Worldbuilding

Getting Started With Worldbuilding

Some writers assume that writing speculative fiction is easy because we can “make up” our setting instead of researching it. But making up a world is like making up a story: it might be easy to put whatever you feel like on paper, but it’s … read more »

Should Your Sapient Aliens Be Bipedal?

Spock examining the horta from TOS' The Devil in the Dark.

Fictional animals come in all shapes and sizes, as it should be when the only limiting factor on biodiversity is the imagination of the artist. So why is it that, out of all possible forms, sapient creatures are overwhelmingly depicted as bipedal with an upright … read more »

Seven Common Problems With Spec Fic Technology

We write a lot about magic here at Mythcreants, but technology is the other half of the speculative fiction coin, and it has just as many pitfalls. In fact, technology can actually be more difficult to portray than magic, because technology is based on things … read more »

Making Teleportation Work in Your Story

Geordi and Ro transporting in Star Trek: The Next Generation

Known by different names, teleportation is the ability to instantly transport oneself from one location to another. Through the years and across mediums, characters have wielded this magnificent power and filled us with envy at the convenience it provides. In particular, it makes for a … read more »

Six Sources of Conflict for Your World

Cover art showing an injured owl.

Conflict is necessary for a good story, and it can arise from any number of places. You can generate conflict through the plot by making your story about a rebellion against an evil empire. Or, you can generate conflict between characters: the hero is all … read more »

Five Ways Gods and the Afterlife Change a Fantasy Setting

Castiel with shadow wings from Supernatural

Ever since I wrote about how high magic should logically change a fantasy setting, people have been asking me how the proven existence of divine beings and life after death would change a society. This has been a much harder task; at least magic imitates existing technology in … read more »

Should I Use a Masquerade?

questions and answer talk bubbles

I’m writing fantasy for the first time, specifically historical fantasy, and I was wondering if I should keep the magical and mundane worlds separate like in Harry Potter, or fully integrate them like in Sorcerer to the Crown. What are the pros and cons of … read more »

183 – World Versus Plot

The Mythcreant Podcast

Balancing plot and worldbuilding is a tricky business. You might want a world where magic is light and fun, but then want a plot about how magic is dangerous and needs to be hidden away. If that’s happened to you, then congratulations, you’re in good … read more »

Five Common Worldbuilding Mistakes in New Manuscripts

A planet that's half habitable and half toxic wasteland.

Worldbuilding is central to speculative fiction, but it’s also hard. Really hard. Experts in every field still debate how things in the real world work, so you can imagine how easy it is to make mistakes in a fictional world. I see such mistakes in a … read more »

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