Q&A

How Can I Combine Fantasy and Science Fiction Elements?

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How do I mix magic and science fiction tech without it feeling haphazard or unbalanced? – Anon Hi Anon, From a storytelling standpoint, magic and scifi tech are nearly identical except for theming. If you’re not careful with things that feel different in theme, it … read more »

How Predictable Should a Story Be?

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Should a story, by and large, be predictable? Like should the audience more or less know what direction the story is going in, or should the story be more plot twisty and unpredictable? -Tucker Read more »

How Do I Show That a Character Is Trans?

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In a book I am currently writing, the fictional society has moved beyond any kind of transphobia, so being transgender is not treated as being anything out of the ordinary. Given this, I am wondering how to show that a character is transgender if it … read more »

How Do I Refer to the Viewpoint Character’s Parents?

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This is very specific, but what do I call the protagonist’s parents in narration? For example, my story is in third-person limited and my hero’s mother has just entered the scene. Do I refer to her as ‘her mother,’ ‘mum,’ ‘her mum’ or by her … read more »

How Do I Establish a Mentor Before They Die?

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Dear Oren/Chris, I’m an amateur fantasy writer and a rising college freshman working on the second draft of a high fantasy novel. Some context for the question: 1. The main character lives on a different continent than the magical school she ends up going to, … read more »

Can I Create Conflict Without Bigotry?

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Hi! Sorry to spam your inbox. I promise to get it out of my system! With the goal of creating a fantasy world in which the forms of oppression and discrimination we see in our world and history are absent, I am pretty sure I … read more »

Can I Rehabilitate the Trope of East Meets West?

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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 »

Can Training Times Work in an RPG?

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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 »

How Can I Make My World Accommodating to Disabled People?

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I am writing a non-magical fantasy story set in a low-tech world that is primarily composed of city-states with limited regional authority. I am trying to work out what kinds of seemingly realistic accommodations could/would be in place for disabled people. Culturally, I am trying … read more »

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