Analysis

Six Stories With Failed Turning Points

Spider-Man trying to hold a bisected boat together.

Turning points are critical to a good story. What’s a turning point, you ask? It’s the moment in a story’s climax when the situation changes, when the hero goes from losing to winning, or winning to losing if this is a story that ends poorly. … read more »

Q&A

How Can We Make RPG Languages Work Better?

questions and answer talk bubbles

Can you write a column about language proficiencies as a game mechanic? Are there any games that do it right? Language proficiencies (esp in DND5e) often feel like they suffer from the problem of being too situational and thus expensive for their cost, and it … read more »

Podcast

231 – Stories for Women

The Mythcreant Podcast

Some stories are clearly marketed at men, while some are clearly marketed at women, but it’s only that second category that’s ever mentioned out loud. Everything else is assumed to be for everyone. Why is that? What is it that characterizes stories aimed at women, … read more »

Storytelling

Five Popular Tropes Writers Struggle With

Buffy and Spike staring at each other.

Most writers first learn the craft of storytelling from reading their favorite books or watching their favorite TV shows and films.* This approach is fun because it means we get to consume a lot of great media, but new authors often assume they can do … read more »

Podcast

230 – Prequels

The Mythcreant Podcast

If you liked a story, surely you’d love to see what happened before that story, right? No? Well, that’s the logic that drives so much of what we’re talking about today: prequels. Why do prequels happen? Why are they usually bad? Is there anything we … read more »

Worldbuilding

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 »

Writing

How to Avoid Melodrama in Your Writing

On the cover of The calculating stars, a group of women walk in front of a night sky overlaid with a start chart.

Melodramatic writing is a common mistake for writers. Most of us want our stories to have emotional impact, but if we don’t understand how that’s accomplished on a technical level, it’s easy to end up with purple prose instead. Let’s have a look at what … read more »

Follow Us

Facebooktwitterpinterestrsstumblr

Get Our Email Newsletter

We'll send our best work every month.