We can all let out a sigh of relief that 2020 is over. It was a nightmarish year, but at least some of us got extra time to write! Celebrate the bright spots by reading our top content of the year.
Our Top Ten Articles
Oren started critiquing worlds in depth this year, resulting in our biggest hit. Unsurprisingly, that was rounded out by social justice commentary and many helpful lists.
In this series on worldbuilding, I’ve looked at both science fiction and high fantasy worlds. Today, we’re combining the two with a look at Frank Herbert’s Dune, a book that sits firmly in the space fantasy subgenre. Dune is a classic, a book that has … read more »
There’s been a lot of talk lately about the sexist ways women are described in fiction. Given the normalization of the male gaze, this has left some men feeling unsure of how to write a positive description. And it’s not just men who describe women … read more »
Redemption arcs are an incredibly popular trope in storytelling. From classics like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings to more recent hits like The Legend of Korra and She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, we love to watch or read about a bad guy … read more »
As much as I love 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons, it’s not the most balanced of games. Some mechanics are numerically stronger than others. This doesn’t just hold true for items and spells, but for entire classes as well. I’ve written a lot here on … read more »
When it comes to possible romances in popular works, fans and storytellers do a lot of finger-pointing. People have varied tastes and can view the same interaction differently, causing fights over whether the romantic or sexual chemistry in a story was intentional. Read more »
In my search for good representation of autistic people, such as myself, I have run into many clichés and stereotypes. This is disappointing, since we could really use some positive portrayals. So, in this article, I break down six things you should know in order … read more »
Like any other form of bigotry, it’s easy for classism to seep into our stories. Some of the signs of classism are similar to other types of bigotry, such as spreading stereotypes about poor people. But unlike most other areas of marginalization, no one is … read more »
If the audience can’t stand your main character, then they probably won’t get very far in the story. We call this critical factor a character’s “likability.” We’ve previously described how you can make your character likable by giving them sympathetic, selfless, and interesting traits. But … read more »
Deciding which character will be the focus of your story is tricky business, and plenty of authors have trouble with it. In the early stages, it’s not always clear which character has the most central position in the plot or who will be most compelling … read more »
Roleplaying is a type of storytelling, whether you’re a player or a game master. And if you’re passionate about the stories at your RPG table, then you might seek out writing as another form of storytelling. However, this is a lot more complicated than you might think. Read more »
Top Podcast, Q&A, and Comic
If you haven’t checked out our other content, here’s your chance to sample audience favorites.
I could tell you what this podcast is about, but how would you know if I was telling the truth? Normally, you’d just have to trust me, but in fantasy stories, we can have magic that stops people from lying. That’s what we’re talking about … read more »
I am having trouble with descriptive language for people, particularly big or fat or heavyweight people. What is some general advice you would have (or maybe a word bank? (if that wouldn’t be too much trouble)) on descriptive words for heavier weight people. I hope … read more »
The battle between good and evil has been canceled. Read more »
Every year, we publish posts that change our thinking or start discussions but aren’t sexy enough to make the top ten. So we’ve chosen some important pieces you might have missed.
Turning points are essential to crafting conflicts that feel emotionally rewarding to audiences. Unfortunately, they are a “secret” pretty literally, because while they are used in stories everywhere, Mythcreants seems to be the only source giving them more than a cursory mention. Read more »
Red Rising by Pierce Brown imagines a far future where humanity has spread across the solar system. There’s just one problem: a rigid, color-coded caste system ensures the constant oppression of those at the bottom for the benefit of those at the top. Ruling Golds … read more »
Your narrative premise is the explanation for how your story is being told to the reader, and it sets expectations for how your narration will work. Your narrative premise can help you take advantage of different styles while avoiding changes that are off-putting. Read more »
Even in the lightest, most upbeat of stories, heroes shouldn’t succeed every time. Failure is really important, both for keeping the plot unpredictable and for maintaining tension. If the protagonist never fails, then it’s likely to be a dull story indeed. However, failure also carries … read more »
Even though a character arc works much like any other plot arc, when subjective character feelings and motivation are added to the mix, storytellers often have trouble. To help you evaluate and improve such issues, let’s go over the four basic requirements of a character … read more »
Thanks for Spending a Tough Year With Us
Here’s hoping 2021 will be better!