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Wayfarer's Guide to Worldbuilding

Wayfarer's Guide to Worldbuilding

By Mythos & Ink
The Wayfarer’s Guide to Worldbuilding is a tool to help writers, DMs, and creatives build unique, scientific, and magical worlds. Each episode explores one facet of worldbuilding and gives practical advice on writing these elements.

Hosted by the Mythos and Ink staff—Kyle Rudge (Marketing Director), Allison Alexander (Editorial Director), and Emma Skrumeda (Publicist)—the podcast explores strong examples of worldbuilding from science fiction and fantasy books, TV shows, and movies and offers a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes world of publishing.
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1.25 Trees

Wayfarer's Guide to Worldbuilding

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2.16 - Library Full of Secrets
Searching for the answer to a mystery? Need a rare, magic spell? Is what you know about history not adding up? Well, then you obviously need to make a trip to the library full of secrets, for it holds the answers to life, the universe, and everything. But be careful, because the library is usually dangerous, potentially an inescapable labyrinth or guarded by magical beings that only let the one who is worthy read its books. Episode Hosts: Kyle, Emma, Christiana. Produced by Mythos & Ink.
23:06
June 08, 2022
2.15 - Artificial Intelligence
The development of self-aware computers will have a huge impact on the world. Whether the A.I. goes haywire, decides to wipe out the human race, or becomes the super smart pilot of your crew’s spaceship, society will look different with artificial intelligence in play. Let’s take a look at how some stories have masterfully applied this trope. Hosts: Kyle, Allison, Christana Produced by: Mythos & Ink
31:58
June 03, 2022
2.14 - Evil Has Been Locked Away For Centuries
Eons ago, people faced a terrible evil and were unable to defeat it. But they locked it away so it would never bother the earth again! Er… did we say “never”? We meant, of course, that the bars of its prison will weaken in a thousand years and it will be set free to ravage the world once more. But that’s future humanity’s problem. This trope lends a certain panache to your villain… they are legendary. They are powerful. They are feared (and probably immortal). Who wants to go up against that? Episode Hosts: Kyle, Allison, Christiana. Produced by Mythos & Ink.
28:43
May 18, 2022
2.13 - The Plants Have Risen Up Against Us
Today's Trope: The Plants Have Risen Up Against Us. There’s something sinister about your surroundings trying to kill you—especially when those surroundings include giant, human-eating plants, trees that try to smother you with their roots, or other dangerous flora. Guns, swords, and sometimes even fire aren’t effective against shrewd shrubbery. Episode Hosts: Emma, Kyle, Christiana. Produced by Mythos & Ink.
33:25
April 20, 2022
2.12 - The Government is Out to Get Us
Today's Trope: The Government is out to get us. Want your character to face off against impossible odds? Pit them against a corrupt, evil empire who’s hiding something important from the people or taking advantage of them in some way! This trope usually involves oppression of the masses, and a hierarchy of a few people who benefit from the system while many others suffer. Episode Hosts: Emma, Kyle, Christiana. Produced by Mythos & Ink.
33:19
April 13, 2022
2.11 Clones are People, Too
Today’s Trope: Clones are Humans, Too. Are clones expendable, since they’re just copies? Do they have souls? Are they evil doppelgangers who need to be destroyed? Not in this trope! In these stories, clones become characters in their own right, with individual personalities and everything.  Stories Covered: Star Wars: The Bad Batch, Moon, The Prestige. Episode Hosts: Emma, Allison, Christiana. Produced by Mythos & Ink.
35:19
March 25, 2022
2.10 A Conversation with the Authors of Making Myths and Magic
Hosts Kyle and Christiana take some time to talk to Allison Alexander and Shelly Campbell about their upcoming work (published by Mythos & Ink) called Making Myths and Magic. It's a field guide of sorts for all of us (fantasy and sci-fi writers especially) to help us with the creation of our worlds and get us set in the right direction for our writing journey.  Produced by Mythos & Ink.
