Worldbuilding

How to Create an Eclectic Magic System

Some time ago I outlined steps for creating rational magic systems. In short, a magic system is rational if it follows a consistent set of metaphysical laws. This prevents plot holes, reduces the need for foreshadowing, and makes magic feel less contrived. Unfortunately, some magic systems are easier … read more »

Podcast

135 – Lessons From Long Series, Part 2

The Mythcreant Podcast

Guest host Ari joins us once again for the second half of our talk on long series. With such a big topic, even fitting it into a two parter was hard. This week we discuss that bogeyman of long narratives: series bloat. What is it? … read more »

Analysis

Five Injustices in Superhero Stories

Batman on his Bat-Cycle

I’ve written about injustice in speculative fiction before, but this week I want to focus on the superhero genre. For superheroes, justice is a particularly important topic. A huge number of superhero origin stories focus on a person seeing some kind of injustice and deciding … read more »

Podcast

134 – Lessons From Long Series, Part 1

The Mythcreant Podcast

Speculative fiction readers gobble up books like they’re going out of style, so this week we set our sights on what we’ve learned from these extra long sagas. Joining us is guest host Ari, who’s read these books about a million times. Listen as we … read more »

Commentary

When Dark and Gritty Is Just Exploitation

Daenerys being held aloft by freed slaves.

­Some weeks ago, the makers of the Game of Thrones TV series, Benioff and Weiss, announced their next project. Titled Confederate, it will feature an alternate-history US where the South won the Civil War and slavery is still legal. In response, many social justice advocates … read more »

Analysis

Five Stories That End With Bizarre Reveals

Riker dresshed as Chef talking to Hoshi.

Ending with a well-executed reveal brings the whole story together. The audience finally knows what’s going on, creating enormous satisfaction. Unfortunately, reveals don’t always fit the rest of the story. They could be out of theme or contradict established facts. Instead of watching the story click together, the audience gets a bad taste in their … read more »

Podcast

133 – Werewolves

The Mythcreant Podcast

Throw back your head and howl at the moon, for this week we’re discussing werewolves. What is a werewolf, exactly? Where do they come from, and why are they always fighting vampires? We discuss the modern portrayal of werewolves, their pop culture roots, and why … read more »

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