Analysis

Six Ridiculous Cultures in Speculative Fiction

Building new cultures from scratch is a cornerstone of speculative fiction. From the fictional nations of high fantasy, to the interstellar empires of space opera, to the shadow kiths of urban fantasy, we authors are always crafting new societies to thrill and amaze. But for … read more »

Six Magic Systems That Need Stricter Limits

Giles in a silly wizard hat from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

When building a magic system, authors are faced with a balancing act. If they restrict their magic too much, then it won’t be cool and interesting. That defeats the whole point of magic! On the other hand, if an author doesn’t put enough restrictions on … read more »

A Breakdown of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog: Act II

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog cover art

Last week, I broke down the opening act of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.  We went over the three plot arcs holding the whole film together, also known as the throughlines: Dr. Horrible’s quest to enter the Evil League of Evil Dr. Horrible’s romance with Penny … read more »

A Breakdown of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog: Act I

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog cover art

The principles we discuss at Mythcreants are actively at work in countless popular stories. That means if you’re still getting a feel for abstract concepts like tension or karma, you now have an excuse to watch your favorite movie and call it homework. Dissecting stories … read more »

Five Plot Twists That Are Too Obvious

A ship using WWI dazzle camouflage.

Plot twists are tricky business for us storytellers. They need to be foreshadowed so they aren’t jarring, but they also need to be subtle so they don’t feel telegraphed. Then you have to consider differences in your audience. Trope-savvy readers can spot even the subtlest … read more »

Six Overpowered Characters and How to Fix Them

Characters are overpowered for all kinds of reasons, but the effect is always the same. Either the character overcomes challenges way too easily or the author has to insert a massive contrivance to keep the conflict going. Neither outcome is satisfying, so if you ever … read more »

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