335 – Training in Fiction

The Mythcreant Podcast Sometimes, you just need to up your power level so you can master the ultimate technique and open yourself to the universe, which means it’s training time. Training is a common feature of spec fic, and it can be a lot of fun. It can … read more »

Planning Character Arcs

A painting with the profile of a face and abstract imagery of a forest and a woman with birds When I first wrote this guide to character arcs in 2014, I got one important thing right: character arcs are not ethereal unicorns; they follow the same principles as other plot arcs. However, at the time I didn’t know that much about plotting. Plus, great … read more »

What Redemption Arcs Tell Us About Forgiveness

Immediately after he is crowned Fire Lord, Zuko stands next to Aang Because of the #metoo movement and the current moral panic over “cancel culture,” some are wondering if the public is capable of forgiveness. This is often phrased like a rhetorical question, but it has an answer. A skilled storyteller can take a character that’s done … read more »

Five Badly Motivated Villains From Popular Stories

Kirigan activating Alina's powers from Shadow and Bone. A character’s motivation tells us why they’re doing what they’re doing. A hero wants to end oppression, so they join a rebellion against the evil empire. A villain wants to enrich themself, so they strip-mine a vital wildlife preserve. If a character’s motivation doesn’t fit … read more »

326 – Parents in Fiction

The Mythcreant Podcast Parents: Most people have them, but they really get in the way when your underaged hero wants to have dangerous adventures and save the day. Perhaps the parents should just be dead? That’s certainly an option, but there are others, we promise! If handled correctly, … read more »

Five Tired Tropes About Teenagers

A cover of James Patterson's The Final Warning, where protagonist Max stands at an angle with the title printed in front of her. The teen years are a formative time for many people. Young adults need to grapple with maturity, newfound independence, and a deepening sense of self, all while surrounded by stressful environments both at school and at home. These conflict-rich situations are ripe for storytelling, and … read more »

How Do I Write a Female Han Solo?

questions and answer talk bubbles I’m thinking of writing Han Solo-type characters who happened to either women or non-binary. I’m inspired by women both in fiction & real life, such as Gentleman Jack and Julie d’Aubigny, roguish types who make other women (& few people) swoon while swashbuckling bad guys, … read more »

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