Commentary

Six Common Forms of Bad Writing Advice

A Medieval painting of a university lecture.

It probably won’t surprise you that there’s a lot of writing advice out there. Everyone seems to have their own take on this endeavor we call storytelling. That’s to be expected, but it’s often hard to tell the good tips from the bad. Without the … read more »

What Storytellers Should Know About Normalization

Three identical white men in identical shirts work together

When we’re making recommendations about story content for social justice reasons, we often mention “normalization.” The basic idea is simple: something that’s depicted in a story is more likely to done by real people. However, there are some common misconceptions about what normalization is and … read more »

Four Problematic Tropes to Drop

Kali and her gang from Stranger Things 2.

Despite what some people may tell you, storytelling tropes are not inherently bad. They’re just something that gets repeated often enough for us to give it a name. Plenty of them are very helpful to writers of all skill levels. But then again, some of … read more »

Can I Use a Real Language for a Fictional Culture?

questions and answer talk bubbles

Hello to everyone at Mythcreants, My question is about how to deal with semi-representative cultures – namely, those that deal with language. There are several countries in the world of my story whose people speak languages that are equivalent to real-life languages (The examples I … read more »

Stories Need to Stop Promoting Torture

A lightning bolt crashing through the church window during the Salem Witch Trials.

Torture is an ugly stain on the soul of humanity, and I’ll be honest: I did not expect to be writing about it on a storytelling website in 2019. I just assumed everyone watched John Oliver’s segment on torture four years ago and got the … read more »

Seven Ways Writers Sabotage Beta Reading

A woman dressed in a fancy steam punk outfit reads book through her monocle

Beta reading is a critical part of the writing process. It’s a preview of how real-life human beings will respond to your work, something every author should get before their book hits primetime. And yet, I keep seeing authors mishandle the beta reading process. Over … read more »

Understanding Appropriative Worldbuilding

Previously, I’ve dived into important considerations when creating characters to represent marginalized people and writing plots about their experiences. Now it’s time to discuss using other cultures in worldbuilding and the big bogey therein: cultural appropriation. Read more »

Understanding Exploitative Plots

Last time, I described why it’s important to have diverse characters that represent people with marginalized traits. However, many storytellers not only add characters to represent marginalized groups but also choose to make their stories about marginalized experiences. Read more »

Understanding Character Representation

Simple counting is all it takes to realize our stories feature some groups of people way more often than others. This inequality must change, but the process of correcting this imbalance can be confusing and intimidating. While it will take more than one article to … read more »