Worldbuilding

Can I Create Conflict Without Bigotry?

questions and answer talk bubbles

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 »

Choosing Naval Tactics for Your Pre-Gunpowder World

A reconstructed galley hull in a museum.

A while back, I wrote about the trials and tribulations of traveling by water. That’s enough for some stories, but let’s face it, this is speculative fiction. Sooner or later, you’ll want to write about violent clashes on the high seas. Naval combat changes drastically … 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 »

How Do I Create a Monster School?

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Hello. I’m currently working on a newish story idea that I only recently figured out the plot for, which has made me realize that I ought to work on setting more. The story involves another “magic school”-esque setting, but different in that it’s a school … read more »

Water Travel Before Engines

A photo of the Olympia, a replica Trireme from the Greek Navy.

Some time back, Chris wrote an excellent treatise on the difficulties of Land Travel Before Engines, and now it’s time to cover the other half of that equation. Water covers most of our planet’s surface, and voyages are a common staple of fantasy. Whether your … read more »

229 – Research

The Mythcreant Podcast

Sometimes we want to put something in our stories, but we don’t know much about it. What’s the answer? Research! Whether it’s the specifics of knotwork on a Phoenician trade ship or the grand sweep of empires colliding, research is a vital skill for speculative … read more »

How Can I Make Gods Work as Characters?

questions and answer talk bubbles

I’ve noticed recently that a lot of my favourite stories centre around gods or god-like beings, such as more or less all of mythology, Doctor Who, The Sandman. Discworld’s Death books, the RG Veda manga, the Oh My Goddess anime, the Haruhi Suzumiya anime, the … read more »

Building a Democracy in Your Fantasy World

A painting of the Roman Senate.

Most governments in fantasy settings are authoritarian. From feudal hierarchies to autocratic empires, readers and authors alike are used to power being wielded by a select few through force of arms, divine right, or whoever has the fanciest hat. But those aren’t the only options … read more »

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