John Scalzi

Analysis

Five Underpowered Antagonists

Loki on the ground after being beaten up by the Hulk.

While not all antagonists are full villains, they all provide opposition to the protagonists. It’s their job to drive the story’s conflict, and to do that job well, it must feel like they can defeat the heroes. One reason we remember the likes of Darth Vader and … read more »

Podcast

95 – Good Elements From Terrible Stories

The Mythcreant Podcast

Do even the worst train wrecks have something good to take from them? We will find out as Chris, Oren, and returning guest Graham sort through a long list of awful stories looking for the slightest gems. Sometimes it’s a character that’s better than the … read more »

Podcast

67 – Deep Worldbuilding

The Mythcreant Podcast

Chris, Mike, and Oren get into the weeds of worldbuilding. How much culture is too much? What little details are distracting? And do you really need depth, or just an illusion of it? Read more »

Storytelling

Maintaining Belief During Fantastical Stories

In the film version of The Return of the King, Gollum falls into the lava and slowly sinks. But as it turns out, lava is much too heavy for people to sink into. Gollum should have remained on the surface and burst into flame instead. A science columnist made a point of this inaccuracy. Read more »

Writing

The Keys to a Great Opening Scene

The beginning of your story can do many things, but one is more important than any other: capturing the reader’s interest. If they don’t keep reading, any other purpose – setting the tone, hinting at central themes, or whatever else – becomes pointless. As a … read more »

Storytelling

The Problem With Multiple Viewpoints

Many storytellers enjoy looking through the lens of more than one character. In speculative fiction, multiple viewpoint characters are often used to show different places in the world, or illustrate a conflict that is epic in scale. Unless the story involves a device that is … read more »

Commentary

SFWA Pisses off Teh Womenz

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America was a very credible organization… until recently. It seems that like the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, it’s been growing out of touch with present day. Read more »

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