36:13
February 11, 2022
2.09 There's Often a Reason that Power is Forbidden
Today’s Trope: Forbidden Power. While the power might not be evil in and of itself, it often twists the user in terrible ways. Whether it takes a toll on the mage’s mind or body, summons spirits that are difficult to control, or requires human sacrifice, the cost is usually high. And that’s why this magic is often feared, forbidden, and/or outlawed. Stories Covered: Star Wars, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Full Metal Alchemist. Episode Hosts: Emma, Allison, Christiana. Produced by Mythos & Ink. Announcement Music: “Coffee Beats” by Aaron Parsons (used with permission).
29:01
January 26, 2022
2.08 What if Pizza Was Never Invented
Episode Hosts: Kyle, Allison, and Emma.  Today's Trope: What if pizza was never invented? (a.k.a. parallel worlds). When characters visit another world that is similar to ours, but slightly different in a variety of ways, we’ve entered the realm of alternate universes! Whether every character has an evil twin, pizza was never invented, or everyone’s favourite superhero is the red lantern, parallel worlds offer opportunities to explore what if questions, have beloved characters die (but not really), and explore alter-egos.  Stories Covered: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Fringe, Community.  Produced by Mythos & Ink.  Announcement Music: "Coffee Beats" by Aaron Parsons (used with permission).
30:46
January 13, 2022
2.07 Everything is a Simulation
Episode Hosts: Kyle, Allison, and Emma Today's Trope: Everything is a Simulation (a.k.a. the awful truth about your world). In science fiction and fantasy, sometimes the truth about the world is hidden from the masses because it’s so horrible. You’re living in a simulation. We’re raising you to be fed to a multi-tentacled monster that demands sacrifices. Everyone is dead and this is actually hell. The mystery of this awful truth is built up throughout the story, so you want to know, even though you really don’t want to know. Stories Covered: Sword Art Online, The Good Place, WandaVision Produced by Mythos & Ink. Announcement Music: “Coffee Beats” by Aaron Parsons (used with permission).
35:16
December 29, 2021
2.06 Who Wants to Live Forever?
Episode Hosts: Allison, Christiana, and Kyle. Today's Trope: Who wants to live forever? (a.k.a. immortal magics and technology.) Some characters are driven to find a way to live forever, and go on a quest for eternal life. But, often, when they do snag that elixir of life, or that fountain of youth, or that tech that lets you upload your consciousness into a new body, they find immortality isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. We’re going to look at how some writers have played with this trope in interesting ways. Stories Covered: Upload, Interview with a Vampire, Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson Produced by Mythos & Ink. Announcement Music: “Coffee Beats” by Aaron Parsons (used with permission).
25:02
December 15, 2021
2.05 Aliens are Weird
Episode Hosts: Allison, Christiana, and Kyle. Today's Trope: Aliens are Weird. Sometimes, very weird. Their bodies often work in different ways than humans’ do, whether that means they have blue skin, multiple arms, can breathe underwater, have ten sexes, or only mate during a full moon. What makes an alien’s biology unique is entirely up to your imagination, though science and a basic understanding of anatomy might inspire you in the creation of alien species. Stories Covered: Alien, Stargate: SG-1, Cycle of Fire by Hal Clement Produced by Mythos & Ink. Announcement Music: “Coffee Beats” by Aaron Parsons (used with permission).
21:25
December 01, 2021
2.04 Hidden Magic in the Modern World
Episode Hosts: Emma, Kyla, and Christiana. Today's Trope: Werewolves, Vampires. Wizards. Pixies. Leprechauns. Banshees. They’re there—just out of sight for your normal citizen. But for those in the know, magic is a real part of our world. How is it kept a secret from society at large? Stories Covered: Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan, Men in Black, A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab Produced by Mythos & Ink. Announcement Music: “Coffee Beats” by Aaron Parsons (used with permission).
25:39
November 17, 2021
2.03 Elves Live in Forests
Episode Hosts: Emma, Kyla, and Christiana. Today's Trope: Fantasy fiction tends to make recurring use of specific races, species, or peoples and their societies. For example, elves live in forests and practice nature magic, dwarves live underground and are miners, and humans populate large cities and are concerned with technological advancement. Oh, and the above races are usually “good,” while orcs, goblins, and dark elves are “evil.” Today’s trope: “Elves Lives in Forests,” a.k.a. standard fantasy races and societies. Stories Covered: Death Valley, Shadowhunter by Cassandra Clare Produced by Mythos & Ink. Announcement Music: “Coffee Beats” by Aaron Parsons (used with permission).
