Commentary

How Can I Spot Bad Faith Critique?

questions and answer talk bubbles Hello! I was wondering: how do you tell when criticism of a controversial/mediocre/problematic work is misogynistic or racist? I remember that when The Force Awakens and the Ghostbusters reboot came out, there was a lot of controversy between people panning the films, defenders claiming the … read more »

Respectfully Depicting a Character Adapting to a Disability

A Black woman with short, curly hair kneels on the floor, using a yellow screwdriver to fasten nails into a partially constructed bookcase. A few screws and a hammer are laid in front of her on the light blue floor. A purple cane is within reach of the woman, leaning against the yellow wall behind her. Storytellers often portray characters navigating new disabilities. Usually this is played for drama, casting a new disability as a terrible catastrophe. While it is true that becoming disabled can be hard, these depictions are exaggerated, inaccurate, and stigmatizing. To do better, we need to examine … read more »

How Do I Keep My Fictional Disease From Being Ableist?

questions and answer talk bubbles In my fictional world, a disease (possibly affecting the nervous system) was discovered that causes various degrees of physical and mental disabilities. However, rogue scientists find out that certain patients carry no visible sign of the syndrome (they can only be detected with medical tests), … read more »

Five Tired Tropes About Teenagers

A cover of James Patterson's The Final Warning, where protagonist Max stands at an angle with the title printed in front of her. The teen years are a formative time for many people. Young adults need to grapple with maturity, newfound independence, and a deepening sense of self, all while surrounded by stressful environments both at school and at home. These conflict-rich situations are ripe for storytelling, and … read more »

Five Ridiculous Stories About Stories

A rumbled white woman with short hair stares is dismay at her typewriter. Many storytellers like to comment on storytelling in their stories. That alone isn’t a terrible thing, except so much of this commentary is pompous, harmful to storytellers, completely wrong, or all of the above. These meta messages say a lot about fiction-writing culture, and most … read more »

316 – Prescriptivism

The Mythcreant Podcast The term “prescriptivism” gets thrown around a lot, often to describe some pretty bad behavior, but what does it really mean? That’s what we’re investigating this week, because we don’t want to be prescriptivist about it. We discuss how language changes depending on context, what … read more »