Magic

Analysis

Six Overpowered Characters and How to Fix Them

Characters are overpowered for all kinds of reasons, but the effect is always the same. Either the character overcomes challenges way too easily or the author has to insert a massive contrivance to keep the conflict going. Neither outcome is satisfying, so if you ever … read more »

Podcast

250 – Oppressed Mage Shenanigans

The Mythcreant Podcast

Mages are difficult to oppress, what with how they can teleport and shoot fire out of their hands, but that doesn’t stop authors from trying. Some stories manage to get past the practical barriers of oppressing mages before running into the socio-political ones, but we’re … read more »

Worldbuilding

Explaining the Urban Fantasy Masquerade

Evil Stiles and his minions from Teen Wolf

Speculative fiction storytellers will go a long way to make fantastical situations feel plausible. Sure, they will never be perfectly plausible because magic isn’t real, but it’s still no good if our audience is wondering why the hero won’t use teleportation during our tense climax. … read more »

Analysis

How the Oppressed Mages Trope Sabotages House of X

The ruined X-Mansion from an X-Men Comic

The term oppressed mages refers to any situation in which characters are systematically marginalized for their supernatural abilities, whether those powers come from spellbooks or mutant genes. When I first wrote about this trope, I mostly stuck to general points rather than going after specific … read more »

Q&A

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 »

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