30:16
November 04, 2021
2.02 Traveling to Another Galaxy
Show Hosts: Kyle, Emma, and Allison. Today's Trope: Characters need to get to another galaxy, because reasons! Often that reason is that the planet is dying. Either humans have destroyed it, a giant asteroid hit the surface, or some other cataclysmic event occurred. Earth can no longer sustain life, and its people must find another world, in another galaxy, to inhabit. But how do they get there? This depends on the science of space travel! Hyperdrives, jump drives, warp drives, wormholes, generation ships, and cryo-travel are common methods of transporting people long distances in science fiction. Stories Covered: Lost in Space (cryosleep), Battlestar Galactica (jump drive), The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers (wormholes) Produced by Mythos & Ink. Announcement Music: “Coffee Beats” by Aaron Parsons (used with permission).
29:04
October 20, 2021
2.01 Legendary Artifact of Power
Show Hosts: Kyle, Emma, and Allison. Welcome to SEASON TWO of the podcast!! We're so excited to be back. Our theme for this season is sci-fi and fantasy tropes! Writers often think of tropes negatively, but they’re just commonly used themes or plot elements—symbols of the genre that keep readers coming back for more. Understanding tropes and using them effectively can deepen your worldbuilding! Today’s trope: the legendary artifact of power. The thing that separates these artifacts from other magical items is rarity. There’s often only one, and the artifact is so powerful it may have the ability to end worlds (or, at least, cause a lot of destruction). This power usually makes the object one of desire and even myth. Stories Covered: The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, Deltora Quest by Emily Rodda, Aladdin Produced by Mythos & Ink. Announcement Music: “Coffee Beats” by Aaron Parsons (used with permission).
28:55
October 06, 2021
1.25 Trees
Back when this podcast only existed as a lightbulb hovering over our heads, we began brainstorming the format, content, and all those other pesky details. While doing so, we used trees as an example topic. “So, say we’re talking about trees, and then this is the part where we’d each pick a specific tree to talk about…” You get the idea. And ever after, trees became a running joke as we brainstormed episode topics. So, we figured, for our season finale, what better topic to discuss! We give you: trees from sci-fi and fantasy. Notes Emma's example: The White Tree of Gondor from The Lord of the Rings Kyle's example: Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy Allison's example: The Deku Tree from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Add Mythos & Ink's upcoming book, Making Myths and Magic: A Field Guide to Writing Sci-Fi and Fantasy to Goodreads.  Join Mythos & Ink's Discord community for writers. Help us make Season Two of the podcast even better and ask us YOUR worldbuilding questions by joining our Patreon! Recap of Books Mythos & Ink Published This Year: Under the Lesser Moon by Shelly Campbell Infinite Universe by Lyndon Radchenka and Steven Kaul Rust and Water by GMB Chomichuk and Justin Currie Thrud by Zach Schuster Thy Geekdom Come: 42 Science Fiction-Inspired Devotionals by various authors Always Look Up (and Other Wisdom from Geek Culture that Changed My Life) by various Authors Produced by Mythos & Ink. Announcement Music: Coffee Beats by Aaron Parsons (Used with permission).
35:27
July 21, 2021
1.24 Castles
We avoided talking about castles in our last episode about architecture, because castles get a whole episode to themselves! From Castle Dracula to Hogwarts, castles in the sky to Cair Paravel, these majestic fortresses can bring your settings to life, often as homes for your characters. Notes Allison's example: Sterling Silver from Magic Kingdom for Sale—Sold! by Terry Brooks. Emma's example: Winterfell from Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. Kyle's example: Howl's castle from Howl's Moving Castle (film). Add Mythos & Ink's upcoming book, Making Myths and Magic: A Field Guide to Writing Sci-Fi and Fantasy to Goodreads. Join Mythos & Ink's Discord community for writers. Produced by Mythos & Ink. Announcement Music: Coffee Beats by Aaron Parsons (Used with permission).
