Mythulu Cards Pack B - The Periodic Table of Storytelling

Created by Mythulu

The "periodic table of storytelling", endorsed by A-list bestsellers as their favorite tool, is ready to double in size.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Card Charge Notice + About the Magazine
23 days ago – Sat, Apr 23, 2022 at 07:42:12 PM

IN 72 HOURS... Surveys will lock + Cards will charge

With 87% of backer surveys complete, we're ready to lock orders. This is a courtesy notice that in 72 hours (Tuesday evening) we will charge your cards for shipping, add-ons, and pre-orders. 


Digital Rewards will follow shortly! Magazine Issues #1 and #2 are already uploaded to BackerKit, ready to disperse when orders are locked. 

For app rewards...  Autumn (our techno-goddess) got our iPhone app build assembled and is currently running tests. She's also slaving away to get the Android version ready for testing this weekend (a gnarly task, so give her a round of applause!).  Once it looks stable, we need some beta testers to stress-test both Android and iPhone versions.  🖐 Any volunteers?


About the Magazine

 In the meantime, backers responded to our survey with some excellent questions: 

  • "Just curious... What does a magazine have to do with cards?" 
  • "What's inside? I chose my issues, but don't really know what I'm getting."  

 
THE CARD/MAGAZINE CONNECTION
Our magazine teaches how to break away from cliches.  The cards are a TOOL, but the magazine contains THEORY. Think of it like super-detailed instruction books.
 

Furthermore, each issue of Mythulu Magazine has card tutorials inside! Our first two issues (Alternatives to Dragons / Horror VS Hemophobia) each featured one tutorial, but users have been asking for more. So starting with our Steam VS Substance issue, we're devoting a large chunk to card tutorials. Issue #3 will have NINE tutorials. For Issue #4 we've planned two mega-tutorials and six normal tutorials.

Here's a look at the 6 issues you can choose from:

 
#1 - Alternatives to Dragons

This issue addresses overuse of cliches in modern stories, using dragons as a prime example. While respecting the classics, we ask:  What do dragons contribute to a story? Is there a way to accomplish the same thing without using dragons at all?

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • The Ocean-Mother’s Lesson, a short story by Nicola Kapron 
  • Introducing Your Beast
  • 7 Cures for Cliches, by Laura Crenshaw (Keystone Article)
  • Into the Dragon’s Maw, a comic by Chrestomathy (October Santerelli & Avery Strunk) 
  • How to Negotiate a Higher Advance
  • Biased Pool – Mythulu Creation Cards Tutorial
  • The Cheeseburger Test by Calvin Crenshaw
  • Sword & Soul – New Genre Spotlight
  • Aura of Blood, a short story by Andrew Whittaker 
  • Fates Worse than Death
  • Tropes are Good, by Nate Crenshaw (Devil’s Advocate)
  • Inevitable Dragons, a short story by Sarah Crenshaw 
  • The 4 Types of Writer’s Block (Research Summary)
  • Honorable Mentions: Liam Hogan, C.H. Hung, Jimmy Bernard, Matthew J. Hockey 

 
#2 - Horror VS Hemophobia

Survival drives entertainers to provide the best thrill, the most controversial twist. This begs a few important questions:  What impact does gore have on our audiences, for good and ill? How far is too far? Why? How sheltered is too sheltered? Why?”

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • The Craze, a short story by Matthew Tenwick 
  • Inventory Day, by Chrestomathy (October Santerelli & Avery Strunk) 
  • Pillars of Deep Focus
  • Interview with an EMT: Liam Downey
  • Meaningful Death as a Character Arc, by Danielle Harward
  • Perspective of a Hemophobe, by Jeff Hallow
  • Randomizing Injuries – Mythulu Creation Cards Tutorial
  • Legacy, a short story by Mike Adamson 
  • Solarpunk – New Genre Spotlight
  • 8 Ways Fear of Poverty Makes Entrepreneurs Stupid
  • Guest Editors Invitation
  • Gen Z Column
  • The Cruel Default, by Keith Fallows
  • The Origin of Zombies, by Sarah Crenshaw (Devil’s Advocate)
  • “Cherry Picked” Rapid Book Reviews: On Writing, by Stephen King / The Emotional Craft of Fiction, by Donald Maass
  • Blood on Trial, by Laura Crenshaw (Keystone Article)
  • Thing of Bones, a short story by Trey Henry 
  • Hedonic Ambivalence (Research Summary)
  • Honorable Mentions: Matias Travieso-Diaz, Nicola Kapron 

 
#3 - Steam VS Substance

In this issue, we debate both sides of the world's hottest-selling genre. 🔥 How spicy can relationships get without taking clothes off? On the other hand, what gives erotica purpose? We asked authors to pick a side, proving explicit moments can be both ethical and important... or demonstrating why platonic gestures demonstrate superior love. 

