Tabletop Roleplaying
While You Stay in Their Shoes
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.
Three Tips for Getting Into Character
Six Ways to Encourage Your Players to Roleplay
Five Signs Your Character Is Fully Developed
Tie It All Together
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.
Tying Your Plot Together
Four Steps for Making Campaigns Into Written Stories
And Make It Feel Real
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.
Seven Ways to Make Your Story More Powerful
How to Create a Simple Language
How to Color Your Map Using SCIENCE!
But Be Efficient
There’s lots of work to do, but time is precious. Save it where you can.
Making Memorable Player Characters in Minutes
Avoiding the Planet of Hats
Six Tips for Doing More With Less
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