25:23
July 07, 2021
1.23 Architecture
Underground cities, buildings created by technology or magic, structures surrounded by mystery… There’s a lot of fun to be had by dreaming up interesting architecture for your stories, and today, we’re discussing some fascinating examples from science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Notes Kyle's example: Menzoberranzan from The Forgotten Realms Christiana's example: Coruscant from Star Wars Allison's example The Transcontinental Bridge from The Bridge podcast Check out the blog posts "5 Indie Publishers that Accept Sci-Fi and Fantasy Submissions" and "5 More Indie Publishers that Accept Sci-Fi and Fantasy Submissions" Produced by Mythos & Ink. Announcement Music: Coffee Beats by Aaron Parsons (Used with permission).
35:55
June 23, 2021
1.22 Starships
We’ve been hyper-focused on fantasy lately, so we thought we’d shake things up. Today, we’re diving into worldbuilding in science fiction stories with a discussion about starships and spacecraft. Special thanks to our patron Mitchell W. for making this episode possible. Notes Allison's example: Moya from Farscape  Kyle's example: The Perihelion from the Murderbot series by Martha Wells Christiana's example: The Millennium Falcon from Star Wars Add Making Myths and Magic: A Field Guide to Writing Sci-Fi and Fantasy Novels to Goodreads Watch "So You Want to Make a Graphic Novel" on YouTube Get a copy of Thrud by Zach Schuster, the graphic novel about a mute, Norse warrior and the sentient puddle of god-spit she carries around in a flask. Produced by Mythos & Ink. Announcement Music: Coffee Beats by Aaron Parsons (Used with permission).
34:16
June 09, 2021
1.21 Shadow and Bone: Religion
We're continuing in our series on the Netflix show Shadow and Bone, which is based on novels by Leigh Bardugo! Our topic today: religion and belief systems. How does the show portray faith? What different religions are present? How does religion affect the way a character treats other people? Notes Support the podcast.    Join Mythos & Ink's Discord Community. Produced by Mythos & Ink. Announcement Music: Coffee Beats by Aaron Parsons (Used with permission).
19:05
May 28, 2021
1.20 Shadow and Bone: Fashion
We're continuing in our series on the Netflix show Shadow and Bone, which is based on novels by Leigh Bardugo! Our topic today: fashion. How does the series use fashion subtly, without drawing attention to it but using it to enrich the world? How is fashion gendered? How does fashion define class? Notes Support the podcast.   Join Mythos & Ink's Discord Community. Produced by Mythos & Ink. Announcement Music: Coffee Beats by Aaron Parsons (Used with permission).
16:06
May 24, 2021
1.19 Shadow and Bone: Technology
We're continuing in our series on the Netflix show Shadow and Bone, which is based on novels by Leigh Bardugo! Our topic today: technology. How does the series blend modern and fantasy technology? How does magic interact with technology? How do they interplay in your story? Notes Support the podcast.  Join Mythos & Ink's Discord Community. Produced by Mythos & Ink. Announcement Music: Coffee Beats by Aaron Parsons (Used with permission)
19:50
May 14, 2021
1.18 Shadow and Bone: Magic and Societal Structure
We're continuing in our series on the Netflix show Shadow and Bone, which is based on novels by Leigh Bardugo! Our topics today: magic and societal structure. What is the distinction between "small science" and magic? What is magic's narrative purpose in the show? How are the societies structured and how does considering structure provide ample opportunities for inserting conflict into a story's narrative?  Notes Support the podcast. Join Mythos & Ink's Discord Community. Produced by Mythos & Ink. Announcement Music: Coffee Beats by Aaron Parsons (Used with permission)
34:48
May 07, 2021
1.17 Writing Science Fantasy and Cross Genres
This week is another special episode, this time with graphic novelists Justin Currie and GMB Chomichuk! Join the hosts as they discuss the science fantasy genre, how to write cross genres, and particular challenges with the creation of their upcoming graphic novel, Rust and Water. Notes Gregory's example: Dune by Frank Herbert Allison's example: Final Fantasy Justin's example: The Iron Giant  View the event schedule for "So You Want to Make a Graphic Novel: 5 Comic Creators Discuss Launching Their Books"  Support the podcast: www.patreon.com/mythosandink Produced by Mythos & Ink. Announcement Music: Coffee Beats by Aaron Parsons (Used with permission)
44:58
May 05, 2021
1.16 Shadow and Bone: Diversity
Today’s episode is part of our series on the Netflix show Shadow and Bone, which is based on novels by Leigh Bardugo! Our topic today: diversity. What is significant about adding diverse characters to your story? How do you do this without appropriating a culture or falling into harmful tropes? How did Shadow and Bone succeed or fail in this area? Join the cast as we discuss race, disability, LGBTQ+ characters, and female representation. Notes Support organizations working to combat anti-Asian violence. Support the podcast. Produced by Mythos & Ink. Announcement Music: Coffee Beats by Aaron Parsons (Used with permission)