This issue is a naked, raw, passionate discussion about hope and heartache, judgment and justification. Every relationship is unique. We hope this issue surprises you with just how different every connection can be, while also satisfactorily summarizing what we all have in common.

TABLE OF CONTENTS (Mostly finished, but may change a little)

  • Silk & Shadow, a short story by Catriona Clarke 
  • Romance Requirements Checklist, by Jessica Guernsey 
  • Keystone Article by Laura Crenshaw
  • Mythulu Creation Cards Tutorials – Unexpected Touch / Alternative to a Wedding / Alternative to a Ring / Alternative to Royalty / Alternative to "I Love You" / Setting up a Seduction / Replacing Tropes in a Sex Scene / Happy Ever After / Resolutions to a Love Triangle
  • Love e-deck (New Deck Release Spotlight)
  • Love Languages of Neuro-Divergents, by Sarah Crenshaw
  • Something More, a comic by Chrestomathy (October Santerelli & Avery Strunk) 
  • Across the Spectrum: Atypical Dating Experience Interviews
  • Asexual Romance – New Genre Spotlight
  • Biscuit Man, a short story by Breanna Teramoto 
  • Healing through Kink (Devil’s Advocate)
  • Crimson Strings and a Boy Named Feathy, by Jessica Joe
  • New Love, a short story by Heather Straub 
  • The ROI of Book Tours, by Calvin Crenshaw (Business Article) 
  • Gen Z Column
  • No More Kittens, by Danielle Harward (Storycraft)
  • 4th short story, (Romantic Tragedy) TBA 
  • Cheating in Stories versus Real Life: An Infographic of Raw Statistics (Research Summary)
  • The Ultimate Imposter Syndrome: Writing Romance Through Divorce, by TBA
  • “Cherry Picked” Rapid Book Reviews: Goal Motivation and Conflict by Debra Dixon / Paralanguage by Fernando Poyatos 
  • Honorable Mentions


#4 - Maps & Biomes

Innovative settings are the foundation for new genres. In this issue, we tackle why readers care about maps and what it takes to make your map legendary.

TENTATIVE TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • 3 Short Stories (Submission Call still open! See details: https://mythulu.submittable.com/submit)
  • Minimum Viable Story (Storycraft)
  • Inventing Genres (Keystone Article)
  • Mythulu Creation Cards Tutorials – Instant Maps Spread Tutorial (Cities, Buildings, Civilizations. Sporadic vs Square vs Geometric) / Universal Journey Parts 1, 2, and 3 / Solo Travel Dare / Ground Scores / Local Legend / Life & Death travel trial / Nighttime Memory
  • Travel e-deck (New Deck Release Spotlight)
  • A comic by Chrestomathy (October Santerelli & Avery Strunk) 
  • When to Use a Cosmere (Interview)
  • Bizarre and Brilliant Map Designs
  • (Tentative) Ai-Driven MMOs –  New Genre Spotlight
  • Devil’s Advocate Article
  • Charting a Course: Cartography Tips for Fantasy Authors, by Dewi Hargreaves
  • Pre-selling Strategies (Business Article) 
  • Fresh Settings for Non-Fiction & Contemporary Drama 
  • Gen Z Column
  • TBD, requests welcome (Research Article)
  • “Cherry Picked” Rapid Book Reviews: Write Worlds Your Readers Won't Forget, by Stant Litore / TBD
  • Honorable Mentions

 
#5 - Modern Fairy Tales & Original Myths

Great Fairy Tales capture an adulthood dilemma so universal it transcends culture and time – then explain it so a child can understand. In contrast to the re-imagined fairy tales so popular right now, these are WILDLY ORIGINAL, totally unique pieces preserving today's questions for future generations.

