Worldbuilding

111 – From the Real World to Fantasy

The Mythcreant Podcast

What’s this? We’ve fallen through a portal into some kind of strange podcast universe. Oh well, might as well talk about stories where a character is transported from the real world into a fantasy setting. This podcast is Wes’ first time as an official co-host, … read more »

Five Worldbuilding Mistakes Even Enthusiasts Make

The crew works on the computer in The Expanse

Most worldbuilding mistakes we see over and over again come from lazy storytellers who create worlds as an afterthought. But a few mistakes persist even in worlds built with considerable time and effort. These are mistakes of oversight: the worldbuilder just didn’t remember to think about everything … read more »

Why Fantasy Writers Should Embrace Their Heritage

Hate it or love it, none can doubt the beauty of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work. He was one of those minds ahead of his time. He took fantasy “way too seriously,” sometimes overshadowing his “real” work as a philologist. Now, a hundred years after he wrote his … read more »

Six Forms of Transit That Can Replace the Mount

Scifi characters have lots of ways to get around, from hovercraft to instant teleportation, but fantasy characters are always stuck riding a horse. In particularly edgy stories, characters might get to ride a camel or ride in a horse-drawn carriage, but most of the time … read more »

Five Underplayed Commodities for Kingdoms to Fight Over

When building a fantasy setting, it’s important to consider the distribution of resources across the world. This is true no matter what technology level you go with, but it’s especially important in lower-tech settings, because people will have a much harder time synthesizing any resources … read more »

92 – Fantasy in Space

The Mythcreant Podcast

While there isn’t exactly a hard line that separates science fiction from fantasy, there are elements that most people will identify with one genre or the other. Elves and wizards are considered fantasy, outer space is considered scifi. So what happens when you mix them … read more »

91 – Democracy in Spec Fic

The Mythcreant Podcast

This week, the normal voting process for deciding a topic was suspended, and it was decided by tyrannical dictate that we would discuss democracy in speculative fiction. Why is there so little of it? Can it be used to tell good stories? Why are we … read more »

Four Fictional Economies That Don’t Make Sense

Dax and Quark play tongo, a Ferengi game.

In real life, we are always part of an economy. We exchange currency for goods and services, and we work in exchange for currency. Most of us understand the basics of economics, but even so, it’s easy get the details wrong in our worldbuilding. When … read more »

Six Ways Flight Changes a Fantasy Setting

A man with a huge lantern riding atop a magic carpet.

While fantasy settings are usually far less technologically advanced than the real world, flight is still a common feature of the genre. No one bats an eye at wizards casting levitation spells, dragon riders soaring overhead, or powerful airships launching skyward. But authors rarely examine the … read more »

Creating Realistic Cultures

The Monastery of St. Nilus

One of the most common mistakes in worldbuilding is treating culture like it’s arbitrary. Clothing styles, gender roles, and religion are decided as though they just popped out of the ether one day. In reality, few aspects of culture are arbitrary; most are the result of … read more »

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