Oren Ashkenazi

Oren is a grumpy old man whose physical age hasn’t quite caught up with him, at least that’s what the kids who won’t get off his lawn keep saying. He’s been into roleplaying games since he was knee-high to a d10, and into prose writing for nearly as long. He loves stories and games that push the envelope of storytelling, like the Discworld series and the RPG Primetime Adventures. He’s also a huge Star Trek fan, though his rants on the mistakes of Voyager and Enterprise might make you think otherwise.

Q&A

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 »

Podcast

251 – What Does Genre Mean?

The Mythcreant Podcast

Scifi, mystery, literary, these are all genres, and each of them means something different. But what does genre mean, exactly? How important is it to the writing process, or the publishing process for that matter? Listen in as we tackle those very questions this week. … read more »

Writing

Five Things to Know When You Get Content Editing

A silver pen on a page of marked up text.

Content editing, also known as developmental editing, looks at big-picture issues. It means examining a story to see if there’s enough conflict, if the throughline is strong, if the character arcs are satisfying, etc. Ideally, it’s the first type of editing a manuscript gets, well … read more »

Podcast

250 – Oppressed Mage Shenanigans

The Mythcreant Podcast

Mages are difficult to oppress, what with how they can teleport and shoot fire out of their hands, but that doesn’t stop authors from trying. Some stories manage to get past the practical barriers of oppressing mages before running into the socio-political ones, but we’re … read more »

Story

The Shattered Ascension

An explosion in the clouds

Try though she might, Captain Niccasha Fletcher couldn’t regret leaving the war behind. She stood on the bridge of her airship, the Aurora, and gazed out through the main viewport as the vessel steamed north. Golden sunlight filtered through the floating glaciers and ice islands, prisming into rainbows that reached far down into the abyss below. Spectrums of light played across Fletcher’s dark skin, and she sighed. It was clean and peaceful, a welcome relief from the acrid smoke and blazing hulks of war. She frowned. The admiralty had sent her away because she had failed in serving her country. Being grateful for the assignment was cowardice. Read more »

Q&A

When Is It Acceptable for a Hero to Kill?

questions and answer talk bubbles

Any advice on when it’s okay for a basically good hero (not anti-hero or neutral) to kill the villain? I don’t mean the villain falls off a cliff or drinks the untested potion or releases the monster they’ve been tormenting for weeks, the hero tries … read more »

Podcast

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 »

Analysis

How the Oppressed Mages Trope Sabotages House of X

The ruined X-Mansion from an X-Men Comic

The term oppressed mages refers to any situation in which characters are systematically marginalized for their supernatural abilities, whether those powers come from spellbooks or mutant genes. When I first wrote about this trope, I mostly stuck to general points rather than going after specific … read more »

Q&A

How Do I Break Out of a Rut?

questions and answer talk bubbles

Hello, I’m trying to write stories but I haven’t had much chance to interact with other writers, so I have a few questions about my writing. I always find myself writing on and off, often getting frustrated with work and either deleting it or leaving … read more »

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