33:03
April 30, 2021
1.15 Shadow and Bone: An Introduction
Shadow and Bone, a TV series inspired by author Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy, drops on Netflix today! We're celebrating by telling you everything you need to know about the first book in the trilogy before you watch the show and what we're hoping to see in the TV series. Stay tuned for follow up episodes in which we talk about the worldbuilding in the show itself! Produced by Mythos & Ink. Announcement Music: Coffee Beats by Aaron Parsons (Used with permission)
25:04
April 23, 2021
1.14 Mythology-Inspired Tales
This week is another special episode, this time with graphic novelist Zach Schuster and editor Kyla Neufeld! Join the hosts as they discuss mythology. How do you take inspiration from mythology for your own book? What mythology inspired Zach's upcoming graphic novel, Thrud? How do you create longer, more intricate works out of these short, simple tales?   Notes Zach's example: Dragon Ball  Kyla's example: The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley  Kyle's example: American Gods by Neil Gaiman View the event schedule for "So You Want to Make a Graphic Novel: 5 Comic Creators Discuss Launching Their Books" Support the podcast: www.patreon.com/mythosandink   Produced by Mythos & Ink. Announcement Music: Coffee Beats by Aaron Parsons (Used with permission)
26:02
April 21, 2021
1.13 Aliens
This week is a special episode in celebration of Mythos & Ink's upcoming graphic novels! The hosts are chatting about aliens with Lyndon Radchenka and Steven Kaul, creators of the graphic novel Infinite Universe. How do you create alien races with lived experiences so it feels like the story's universe is inhabited by other lifeforms? How do you create that necessary feeling of unfamiliarity? What makes a believable alien? Notes Emma's example: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine  Steven's example: Paul Kyle's example: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card Lyndon's example: Superman View the event schedule for "So You Want to Make a Graphic Novel: 5 Comic Creators Discuss Launching Their Books"  Support the podcast: www.patreon.com/mythosandink Produced by Mythos & Ink. Announcement Music: Coffee Beats by Aaron Parsons (Used with permission)
31:35
April 14, 2021
1.12 Magic Systems: Blood, Demonic, and Light Magic
We’re at the end of our series on magic systems! To celebrate, each host is bringing a different magic system to the table for this, the final episode. And then we’ll battle it out with said magics. Muahaha.  Just kidding. Maybe. Today, we’re talking about Blood Magic—which involves using, you guessed it, blood, to cast spells—Demonic Magic—which usually involves summoning demons—and Light Magic—using the visible electromagnetic system to produce mystical effects. Notes Allison's example: Dragon Age (Blood magic) Kyle's example: Lord Toede by Jeff Grubb (Demonic magic) Emma's example: The Lighbringer Series by Brent Weeks Support the podcast: www.patreon.com/mythosandink  Join our Discord community: www.mythosink.com/community Produced by Mythos & Ink. Announcement Music: Coffee Beats by Aaron Parsons (Used with permission)
26:22
April 01, 2021
1.11 Magic Systems: Alchemy, Witchcraft, and Necromancy
We’re nearing the end of our series on magic systems. To celebrate, each host is bringing a different magic system to the table for the final two episodes. Today, we’re going to be talking about Alchemy—which involves transforming matter—Witchcraft—which involves pagan spellcasting, black magic, and nature—and Necromancy—which involves raising or communicating with the dead. Notes Kyle's example: Fullmetal Alchemist / Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (alchemy) Emma's example: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (witchcraft) Allison's example: Sabriel by Garth Nix (Necromancy) Support the podcast: www.patreon.com/mythosandink Join our Discord community: www.mythosink.com/community EDIT: Allison apologizes to her fellow Sabriel fans, as there are NINE precincts of death in the series, not seven. This is potentially a nod to Dante's Inferno, in which there are nine levels of hell. Produced by Mythos & Ink. Announcement Music: Coffee Beats by Aaron Parsons (Used with permission)
25:53
March 17, 2021
1.10 Magic Systems: Incantations
Abra kadabra alakazam! As powerful as words are in the “real world,” they get even more powerful when they are imbued with magic. Incantations are words said aloud in order to produce a magical effect. Usually they involve mystical, made-up languages, and they are often accompanied by gestures or physical components in order to get a spell to work. This topic is a fun one to talk about, because it’s focusing on the mechanics of magic rather than the results produced. Join the hosts—Kyle Rudge, Allison Alexander, and Emma Skrumeda—as they delve into superpowers and give you questions to ask yourself when writing stories with incantation magic. Notes Allison's example: Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling  Kyle's example: Supernatural (TV show) Emma's example: Eragon by Christopher Paolini Add Thy Geekdom Come (Vol. 2) to Goodreads Check out The Elements of Style by Strunk and White Support the podcast: www.patreon.com/mythosandink Produced by Mythos & Ink. Announcement Music: Coffee Beats by Aaron Parsons (Used with permission)
