Episode 126: When Worldbuilding Gets Wild, ft PREMEE MOHAMED
Worldbuilding for Masochists
by worldbuildingformasochists
1w ago
Critters, creatures, and things that crawl -- part of the fun of building a new world is getting to populate it with not just sapient characters, but all the flora and fauna. And sometimes, that means the things you find in the smallest corners and crevices. Guest Premee Mohamed joins us to talk about the role of bugs and other biology in worldbuilding! Bugs are a critical part of our world, performing so many essential functions that we never think about and that writers often neglect -- so, why is that? Where does our tendency towards squeamishness about bugs overlap with fears of body ..read more
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Episode 125: Monstrous Worldbuilding, ft. JOHN WISWELL
Worldbuilding for Masochists
by worldbuildingformasochists
3w ago
From the Minotaur to xenomorphs to the undead, monsters and their ilk have long been a staple of the sci-fi and fantasy genres. But what exactly is it that makes a monster? Guest John Wiswell joins us to discuss how monsters in fiction often reflect not only our primal fears, but also the people that society seeks to Other. When monsters reflect what a real or fictitious society values and doesn't value, what sorts of things do writers need to consider when placing monsters in their world? In this episode, we explore how, while monsters can sometimes just be plot obstacles for Our Heroes ..read more
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Episode 124: Worldbuilding in Review, ft. PAUL WEIMER
Worldbuilding for Masochists
by worldbuildingformasochists
1M ago
We spend a lot of time thinking about how to work with worldbuilding as writers -- but how does a reviewer approach the topic when they're reading works of sci-fi and fantasy? Guest Paul Weimer joins us to share his insights as a prolific consumer and critiquer of speculative fiction! Paul talks about the details that he pays attention to, the things he looks for, and the things that draw his attention, as well as discussing the purpose of reviews and who they're for (hint: it's not the authors!). In this episode, we spin things around to look at how we approach worldbuilding and narrativ ..read more
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Episode 123: Worldbuilding in Your Underpants, ft. JOHN HARTNESS
Worldbuilding for Masochists
by worldbuildingformasochists
1M ago
When you're creating your world and bringing it into a story, how much do you let show? Guest John Hartness joins us to discuss balancing the off-page and on-page elements, and how that balance might shift based on what kind of a world you're working in and what sort of a story you're telling. How do you ensure that the worldbuilding serves a purpose and serves the characters? In this episode, you'll also get a peek behind the publishing curtain! John discusses running Falstaff Books, a publisher known for making space for authors at "the weird kids' table." That ethos translates into his work ..read more
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Episode 122: Now Kiss: Building Romance into Your Worlds, ft. GWENDA BOND
Worldbuilding for Masochists
by worldbuildingformasochists
2M ago
We've talked before about the difference between aesthetic-driven genres, like sci-fi and fantasy, and structure-driven genres, like mystery and romance. So what happens when you want to build a world just ripe for all your favorite romance tropes? How can your world create the obstacles to your characters getting their happy-ever-after? Guest Gwenda Bond joins us to talk about the love of worldbuilding and worldbuilding for love! A lot of writing romance means dealing with reader's expectations in a slightly different way than some other story-types. How useful are the sub-genre distinct ..read more
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Episode 121: Brave New Worlds, ft. FONDA LEE and MELISSA CARUSO
Worldbuilding for Masochists
by worldbuildingformasochists
2M ago
When you've put your heart, soul, blood, sweat, and tears into building a world -- what happens when you then have to leave it behind? Most SFF authors will, at some point, close up their work in one world and start building a new one, but that comes with its own set of challenges! You know the old world so well; it's become comfy and familiar. The new world still has all its work yet to be done, and while it has the shiny lure of new discoveries, it also may seem daunting to start the process of figuring out how a world works all over again. In this episode, Fonda Lee and Melissa Ca ..read more
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Episode 120: World Bibles and the Gospel According to Tolkien
Worldbuilding for Masochists
by worldbuildingformasochists
3M ago
When you're creating tomes of information about your world -- spreadsheets of demographics, maps at every level of geography, tomes of lore -- how do you keep tabs on it all? How much can you keep in your head, and how much has to be written down, codified, and carefully tracked? In this episode, we explore our tools of worldbuilding. We use all sorts of different methods and platforms, some of them physical and tangible, others entirely digital. From nebulous notions of "the world is like this" to a fully indexed world bible, the methods vary! Like so much else in writing, this isn't a thing ..read more
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Episode 119: Worldbuilding Philosophy and Practices
Worldbuilding for Masochists
by worldbuildingformasochists
3M ago
Why do we worldbuild the way that we worldbuild? The start of a new year seems like a great time to take a zoomed-out view of how we do this thing that we do. In this episode, we consider, contemplate, and cogitate on the major concepts that guide our worldbuilding. Why is it important to us? What parts of it are important for us, and help us find our story and develop our characters? Too, how do we worldbuild in a way that reflects the glorious weirdness of humanity? How do we ensure that our cultures don't seem like monoliths? How do we show individuality within the collective? And ..read more
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Episode 118: Passing the Torch
Worldbuilding for Masochists
by worldbuildingformasochists
4M ago
In this final episode of 2023, we have a momentous announcement! Rowenna Miller is stepping down as a full-time co-host of the podcast, because... well, life! It happens to us all sooner or later. But fear not! Rowenna will still be joining us from time to time, and she's still working with us on the Traveling Light anthology. And we're welcoming an amazing, fantastic, glorious new co-host! Please give your attention and accolades to Natania Barron! Who's Natania? Well, listeners may remember her from Episode 72: This is Cerulean, Right?: Fashion, Politics, and Power. Natania is a fa ..read more
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Episode 117: More Queries and Quandaries
Worldbuilding for Masochists
by worldbuildingformasochists
4M ago
It's another listener Q&A episode! Many thanks to the folks who submitted their questions! In this episode, we tackle some things that can block and stymie your worldbuilding, how to approach research that's not really in your preferred milieu, and some details about how we interact with our guests. Also, learn what your hosts' favorite holiday pies are! No one asked us that, but we're telling you anyway. [Transcript TK ..read more
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