Wayfarer's Guide to Worldbuilding

Wayfarer's Guide to Worldbuilding

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.

Episodes

May 18, 2022 28 min

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 fe...

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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.


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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 Myth...

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March 25, 2022 35 min

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.



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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.

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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.

Episo...

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January 13, 2022 30 min

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 ...

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December 29, 2021 35 min

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 trut...

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December 15, 2021 25 min

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...

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December 1, 2021 21 min

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...

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November 17, 2021 25 min

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 & I...

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November 4, 2021 30 min

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...

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October 20, 2021 29 min

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 s...

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October 6, 2021 28 min

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 arti...

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July 21, 2021 35 min

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, f...

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July 7, 2021 25 min

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 ...
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    June 23, 2021 35 min

    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 Transcontin...
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    June 9, 2021 34 min

    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...
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    May 28, 2021 19 min

    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 Beat...

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    May 24, 2021 16 min

    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 ...

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