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.

Analysis

Seven Stories With Contrived Character Conflict

Conflict between characters is a vital tool of storytelling, but it can also be tricky, especially when both characters are on Team Good. Authors often have difficulty constructing conflicts where neither character is obviously at fault, or they have difficulty dealing with the implications when … read more »

Q&A

Can I Rehabilitate the Trope of East Meets West?

questions and answer talk bubbles

One of the lasting tropes from 20th-century pulp fiction is of the city where “East meets West,” places like Shanghai and Hong Kong. There’s a romanticism to that idea of a wealthy, cosmopolitan, dangerous city where the rules aren’t quite what you’d expect—but obviously all … read more »

Podcast

236 – Chronicles of Narnia

The Mythcreant Podcast

This week, we were exploring the wardrobe we keep in the studio for some reason, only to discover that it leads to a magical land full of talking animals, mythical creatures, and a lion who seems a little holier than thou if we’re being honest. … read more »

Q&A

Can Training Times Work in an RPG?

questions and answer talk bubbles

I have seen in various roleplaying games a sort of “training time” mechanic. Basically in addition to gaining the needed experience points/levels/whatever to gain a new skill/power/attribute, your character must also devote a given amount of in-game time to training. These times pretty much invariably … read more »

Podcast

235 – Optimistic Spec Fic

The Mythcreant Podcast

Who says our stories have to be dismal and bleak? Sometimes spec fic, especially science fiction, can make us feel great about the future. That’s optimistic spec fic, and it’s our topic for this week. Listen as we discuss what exactly goes into making optimistic … read more »

Writing

Six Common Forms of Bad Writing Advice

A Medieval painting of a university lecture.

It probably won’t surprise you that there’s a lot of writing advice out there. Everyone seems to have their own take on this endeavor we call storytelling. That’s to be expected, but it’s often hard to tell the good tips from the bad. Without the … read more »

Podcast

234 – Harmful Disability Tropes

The Mythcreant Podcast

More than one in ten Americans is disabled, making it one of the largest marginalized groups in the country. Even so, storytellers often have a really difficult time portraying disabled characters. We want to change that, so this episode is all about the most problematic … read more »

Storytelling

Authorial Endorsement 101

Bilbo writing his book.

For all the time we spend arguing about plot holes and magic systems, we spend even more time arguing about what a story means. Fiction can send a powerful message, but first we have to understand what that message is. That’s where authorial endorsement comes … read more »

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