December, 2013

Meta

The Best Posts of 2013

Happy Holidays! To tide you over while you hide from your relatives in the guest bathroom, here are the best reads of the year. We’ve divided into the most popular posts, and the posts we think are hidden gems. Happy reading! Read more »

Storytelling

Repairing Unbelievable Story Elements

In my last two posts I discussed the importance of belief, and how setting audience expectations are crucial to maintaining it. But setting expectations requires planning ahead. For episodic stories in particular, it’s impossible to plan for everything: An actor on a show could suddenly … read more »

Podcast

11 – Episodic, Overarching, and Anthology Stories

The Mythcreant Podcast

Mike, Oren and Chris discuss the weaknesses and strengths that come with episodic, overarching, and anthology stories. They analyze TV shows that fell victim to the Monster of the Week or the Reset Button Ending, and praise American Horror Story for being new and innovative. Read more »

Worldbuilding

The Three Types of Group Minds

What do the Borg from Star Trek, the Formians from Ender’s Game, and Gaia from Foundation have in common? They’re all group minds. What is a group mind? Essentially, a group mind is the connected consciousness of at least two individuals. There are lots of … read more »

Storytelling

Maintaining Belief During Fantastical Stories

In the film version of The Return of the King, Gollum falls into the lava and slowly sinks. But as it turns out, lava is much too heavy for people to sink into. Gollum should have remained on the surface and burst into flame instead. A science columnist made a point of this inaccuracy. Read more »

Roleplaying

Why Mouse Guard Is Amazing

The Mouse Guard roleplaying game is based on a comic book series of the same name by David Peterson. The basic premise is mice with human level intelligence trying to protect their fragile civilization from all that threatens it. I have never read the comics. But I love this game. Read more »

Reviews

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Is… Pretty

If you’ve watched the first of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, part two won’t surprise you. While it has more action than the first, it has the same strengths – and weaknesses. If you’re looking for a powerful and gripping story you’ll be disappointed. But if … read more »

Storytelling

Why Should Fiction Be Believable?

People argue that critics shouldn’t complain about the realism of fictional stories, either because it’s hypocritical to critique just one thing, or because fictional stories don’t need to be realistic. It’s not real — so what if it’s technically incorrect? Read more »

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