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.

Podcast

228 – Lampshading

The Mythcreant Podcast

Three people with opinions recording a podcast, what a ridiculous notion! See what we did there? That’s called lampshading, or when a story deliberately draws your attention to some aspect of its production, usually a flaw. It’s often a great source of laughs, but is … read more »

Worldbuilding

Building a Democracy in Your Fantasy World

A painting of the Roman Senate.

Most governments in fantasy settings are authoritarian. From feudal hierarchies to autocratic empires, readers and authors alike are used to power being wielded by a select few through force of arms, divine right, or whoever has the fanciest hat. But those aren’t the only options … read more »

Writing

227 – Voice

The Mythcreant Podcast

An author’s voice is generally considered to be important; sometimes it’s even said to be the most important element of writing. But what is voice, exactly? Is it really that important? Does it change from book to book, and how is it different from character … read more »

Commentary

Four Problematic Tropes to Drop

Kali and her gang from Stranger Things 2.

Despite what some people may tell you, storytelling tropes are not inherently bad. They’re just something that gets repeated often enough for us to give it a name. Plenty of them are very helpful to writers of all skill levels. But then again, some of … read more »

Worldbuilding

226 – Pantheons

The Mythcreant Podcast

Why settle for just one god when you can have a bunch of them? That’s right, this week we’re talking about pantheons, the divine clubhouses where a bunch of different deities hang out. We discuss how pantheons often work in mythology and then talk about … read more »

Worldbuilding

Five Ways Terrain Can Affect Fantasy Battles

Armies clashing on hilly terrain.

Writing fantasy battles can seem overwhelming when you’re first starting out. There are so many factors at play, from what type of armor everyone is wearing to how orders are issued across the battlefield. Where do you even start? Fortunately, you don’t usually need to … read more »

Podcast

225 – Fractal Plots

The Mythcreant Podcast

This episode is a podcast within a podcast within a podcast about plots within plots within plots. That’s right, today we’re talking about fractal plotting. What is fractal plotting, you ask? Listen and find out! We talk about the most basic parts that make up … read more »

Commentary

Stories Need to Stop Promoting Torture

A lightning bolt crashing through the church window during the Salem Witch Trials.

Torture is an ugly stain on the soul of humanity, and I’ll be honest: I did not expect to be writing about it on a storytelling website in 2019. I just assumed everyone watched John Oliver’s segment on torture four years ago and got the … read more »

Podcast

224 – Threatening Villains

The Mythcreant Podcast

The best villains are super scary, from Star Wars’ Darth Vader to Avatar’s Azula, but they don’t get that way on their own. Storytellers have to make the right choices in order for their villains to be threatening, and it’s a task many struggle with. … read more »

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