Fantasy, Romance, and Other Genre Fiction

Posts tagged ‘world building’

Page 75 – Epiphanies

So I just had the biggest epiphany of my entire writing life and I’m actually half-hysterical over it. I can’t stop laughing and saying OMG out loud.
 
For those of you familiar with Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere concept… I’ve always kind of known that there is a relationship like that between all the different worlds I write in.  (Seriously.  Since I was 14 and Brandon Sanderson was still unknown.)  I was never quite able to pinpoint the connection, though… Until today.
 
I KNOW WHAT THE CONNECTION IS.
 
And this means I know what makes my magic systems on every world work at the core (adapted for different evolutions/worlds of course) and a much better idea of how it’s all going to come together at the end. (If the end ever comes; I don’t intend to stop writing until I’m dead.)
 
I am absolutely giddy.
 
And I need to let it sit and let this feeling pass because if I try to write like this it’s gonna look like a whole bunch of asdfjkl.

LTUE 32: Friday

Doing the last of my LTUE summaries instead of talking about the craft this week and next week, because they are quite a bit about the writing craft.  It’s one of the reasons I love LTUE as much as I do.

Friday, 14 Feb. 2014- Sessions Attended

  • Reading: Sandra Tayler
  • Query Workshop
  • Writing Fantasy: Using Words to Build Worlds-  A paper presented by Douglas Whittaker (a good friend of mine, yay!)
  • The Rules for Writing Magic- John Brown, Al Carlisle, Teri Hartman, Brandon Sanderson, Natalie Whipple, with Emily Martha Sorensen moderating
  • Mass Autograph Signing

Best points picked up from Sandra Tayler’s reading:

  • It’s okay to treat yourself kindly.
  • It’s okay to do your own thing.
  • It’s okay to pursue a life of creativity.

Best points picked up from the query workshop:

  • You have three sentences or less to grab attention.
  • Watch out for wordiness.
  • Use the RIGHT words.
  • Have a really clear idea of what you’re pitching!

Best points picked up from Using Words to Build Words:

  • World building is what separates speculative fiction from all other genres.
  • Conflict is what makes writing into a story (Dan Wells).
  • Iceberg theory: Show 10% of what you’ve built, but know the other 90%.
  • Geography affects the way culture and society develops.

Best points from The Rules for Writing Magic:

  • “Been done before” doesn’t mean anything- be creative.
  • A story with great characters and weak magic will sustain better than strong magic and weak characters.
  • Set your rules early on.
  • Maintain consistency.
  • Know your limitations (geography, cost, genetics, range, etc.).
  • Know the purpose of your magic (scale of sense of wonder to plot tool).
  • Magic should be grounded in reality.
  • Magic should be AWESOME.
  • Focus on one thing and dig in deep- have a deep system rather than a wide one.
  • What does magic teach us about ourselves and our worlds?

 

Making Maps

I have to blame this post on Tor.com for getting me started on a massive distraction.

Now, it’s not really a distraction from the Soldaris project, as the map that I currently have isn’t an accurate enough depiction of the world geography that I have in my head.  I am very pleased with the way the map I made a year and a half ago looks, but it’s not the right map for this world (I will be saving it for another project, though, I think.)

I would be lying if I said I hadn’t tried to make maps to go with earlier ideas that I had while in high school and college and whatnot.   But they weren’t good maps.  Then, about two and a half years ago, I took a physical geography class at university.   I’ll be completely and brutally honest here: I took it because it was the easiest lab science class possible  that the university offered, and I needed another one for progress toward my degree.  (I love science.  Love, love, love it.  What I don’t love is all the math that goes along with some of it.)   Little did I know that it would open my eyes up to a world of possible worlds and more effective world-building, or that I would develop quite an interest in the subject.  Nor did I think that it would set off a passion (albeit rarely indulged) with creating maps for my worlds.

I’m discovering that maps, as much as books, go through multiple revisions.  This is, thankfully, a little easier with digital construction via Photoshop or the like.

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More epic than intended

Every once in a while, you get this one project that makes you sit back and wonder “what the hell have I gotten myself into?”  What started out as a simple attempt to make up a background story for a role-playing character has turned into an epic fantasy saga.  The tentative length of this saga (as my very vague outlines dictate) is seven novels, and it’s demanding to be written.

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