Worldbuilding

Seven Common Problems With Spec Fic Technology

The first problem here is that you clearly copied Star Wars.

We write a lot about magic here at Mythcreants, but technology is the other half of the speculative fiction coin, and it has just as many pitfalls. In fact, technology can actually be more difficult to portray than magic, because technology is based on things that actually exist. No one knows how a magic missile works, but people use technology every day, and they don’t have to be experts to notice when something is wrong.

Even though misrepresenting technology can alienate a large portion of the audience, such mistakes always crop up. We’ll look at seven of the most common, any of which can throw someone out of the story. These are big-picture problems, not fine details that only an expert would notice. By learning to recognize them, you’ll have an easier time keeping them out of your own stories.

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Writing

Six Wordcraft Questions Writers Fight Over

fists smash into a computer keyboard, scattering keys

This may come as a shock, but writers don’t always agree. When these disagreements are on the technical minutiae of wordcraft, it can be especially confusing to newcomers. Most newcomers just want to write respectable prose. So, how can you tell what that is when … read more »

Q&A

What’s the Purpose of a Sidekick Like Heihei?

questions and answer talk bubbles

Thinking through hero’s journey and story archetypes (newbie here!) and was watching the recent Pixar movie Moana. My question is, what do you see as the function of or reason for a story to choose a relatively inanimate/neutral sidekick like Heihei (Moana’s chicken, that, though providing some … read more »

Podcast

192 – Magic Weapons

The Mythcreant Podcast

Magic is cool, and weapons are cool, so you know what would be the coolest? Magic weapons, which is what we’re talking about this week. Despite being nearly ubiquitous across all genres of speculative fiction, magic weapons can be tricky to work with. What are … read more »

Analysis

Six Characters Siloed Into a Separate Story

Eleven eating waffles in the woods.

The more characters in a story, the greater burden it is under. Ideally, each character’s narrative will weave together into the throughline, but that doesn’t always happen. Instead, stories often fracture under the pressure of an oversize cast, splitting off into unrelated plots. In the most … read more »

Roleplaying

Six Unstated Expectations for Roleplaying

Women in elaborate carnival mask and custom puts a finger to her lips

When new players are introduced to roleplaying games, they are usually encouraged to do whatever their characters would do in the narrative. If only it were that simple. While getting into character is a great thing, the best roleplayers balance it against what their group expects … read more »

Writing

191 – Literary Criticism

The Mythcreant Podcast

In the beginning, a human told a story, and another human said it was not good. Thus was born the tradition of literary criticism, which is what we’re talking about today. We’ll discuss the different schools of criticism, whether reviews are a type of criticism, … read more »

Worldbuilding

Making Teleportation Work in Your Story

Geordi and Ro transporting in Star Trek: The Next Generation

Known by different names, teleportation is the ability to instantly transport oneself from one location to another. Through the years and across mediums, characters have wielded this magnificent power and filled us with envy at the convenience it provides. In particular, it makes for a … read more »

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