Q&A

How Do I Tell a Family Saga?

questions and answer talk bubbles

Hello. I’m working on an outline for a series where one of the themes I want to explore is the process of historical change. I’m still experimenting with how best to structure the story. One option is to structure it more or less conventionally, including … read more »

Podcast

229 – Research

The Mythcreant Podcast

Sometimes we want to put something in our stories, but we don’t know much about it. What’s the answer? Research! Whether it’s the specifics of knotwork on a Phoenician trade ship or the grand sweep of empires colliding, research is a vital skill for speculative … read more »

Analysis

Six Stories That Focus Too Much on Side Characters

The protagonist is a story’s most important character. They have the most interesting problems, and the conflict’s outcome depends on their actions. Whether a story has multiple protagonists or just one, they should receive the lion’s share of screen time and development. At least, that’s … 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 »

Podcast

228 – Lampshading

The Mythcreant Podcast

Three people with opinions recording a podcast, what a ridiculous notion! See what we did there? That’s called lampshading, or when a story deliberately draws your attention to some aspect of its production, usually a flaw. It’s often a great source of laughs, but is … read more »

Worldbuilding

Building a Democracy in Your Fantasy World

A painting of the Roman Senate.

Most governments in fantasy settings are authoritarian. From feudal hierarchies to autocratic empires, readers and authors alike are used to power being wielded by a select few through force of arms, divine right, or whoever has the fanciest hat. But those aren’t the only options … read more »

Writing

Lessons From the Writing of The Name of the Wind

man wearing black cloak in the woods

You asked me to critique The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, so here we are. What will win: this award-winning, best-selling, critically acclaimed book, or my dislike of practically everything? Read on to see! While I usually record my first reactions to a … read more »

Podcast

227 – Voice

The Mythcreant Podcast

An author’s voice is generally considered to be important; sometimes it’s even said to be the most important element of writing. But what is voice, exactly? Is it really that important? Does it change from book to book, and how is it different from character … read more »

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