TENTATIVE TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • 3 Short Stories (Submission Call still open! See details: https://mythulu.submittable.com/submit)
  • What's in a Fairy Tale? (Mini article) 
  • Mythulu Creation Cards Tutorials – Fixing Over-Inspiration / Rite of Passage / Dream Sequence / Fairy Tale Conclusion / Origin Myth / Quick Fable (under 200 words) / Deep Villians 
  • Flavors (New Deck Release Spotlight)
  • Aarne–Thompson–Uther Index for Fairy Tale Classification, by Sarah Crenshaw
  • A comic by Chrestomathy (October Santerelli & Avery Strunk)
  • Reimagined Fairy Tales (Devil’s Advocate)
  • Adding Whimsy & Wonder to any story (Mini article)
  • The Difference between Fatigued Readers and Lifelong Fans (Business Article) 
  • Gen Z Column
  • TBD - Keystone Article
  • TBD – New Genre Spotlight
  • TBD - (Storycraft)
  • TBD - (Research)
  • “Cherry Picked” Rapid Book Reviews: TBD

As you can see, this issue is still under construction. Do you have any special requests? We'd love to hear them. 


#6 - Symbiosis (an issue about artistic collaboration) 

Co-authoring is rising in popularity, both as a way to satiate the ravenous demand of readers more quickly, and to leverage team imaginative advantages. In this issue, we discuss the pros and cons of this strategy, along with legal considerations, and how-tos of thriving together.

You can expect the standard array of content, including dazzling stories, a thought-provoking keystone article, a feisty devil's advocate opinion, expert essays, a new genre spotlight, business advice, a research summary, and so forth. But exact topics are flexible at this stage. What would you LIKE to see in it? Make requests for interviews, articles, reviews, etc. We'll do whatever it takes to answer your burning questions.

 
Order Adjustments

Want different issues than you originally picked? You still have 72 hours to edit your order. Just follow the link in your survey invite email. 

If you have any questions or challenges, we are happy to help adjust your order from our admin console. Just comment here or shoot an email to humans@mythulu.com


Warmly, 

Laura and the entire Mythulu Team

Survey Time!
about 1 month ago – Fri, Apr 15, 2022 at 05:31:25 AM

Your survey is ready! 

Please check your inbox and follow the instructions below to fill it out:

  • Open the link we sent to your email. 
  • INSTRUCTIONS FOR CHANGING YOUR PLEDGE LEVEL ARE BELOW. Start there or the survey will reset and you'll have to fill it out twice. 😆

Happy with your pledge level? Great. You're ready to answer the survey. 

  • Answer digital reward questions carefully. When you're done, click "Next!"
  • This button will direct you to this page here. You'll be able to add any additional items to your order; you may add extra copies, twin bundles, and colorful merch such as our Dripping Rainbow Hoodie, massive neoprene drawing mats, and unique baseball caps. Check them out!
  • Click on the "NEXT" button once you have your order ready!
  • Next, please add your shipping information so we can start working on logistics.
  • BackerKit will try to validate your address. Please review the address carefully and then click "Submit Address"
  • Double-check your information and pledged items before confirming your order! If you didn't change your pledge level, the payment information will only be used to charge shipping fees.
  • That's it! Click "Place My Order" and you're done. 😎

🌏 DEAR BACKERS ABROAD, We've haggled down to find the best deals on shipping internationally, but extra-heavy packages traveling to the opposite ends of the earth still demand minor blood sacrifice and tariffs (sorry, Australia). We reduced int'l shipping costs to about half the normal amount, and we hope this helps! 


If you did not receive the survey, please message HUMANS@MYTHULU.COM and include your Kickstarter email address so we can resend it to you!

Changing your pledge level: 

  • Open the link in your email. Change your pledge by clicking here:
  • ...and then here:
  • Choose the pledge level you want to switch to and click on the "SWITCH" button. Kickstarter-exclusive deals like Digital Dynamite and Early Bird promos are not available post-campaign, so if you see the little red message below, that's why. You can switch freely between other tiers. 
  •  Click "Next" when you're done. Follow the rest of the survey instructions above. 🙂

💖 Thanks again for your ongoing support! If you have any questions, you can post here, reach us via BackerKit, or via email: humans@mythulu.com. 

