Worldbuilding

What Makes an Antagonistic Group Problematic?

The White Orc from the Hobbit films.

Antagonists are an indispensable tool of storytelling, and a lot of stories require large groups of bad guys to oppose the heroes. But in addition to all the technical challenges of crafting antagonistic groups, we have to consider when these groups become harmful in real … read more »

How Can I Use Realistic Disease in My Story?

questions and answer talk bubbles

Disease and infection were deadly, particularly before modern medicine, germ theory, vaccinations, etc. However, having the main character get a coughing fit, diarrhea, and pustules does not usually make for a great adventure story. You can’t outwit or outfight cholera. You mention “A Basic Understanding … read more »

Explaining the Urban Fantasy Masquerade

Evil Stiles and his minions from Teen Wolf

Speculative fiction storytellers will go a long way to make fantastical situations feel plausible. Sure, they will never be perfectly plausible because magic isn’t real, but it’s still no good if our audience is wondering why the hero won’t use teleportation during our tense climax. … read more »

249 – American Folklore

The Mythcreant Podcast

Everyone loves using their cultural heritage for spec fic inspiration, but what happens when Americans look to their own folklore for ideas? They find out that most American folklore is terrible, that’s what. But do not despair, for in among the bigoted mess, there are … read more »

Five Epic Fantasy Conflicts Other Than War

A classical painting of a market town.

I’ve got nothing against a good war – in fiction anyway. War provides immediate, large-scale conflict for our stories and as such will always be a valuable tool. But just like no one wants to eat the same thing every day, it’s boring if every … read more »