Worldbuilding for Masochists

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March 3, 2021  

Episode 45: Let’s Be Diplomatic

When you're trying to solve a problem with minimal stabbing, call in the diplomats! In this episode, we discuss the above-board negotiations of formal diplomats, the social maneuverings of informal national representatives, and the super-shady dealings of spies.

How interconnected or isolationist are the nations of your world? How do tech and magic affect diplomatic relations or spycraft? We explore these questions and more!

Transcript for Episode 45 (thank you, scribes!)

Info on Hugo Award Nominations and the eligibility spreadsheet!

February 17, 2021  

Episode 44: Old MacDonald Had a Dragon

If OldMacDonald has a dragon, how does he stable it? This episode explores domesticated animals in fantasy worldbuilding, from the useful cart-pullers to the companion animals who are purely there for scritchies. How does your world manage the animals who live alongside us? And what happens when those creatures can do things like breathe fire, open portals, or channel magical force?

Transcript for Episode 44 (Thank you, scribes!)

February 3, 2021  

Episode 43: Getting There is Half the Fun, ft. KATE ELLIOTT

Journeys are a staple element of fantasy plots -- but just how do people get around in your world? Kate Elliott, author of Unconquerable Sun, joins us to discuss the feet, hooves, wings, wheels, portals, and other forms of transportation that allow your characters to go a-questing! We also consider the implications that may arise for communication, trade, and social etiquette based on how you structure those transportation systems.

Our Guest: As a child in rural Oregon, Kate Elliott made up stories because she longed to escape to a world of lurid adventure fiction. She now writes fantasy, steampunk, and science fiction, often with a romantic edge. She currently lives in Hawaii, where she paddles outrigger canoes and spoils her schnauzer.

Transcript for Episode 43, with thanks to our scribes!

January 20, 2021  

Episode 42: Life, Worldbuilding, & Everything, ft. STINA LEICHT

So once you've done your worldbuilding, how exactly do you present it to the reader? Stina Leicht joins us to consider how much information to work in, when to do it, and other elements of the wordcraft of worldbuilding.

Transcript for Episode 42 (Thank you, Scribes!)

January 6, 2021  

Episode 41: Myths, Legends and Other Lies of History ft. Marie Brennan & Alyc Helms (M.A. Carrick)

We humans are "meaning-making" creatures -- So what stories do your characters tell about themselves, their world, and their culture? The writing team of Marie Brennan and Alyc Helms, who together make up M. A. Carrick, join us to talk about weaving the myths, legends, and folklore that can help your imagined world feel fully textured and lived-in!


Transcript for Episode 41 (thank you, lovely scribes!)

December 23, 2020  

Episode 40: The Sacred and the Profane, ft. K. B. WAGERS!

We get asked about fantasy cussing all the time -- but before you can explore profanity, you have to decide what a culture holds sacred. What objects, rituals, or social contracts are inviolable? What bodily functions are unseemly for public discourse? What lines are there between etiquette and sacralization? Author K. B. Wagers joins us to explore building concepts of the sacred and the profane into your imagined world!

Transcript for Episode 40 (with thanks to our scribes! who had to do a lot of referential parsing in this episode, particularly)

December 9, 2020  

Episode 39: Episode 39: Three-pourri

It's another viewer Q&A episode! Your hosts answer your queries on topics such as magic and disability, art styles that suit our stories, and the bits of worldbuilding we've poured our hearts and masochistic minds into but haven't managed to fit into our books yet. Plus, cooking with angel meat.

Transcript for Episode 39 (with thanks to our amazing scribes!)

November 25, 2020  

Episode 38: Writing the Dark Side ft. ANNA STEPHENS

Whether you're taking down an Evil Emperor or a whole Evil Empire, how do you build antagonists into your world? Anna Stephens, author of The Stone Knife, joins us to discuss the parameters of villainous behavior.


Transcript for Episode 38, with thanks to our scribes!

November 11, 2020  

Episode 37: Names Are Hard — A Deep Dive into WFM’s Shared World

In this episode, your hosts apply some of the considerations from the past several episodes to the world we're co-building! From "Griasta Man is at it again" to a community run by Virgos, we take you inside some specific "Choose; don't presume" moments.

Transcript for Episode 37 (Thank you, scribes!)

October 28, 2020  

Episode 36: Toil and Trouble

Are you a good witch or a bad witch? Well, that really depends on how your world conceives of witchcraft, doesn't it? In this episode, we discuss witches: what form their powers take, what sets them apart from other kinds of magic users, how do you know someone's a witch, and what to make of all those familiars hanging 'round the place.

(Cass apologizes for some fading audio in this episode. She's getting a better mic, she promises).

Transcript for Episode 36, with thanks to our amazing scribes!

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