- Laura and the whole Mythulu team 

Prepping for Print + Backer Surveys!
about 1 month ago – Wed, Apr 13, 2022 at 03:09:46 PM

FIXING PACK A + POLISHING B

Since Mythulu's initial release, customers have highlighted serious errors and made dozens of requests. We're proud to announce ALL cards printed this run (both Pack A and B) will see the following improvements over the legacy print: 


BETTER BACKS

  • Category names are now written on the back (top right, just under the logo). 
  • Pack A/B indicators now appear in the bottom left corner, in case you want to separate Pack A and B back out. They ARE meant to be shuffled together. Now you can shuffle them with confidence. 
  • We corrected the background resolution for our Elements deck. After almost two years of use, one of our beta testers noticed the Elements background looked blurrier than the other decks, and it turned out a low-res layer was lurking in our master files. Good catch, hawk eyes.

SPELLCHECK & COLORS

This is embarrassing, but I confess... I didn't run a basic spell check on the original print run.  Which was incredibly dumb, because I know I'm terrible at spelling.  

Our editorial genie, Hana, painstakingly reviewed all our cards this time. In addition... 

  • We changed flavor text font color from grey → white to improve readability. 
  • We brightened dull images and color-balanced again.
  • We punctuated all cards consistently. 

"DRAW +1" REPAIRS

Bonus draws were meant to force deep thought and masterful combinations. However, users reported that bonus cards were hard to use, appeared too frequently, and muddied the waters more often than they brought clarity. 

So we pulled out all the problem cards one night, lay them on the table together, and talked. A pattern emerged. Most of them had weak descriptions and/or weak art. To fix them, we...

  • Ripped the bonus card mechanic from all but 4 cards. Pack A had 12 "Draw +1" cards. Now there are only 4 and no category has more than 1. 
  • Dramatically improved flavor text for problem cards. +1 cards needed it most, but all cards with short descriptions got reviewed. 
  • Upgraded vague, abstract art → concrete, relatable images. 

FULL CARD SWAPS

A handful of Pack A's 1st Edition cards failed on a Title level. Beyonder was easily changed to Outsider and needed no further upgrade. But four cards failed on a conceptual level: Living Organism, Marsupial, Humid, and Statistic.

These cards are archetypical, but being right doesn't help if they aren't useful. So we brought these cards down from their high horse and rewrote them to support personal connections to those archetypes.  The results are a little closer to cliches, so be careful when you use them.  But now instead of an intellectual stumbling block, these should prime your imagination engines like all the other cards. 💖

  • In response to beta tester feedback, we also changed a few of Pack B's beta cards since we filmed this Kickstarter. We juggled art, improved descriptions, merged one Pack B beta card with a Pack A card, and added an extra card entirely to B. 

😍 Want the NEW Pack A?

You can still update your pledge! When you fill out your backer surveys, follow these instructions to update your pledge

We just sent our "Smoke Test", so 5% of backers at each tier can access their survey. Check your email! After a few days, once we've verified everything is working, we'll send all remaining surveys. 


PRINTING STATUS: Running Final Quality Checks

Meanwhile, we're doing one last pass on our cards and systematically verifying: 

  • Correct color profile (because CMYK and RGB print differently)
  • Maximum resolution
  • No spelling errors
  • No visual errors (like that one time we accidentally left the bleed border visible on the Atlantis card 😂)
  • No legal or logistical errors (country of origin, recommended age, barcodes, etc)

We also have to:

  • Double-export high & web resolution versions so print & app versions match.
  • Organize files as we go, so all old files are clearly marked and archived.

Doing this x300 is NO SMALL TASK! 💪 But we are MIGHTY!


Laura & the whole Mythulu team

Neoprene Mat Mockups
about 2 months ago – Sat, Mar 26, 2022 at 12:54:52 AM

"10 MINUTES TO UGLY"

Our team uses fast, ugly mockups to communicate big ideas. The example above shows our initial mockup for Mythulu's first magazine issue... Messy, but effective at sparking a beautiful design!

When brainstorming visuals, our goal is "10 minutes to ugly".  Communicate the design. And it MUST NOT be perfect the first time, because the less you invest before a critique, the easier it is to hear feedback.

So... as you browse the drawing mat mockups below, flaws will be evident. Images are low-res and not color balanced. Everything's untextured and no atmospheric details have been applied yet. 😎 But we trust you can use your imagination to see the end goal. Your favorites will be elevated to Mythulu-quality before we send them to our printer. 


We intend to print FOUR DESIGNS. 

PLEASE VOTE IN THE COMMENTS! You're also welcome to post thoughts, questions, and requests.


