All posts filed under: World Building

Foundations of story-telling.

©2013 Richard Lund

Beginning My Next Novel

Okay, so here I am…I have two finished books shopping for a home, one of which is well on its way to publication. So I should finish the epic fantasy, right? Hell no. I’m writing the sequel to Blood Chimera, my debut novel. Because when folks finish reading that, I want them to have a book they can jump right to, or at the very least, know that it will soon follow. Oh, which reminds me: Avast! Here there be spoilers! Go away if you don’t want to accidentally find out details of Blood Chimera. You still here? Okay, let’s get this shit started (as Ze Frank would say.) So the first thing I do, the very first thing, is pick out music. Yeah, yeah, I know, but I like to have soundtracks when I’m planning a book. And this is a pretty music heavy book. There will be nightclubs, concerts and stuff as we spend some more time in Hollywood and along Sunset Strip. So let’s see…I start with some David Bowie, and then …

Weaver @2013, Jenn Lyons

Marduk’s Rebellion Concept Art: Mallory McLain

Meet Lieutenant Mallory McLain, code-named “Weaver,” an Intelligence Operations agent working for the Solar Independence League, the fancy-schmancy title for what most folks just call ‘The Rebellion.’ She’s one of the best of the best, a solo operative who specializes in break-ins: computer, prison or research lab. Only now that the aliens the human race has been fighting for almost a century are suing for a treaty and withdrawing from their occupation of Earth, there will finally be peace and she’s going to be out of a job. Right? Works in theory. Updated: The great thing about posting this is that after staring at her for a few days, I’ve decided to return her to being a blonde. The character is happier that way, if that makes any sense.

©2013 SnowSkadi

You See a Gazebo

It’s one of the most famous stories in tabletop gaming history. I was well into my gaming career when I first heard it, as well as a little amazed that I hadn’t heard it prior because I had, for a brief time, gamed with one of the Cal Tech RPG groups, and you’d think that’s just the sort of thing that they would have gleefully shared with anyone and everyone. But heh, I was was also that rarest of creatures (at the time,) a female gamer, so maybe they didn’t think think it was the right way to impress me. Follow the link above for the full and complete tale, but to paraphrase: once upon a time a group of terrifically smart people got together for an evening of make-believe and during the session, the DM explained that there was a gazebo. It was white, it was large, it was just sitting there. What followed was worthy of an Abbott & Costello routine, because it never occurred to the DM  that his player might have no clue …

©2013 Kalen Chock

To Conlang or not to Conlang?

I am a fan of world-building, as anyone who knows me can attest. This stems largely from my first novel (still in the process of being re-written,) called Game of Empire, which was based (as so many fantasy novels of my generation are) on our weekly D&D games. Now, said games were undeniably epic, and the primary DM (my ex-husband, as it happens) was truly a genius at crafting suspense, pacing and riveting, edge of seat excitement. He could reduce grown adults to tears. We thanked him for it. A campaign world for a D&D game doesn’t need need to be fresh and original. In fact, I think you could make the argument that it’s better if it’s not. If a player can hit the ground running with an elevator treatment like ‘My character is an elf from the forests who has left her home to find the magical artifact stolen by a band of orcs in the raid that killed her parents‘ it’s really all to the better. Thanks to Peter Jackson, everyone knows what that …