27:27
March 04, 2021
1.09 Magic Systems: Superpowers
Generally, In superhero stories, every hero has a different ability. Think X-Men, the Avengers, or Justice League. These abilities might fall under a theme (for example, everyone can shapeshift into animals), or they might be a hodgepodge of superhuman abilities (Thor has lightning powers, the Hulk has super strength, etc.). Some characters gain superpowers in unique ways (like the Fantastic Four, who survived cosmic radiation), while others are born with them (like the X-Men). The possibilities are endless, and the lines can blur between superheroes and other types of magic systems, but that’s why it’s fun. Join the hosts, Kyle Rudge, Allison Alexander, and Emma Skrumeda, as they delve into superpowers and give you questions to ask yourself when writing superhero stories. Notes Emma's example: Animorphs series by K.A. Applegate Allison's example: Hunter X Hunter (anime TV series) Kyle's example: My Hero Academia (anime TV series) Get a copy of Under the Lesser Moon by Shelly Campbell, Book 1 in the Marked Son series (Emma mentions she's been editing Book 2) Support the podcast: www.patreon.com/mythosandink Produced by Mythos & Ink. Announcement Music: Coffee Beats by Aaron Parsons (Used with permission)
25:31
February 19, 2021
1.08 Magic Systems: Elemental Magic
As of 2020, scientists have discovered 118 elements that make up all matter on earth, but elemental magic systems tend to deal with far fewer than that, involving the manipulation of natural forces, most often the classic elements of fire, water, earth, and air. Sometimes magic users can create these substances out of thin air, while in other systems they can merely control those that already exist in the world around them. Still others involve more, or different, elements than the traditional four. While these magic systems can appear common or basic, they offer a lot of room for creative storytelling. Notes Emma's example: The Circle of Magic series by Tamora Pierce Kyle's example: The Dragon Prince (Netflix series) Allison's example: The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan Join our Discord Community and participate in our monthly Flash Fiction Challenge! Produced by Mythos & Ink. Announcement Music: Coffee Beats by Aaron Parsons (Used with permission)
25:01
February 04, 2021
1.07 Magic Systems: Soft vs. Hard
We are so excited to be beginning our series on magic systems today! The episodes in this series will delve into specific types of magic, but today we’re discussing examples of hard and soft magic. These terms were popularized by fantasy author Brandon Sanderson, who is known for his complex magic systems that have a lot of rules and explore how magic works. This is “hard magic.” Think Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles or Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot. Soft magic, on the other hand, is when magic is a mystical part of the universe and the story doesn’t go into detail about how it works or even why it works. It just does. Think J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings or George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. Most books are somewhere in the middle of these two systems. Harry Potter, for example, is near the center point of this continuum, as Rowling’s magic has rules and laws, but, as a whole, you’re still not entirely sure what magic is capable of and the system is expanded throughout the series. Notes Emma's example: Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson (Hard magic) Kyle's example: Heroics for Beginners by John More (Soft magic) Allison's example: The Seventh Tower series by Garth Nix (somewhere in between) Read Sanderson's Laws of Magic Join our Discord Community Produced by Mythos & Ink. Announcement Music: Coffee Beats by Aaron Parsons (Used with permission)
29:54
January 21, 2021
1.06 Religion
In fiction, religious people are often portrayed in one of two ways: they are either stupid and ignorant, or they are manipulative and using religion to exploit others. But there are so many other dimensions to faith, with people who believe in a god (or gods) for a variety of different reasons. Organizations, governments, whole countries, some of the greatest atrocities and some of the greatest acts of mercy spring from religious beliefs, and there is much to be explored in science fiction and fantasy that can deepen your worldbuilding. Notes Allison's example: Dragon Age (video game) Kyle's example: ThresholdRPG (video game) Emma's example: Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin Produced by Mythos & Ink. Announcement Music: Coffee Beats by Aaron Parsons (Used with permission).