FANTASY

A) "Acquired Taste"

B) "Merchant"

This one is especially rough, but if you choose it, we're intending to make the squares a trippy but consistent illusion-type pattern, with smooth vines and atmospheric layers. 


C) "Light"

D) "Intermediary"

E) "Dark Fairy Tales"

RPG 

F) "Band of Brothers"

G) "Hunter"

H) "Obsessed"

I) "Paint"

J) "Imaginary Friend"


Science Fiction

K) "Immune"

L) "City Spirits"

What's your favorite? 


Warmly, 

Laura & the Whole Mythulu Team. 


PS. We'll send a detailed printing update next week! Right now, we're setting up BackerKit surveys, finishing the mobile app update, and connecting systems that will deliver digital rewards. 

And the wedding was magical. 🥰 Thank you for the well-wishes!

Pillars of Support ⚓
3 months ago – Tue, Feb 22, 2022 at 12:54:50 PM

Celebrating our Pillars of Support

Our Kickstarter is complete! For 14 days after a campaign closes, Kickstarter gathers funds. These two weeks are the eye of a hurricane, the quiet between two storms. The rush of campaigning is over. The rush of fulfillment lies ahead. 🌀

After months of hustle to prepare this Kickstarter, we wish we could use this time to take a break.  😂 But instead... the creator of Mythulu, Laura, is getting married next week. 🤵💞👰 So the office is quiet, but a few of us are busier than ever, tearing methodically through a hundred petty tasks like this:

Truthfully though, this is a wonderful time to focus on the people who support us day-to-day.

Everyone needs "Seven Pillars of Support" in their life... Seven people you can turn to regularly, spreading out questions, emergencies, moral support so you're never a burden. People who show up for birthdays, funerals, happy hours, and pet sitting. Your seven pillars of support are strongest when each also has seven pillars.


Our Pillars of Support:

Spouses & Soulmates - Laura's fiance is her backbone! In addition to believing in their business is a real venture, he cooks breakfast/lunch/dinner a disproportionate amount of the time, rubs her back on late work nights, and builds work-life balance into their schedule.

Most of our teammates have fiercely supportive partners like this. They watch kids during late-night meetings, set aside a dedicated office room in the house for personal growth, offer extra perspective when we need a quality brain to bounce off of, and make countless other sacrifices. We are seriously loved and couldn't accomplish half of what we do without these soulmates at our back. 

Investors - Some investors are fancy people in suits, with enough financial buffer to make risk comfortable. But sometimes they're ordinary people who invest their life savings in someone else's dream. That's the case for us. Laura's wedding is the first time the co-founders of Mythulu will see each other in person since our product launched in Sept 2018. We're looking forward to hugging, introducing spouses, and catching up. 

Early Adopters - Our earliest users. Our early reviewers who left comments convincing other users. Friends of friends of friends. Word-of-mouth champions.  Superfans who play our April Fools card hunt games, make requests, and engage with us. Instead of facing an echoing void on social media, you make us feel like we're interacting with friends. 🥰

Volunteer Teammates - Twenty volunteers team members are helping us raise this business barn off the ground. Dabbling hours here and there, you double our capacity overall and help us polish details outside our expertise.

Mentors - We're lucky enough to have a few industry mavericks watching our back. They steer us when we have big-picture questions, expand our expertise daily, connect us to industry gatekeepers, and generally validate our efforts.

Friends & Family - Some of our friends have nothing to do with storytelling, but they smile and nod when we gush about it. These are the people who will love us even if we failed. When we thrive they'll be thrilled for us far more than they understand our success itself. Everyone needs a few people like that---the forever friends who love you for YOU, regardless of what you do for work. On the hard days, having friends for all seasons is massively stabilizing. 


BACKERS! - To those of you who are new to the family, welcome! Cash is the lifeblood of a business. You are our second round of investors, infusing energy and possibilities into our daily labor. 💪 Thank you, thank you, thank you for believing in us. And believing in us RIGHT NOW. We're excited to pamper you and support you in YOUR dreams.


Any questions?

If our Discord's a little quiet right now, this is why. We're breathing after one marathon, reconnecting with our pillars of support, and preparing for the fulfillment marathon. 

Response times might be a little slow for the next two weeks, but we are watching comments and emails. Let us know if you need anything. 

We look forward to sending out the first wave of digital rewards in the 2nd week of March. 


Warmly,  

Laura & the entire Mythulu Team  

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