A Bit of World Building: Resources

Hello Fiction Lovers!

Today I thought I’d a little about world building and how deciding on a certain climate and landscape combined with the society’s values that live there can vastly influence influence your story, even if only in the background. I also thought that since I’ve been talking more about my current writing recently that I’d continue on that theme.

In A Cursed Blessing for nine months out of the year it is snowy and cold, the other three months have comparatively mild weather. This makes agriculture more difficult but the society is not a hunting and gathering one that follows an animal’s migration. As for the landscape there is a large forest in the south and a few smaller ones scattered throughout the country. The rest of the landscape is more hilly and the whole country is surrounded by mountains. Because, of the society’s fear of their goddess, however, they rarely cut down the trees for fuel or to make things. The cold climate has also caused them to put extra significance on fire and they’ll heat brands with it to mark themselves with symbolic symbols.

All this, I hope, creates an interesting background for my story, but it has also raised some questions that I didn’t have when I first started writing it. Issues such as what do they make their houses and furniture and writing implements out of if they don’t use wood? How do they feed themselves and what do they eat? What animals and plants can survive under such conditions? How does the climate affect the society and religion? Some of these questions I don’t have answers to yet, but I’ll need to know them to fully flesh out the world my characters are living in and make sure there are no logistical errors that will break readers’ suspension of disbelief. Of course, not all the questions always need to be answered but the big ones do such as the problem of food. Everything still has to be believable. Also, you don’t need to worry about the questions right away, but as you write and the world is created it can be good to consider them. Sometimes they can lend a whole new depth to the world and influence the plot in ways you couldn’t have imagined before exploring them.

Resources are important; survival depends upon some of them and wars can be fought over both necessary and luxury resources. Climate, landscape, and society’s values all affect both the availability of resources and the lack of them. They will affect your story, even if only in the background, so they are important to consider once you’ve made decent headway into your story or during the editing process.

Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any questions! I hope you all have a great week!

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“The Way of Kings” Book Soundtrack

Hello Fiction Lovers!

I just read this article on Fantasy Faction and I thought I’d share it with you: http://fantasy-faction.com/2017/the-kaladin-book-soundtrack-based-on-the-way-of-kings-by-brandon-sanderson-call-to-action. I’m sure many of you have heard of The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson and I thought you might want to support the kick starter to create this soundtrack based on the book. There are only three days left to become a backer and it’s all or nothing depending on if they get their funding. If you can’t become a backer I would still strongly urge you to share the project with others so more people know about this really cool project. The Fantasy Faction article is about how the project came to be and was truly inspirational.

I hope you all have a fun weekend! Please let me know if you have any questions and feel free to post your thoughts in the comments.

Book Recommendation

Hello Fiction Lovers!

This weekend I was organizing all the books I bought over the years–which made me realize all the books I still want to get in print–and came across some my old favorites. Now I’m planning on revisiting all of the interesting characters and stories they contain over the next few months. I thought I’d share what they are with you as well in case you were looking for something good to read.

The first recommendation is Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness series that gives the foundation for many of her other books. It’s about a girl, Alanna, who wants to be knight and has to pretend to be a boy to achieve that goal. I liked watching her grow up as well as the magic and battles that take place throughout the series. Pierce is very good at writing heroines and I would also recommend the other series she’s written.

The next recommendation goes to Beguilement by Lois McMaster Bujold. It’s the first in a lovely quartet composed of romance, danger, unique magic and monsters, and realistic characters. I believe it’s one of the more distinctive fantasy series I’ve read, in that it did have it’s own distinctive monsters and magic that tied in well together and made sense for the world. It doesn’t rely on preconceived expectations but draws the reader in under it’s own power. It is also one of the best fantasy romances I’ve read to date.

The third recommendation is Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson. He also creates a unique world where heroes are reborn as gods and magic is governed by color and Breath. The story involves a reluctant marriage, fear of war, living gods, and a sentient blade. Truth be told, the cover was the thing that first drew me to the book and what really made me want to read it. The cover’s simple but beautiful, and depicts the reluctant bride (so if you’re like me, you can picture her as more than a vague impression hair, hands, and body outline).

Those are the main books I really want to re-read now and I hope you’ll enjoy them as well. Feel free to post in the comments books you would like to re-read and let me know if you have any questions! I hope you have a good week!

Music Recommendation

Hello Fiction Lovers!

Today I thought I’d recommend my favorite band that I listen to while writing. The band is called Two Steps From Hell (sometimes the songs are also under Thomas Bergersen–he composes a lot of the songs) and I’ve listened to some of the songs so much that I’ll recognize them when they are played in a movie trailer. I like listening to TSFH’s songs because there always seems to be multiple songs that fit the tone of the scene I’m trying to write and the instrumentals/choir are always beautiful. You can find the songs on YouTube and iTunes.

Below I’ll list different types of scenes and the songs I like to listen to when I’m writing them. Please keep in mind though that this is just a very narrow example of what TSFH has to offer and I encourage you to go listen to their other songs as well because, chances are, you’ll find one you like just as much as I like these.

Battle Scenes: Sons of War, Moving Mountains, Strength of a Thousand Men, Black Blade

Emotional Scenes: Promise, The Ancients, My Freedom, Homecoming

Romantic Scenes: Starfall, Meant to Be, Remember Me, Undying Love

Scenes with building tension: Magnan Imus, Earth Rising, Starvation, False King

Songs by TSFH are also good at making anything you do seem epic so if you need an extra boost to do housework/homework, or want to make a board game extra dramatic I would also recommend their songs for that.

Please let me know if you have any questions or if there are other things you would like me to post about (relating to fiction and writing). If you have any music recommendations feel free to post them in the comments. I hope you all have a good week!