26:19
January 06, 2021
1.05 Disease
Incurable illnesses. Magical maladies. Pandemics. Perhaps this topic feels too real right now, but it’s been explored in sci-fi and fantasy for ages. Diseases can cause panic, start a ticking clock, or force characters to make difficult decisions (do you kill your zombified brother or do you tie him up and play video games with him?). One thing’s for sure: diseases are a pain. Notes Allison's example: Elantris by Brandon Sanderson (Add to Goodreads). Kyle's example: Star Trek Voyager. Emma's example: I Am Legend. Produced by Mythos & Ink. Announcement Music: Coffee Beats by Aaron Parsons (Used with permission).
17:06
December 09, 2020
1.04 Artificial Intelligence
Machines capable of thinking and acting like humans. Robots with souls. Do they take over the world and attempt to destroy humanity? Are they depressed sidekicks? Do they just want to be left alone? It depends on the story, but all of these characters have one thing in common: they explore the question of what it really means to be human. Notes Allison's example: All Systems Red by Martha Wells. Emma's example: I, Robot (movie). Kyle's example: Star Wars: The Old Republic (video game). Produced by Mythos & Ink.  Announcement Music: Coffee Beats by Aaron Parsons (Used with permission).
19:19
November 25, 2020
1.03 Prophecy
In a recent episode, we talked about time travel; this week, the topic is similar, but not quite the same—knowing stuff about the future. Prophecy can come in many different forms, such as vague notions of the future, riddles, or explicit visions of what is to come. Notes Allison's example: Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth. Emma's example: Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. Kyle's example: Punk Rock Jesus by Sean Gordon Murphy. Check out Mythos & Ink's new website. Join our Discord Community for writers—we've got a special channel for NaNoWriMo participants! Produced by Mythos & Ink. Announcement Music: Coffee Beats by Aaron Parsons (Used with permission).
18:34
November 11, 2020
Dragons with Author Shelly Campbell
It's a bonus episode! Fantasy author Shelly Campbell joins the wayfarers to talk about her upcoming book, Under the Lesser Moon, and dragons! In European traditions, dragons are associated with chaos and fire. In East Asian traditions, they are linked to sky and water. In our imaginations, they are associated with danger and adventure. For years, authors have played with these mythologies and created their own to tell tales about one of the most beloved creatures in fantasy fiction. Notes: Get your copy of Under the Lesser Moon—available November 7! Vote in the Dragon vs. Dragon bracket on our Twitter. Support this podcast by leaving a review or joining our Patreon!
26:48
November 01, 2020
1.02 Time Travel
In this episode, the podcast hosts find themselves in the Time Traveler's Tiki Lounge, sharing stories about time loops, distortions, and paradoxes. Listen to the end for three questions you should ask yourself when you are building time travel into your world! Notes Here is the link to our Discord community, which Emma mentions, that you should join if you are participating in NaNoWriMo! For further research, Kyle recommends this video: Time Travel in Fiction Rundown. If you want to support this podcast, leave us a review or join our Patreon!
19:10
October 29, 2020
1.01 Myth
Myth—a story that explains how your world came into being and includes fables, folktales, sagas, epics, and legends. Join Mythos & Ink as we journey through fiction to find great examples of myths! We also give practical questions to ask yourself when building a myth into your own world.
21:25
October 13, 2020