A bridge over a beautiful waterfall

A bridge over a beautiful waterfall
Nature brings magic

Thursday, September 23, 2010

30 Days of Writing - Day 12-15

(I'm short cutting this since I don't know if I'll have time in the mornings to write the blog posts. Very busy these days.)

12. In what story did you feel you did the best job of world building? Any side-notes on it you'd like to share?

*smiles*  I just did a couple of posts over on Scribblerati about this.  The world I've spent the better part of 20 years of my life writing in is the one I've done the most (and best) world building on - Aleran.  I've gotten the cultures, lifestyles, geography, meteorology, zoology, botany, etc. taken care of for all of the continents in the world.  I know what creatures live where, what they eat, how they survive, and even which have gone extinct due to climactic shifts in the climate and terrain (my world underwent a huge cataclysm when the Elder Gods stopped their younger counterparts from destroying each other and all of the races).

Some interesting facts about Aleran...

--It's a world of islands.  I don't have huge sprawling continents like on Earth.  It was, at one time, very Earth-like.  But then the aforementioned issue between the gods happened and it became a world of island nations.

--Non-humans used to outnumber the humans.  On most continents they still do.

--The average life expectancy on the series of islands I'm putting my current WIPs in is actually a lot higher than normal because the Goddess of Death has been locked up and her demi-god son is trying to manage things for her.  It's not working out as well for him.  As a result, birth rates are lower and the population isn't as large as you'd think (because murder, illness, suicide, and accidental deaths still claim lives...it's just the dying of old age part that isn't as prevalent).

13. What's your favorite culture to write, fictional or not?

The Sindlans and the Ketsueki are my favorite.  They're also the most complex, for all that they're a fairly simplistic pair of races.  Both have astonishingly rich cultures for those who only look at them as barbarians or cursed individuals.

14. How do you map out locations, if needed? Do you have any to show us?

I've got several maps I've created over the last few years.  They're all tucked into my sketchbook, until I get them put into the Binder O' Doom*.  I don't have any up online, and probably won't until I get to the point where they're actually in the hands of a publisher and about to be published.  Because by that point I might actually be able to afford a scanner to use to get them up online.

15. Midway question! Tell us about a writer you admire, whether professional or not!

I admire so many, this isn't a fair question! Instead of naming them off, I'll give generalities here.  I admire the Indie authors I've gotten to know since - to me, at least - it takes a lot of guts to go outside the normal way of doing things.  It's even very refreshing to know that many have had some success with their endeavors with publishing their novels outside the normal methods of agent-publisher-bookstore cycle.

I admire anyone who can write a book that makes you think, feel, and dream with the characters.  Novels where I have to actually think as I go through, ones that stimulate my imagination, are my favorites.

I admire anyone who can write a book about a touchy subject and have it come out not sounding all preachy and irritating.  There are a great many "hot topics" out there, and a writer who can successfully include one or more of these topics in their books and get their opinions across subtly are masters in the art of prose - at least, as far as I'm concerned.

*The Binder O' Doom is my HUGE white three ring binder that's probably got a 5 inch width (usual size is 1-2 inches for 3 ring binders).  It contains all of my world building notes, SOME of the history, and my half assed sketches that I'm very bad at doing of the characters.

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