Worldbuilding

Five Ways the Honorverse Builds an Immersive World

Honor saluting before a field of warships.

Worldbuilding is the act of creating context for the actions your characters take. Not every book needs to invest heavily in worldbuilding – no one asked about the geopolitical situation in the Very Hungry Caterpillar – but as your story gets more complex, your audience will … read more »

How to Create an Eclectic Magic System

A magic system is rational if it follows a consistent set of metaphysical laws. This consistency prevents plot holes, reduces the need for foreshadowing, and makes magic feel less contrived. Unfortunately, some magic systems are easier to rationalize than others. Read more »

133 – Werewolves

The Mythcreant Podcast

Throw back your head and howl at the moon, for this week we’re discussing werewolves. What is a werewolf, exactly? Where do they come from, and why are they always fighting vampires? We discuss the modern portrayal of werewolves, their pop culture roots, and why … read more »

132 – Our Favorite Environments

The Mythcreant Podcast

Speculative fiction presents authors with a truly dazzling array of environments for their settings. This week, we talk about some of those wonderlands and what value they add to the story. From the spooky forests of New England to the cratered surface of the moon, we … read more »

Six Tips for Taking Inspiration From History

A black and white image of San Francisco harbor in 1851. The bay is full of sailing ships.

Building the history of your setting is a tricky business. It’s something even great authors struggle with, from Rowling to Tolkien. So it’s no surprise that Adrienne asked us this question: How do you create interesting histories for fictional worlds, whether they be fantasy or … read more »

125 – Greek Mythology in Speculative Fiction

The Mythcreant Podcast

Praise mighty Zeus, it’s time to talk about Greek mythology and its place in speculative fiction. For this task we bring on special guest Jim, who is perhaps the Iliad’s biggest fan. We discuss how accurately modern stories portray Greek mythology,* how the mythology has … read more »

Six Ways Rapid Communication Changes a Fantasy Setting

An old radio setup from the 1950s

Fantasy settings are usually some version of history with extra elements added. Those extra elements may be dragons, magic, firearms, or all of the above. Whatever’s added, it will change the setting in ways authors don’t always consider, which is why Brady sent us this question: … read more »

Five Plausible Scenarios for Planetary Evacuation

We scifi authors love to write stories about abandoning Earth and colonizing space. We also love to write scientifically plausible stories. This is a problem, because most stories about evacuating our home planet are wildly implausible. Most planetary evacuation scenarios don’t work for two main reasons. The … read more »

Five Anachronisms That Fantasy Needs

While the fantasy genre is rapidly growing beyond the limitations of medieval Europe, it is still historical almost by definition. Sometimes fantasy stories are literally set in our own world’s history, and sometimes they use history as inspiration. Either way, authors spend a lot of … read more »

Choosing a Weapon for Your Hero

Tausug weapons

Every story revolves around some type of conflict, but speculative fiction usually prefers physical fights. Yes, the sword is the queen, and hand-to-hand is king, but why not be a little creative? Let’s dive into the process of choosing the best weapon for your protagonist. Read more »

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