World Building, Sort Of

Since I touched on world building on Friday I thought I’d write a bit more about it for today.

There’s just one small problem…

I don’t know what to say about it.

When I write something that is science fiction or strictly fantasy I tend to make things up as I go, which leads to some interesting problems, so it’s a bad habit that I should probably try to break.

When I’m writing something that is more along the lines of paranormal or urban fantasy I actually do a lot more research than I do for SF&F.

Why?

Because people can fact-check it and I don’t want to look like I was making it up as I went.

So, anyhow, there are some questions I want to tackle on this subject:

Why is world building important?

How much is too much?

How little is not enough?

But I’m not going to tackle them today. It’s way too hot and my brain has melted and my body is in process of doing the same.

I’m on night shift this week so I’ll write about them when I’m in air conditioning.

 

 

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under writing

Sunday Snippet, June 17, 2018

I’m posting from Hedge House, a nearly completed first draft. Finishing it is going to be my project for Camp NaNoWriMo next month.

Picking up from last week — Cara was awakened by a phone call, even though her phone’s volume was off.

 

Her voice was as shaky as her hands, part of her mind wondering if her grandmother would sound the same as she did in her dreams.

But it wasn’t a woman’s voice that replied.

“Cara Hawthorne?”

“Yes.” She sat up, her hand tightening on the phone.

“You probably don’t remember me, but my name is Jacob Wylde. I was a friend of your grandmother’s.”

Jacob Wylde. He had lived in the groundskeeper’s house and had always had time for the endless questions of a curious child. She had helped him – he had helped her – plant a flower garden every year. Marigolds and petunias.

“Miss Hawthorne?”

His voice pulled her out of the near trance of the memory.

 

Tentative Blurb:

When Cara Hawthorne returns to the childhood home she had been torn away from twenty years earlier, she thinks it will be to do nothing more than settle her grandmother’s estate and return to her job as a junior lawyer at a prestigious law firm in Tulsa.

But every nook and cranny of the house and gardens unearths long-buried memories, and when the town’s mayor sets his sights on her and the property she finds herself caught up in a centuries old battle with powers she has only barely begun to understand.

4 Comments

Filed under writing

Rainbow Snippet for 6-16-2018

rainbow logo 1

Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, bloggers, and readers to gather once a week and share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).   Check out all the other awesome snippets by clicking on the picture above.

Looks like I’ll be posting from Book Five of the Academy of the Accord for a while. It’s a fantasy series that I have been (and will be) working on for forever.

A bit of background on the characters in this snippet for those new to the series.

Kordelm and Wellhym are warriors, captains at the Academy, and lovers.

Draethlen is 10 years old, and is a new cadet at the academy. Marsden (the commander of the garrison at the academy) rescued him from an orphanage where he was sexually abused by the headmaster.

(This book is my current edition of editing hell, so… squint.)

Picking up from last week.

“Some men,” Wellhym said, choosing his words carefully, “love women. And there is nothing wrong with that.” Draethlen nodded, and he went on. “And some men love other men. And there is nothing wrong with that, either.” Draethlen’s breath was coming faster as fear mounted. “But,” Wellhym continued, “what is wrong, is for someone to force themselves on another, male or female, who is an unwilling partner.” Suddenly Draethlen found himself being held by Wellhym, surrounded by a pair of powerful arms that made him feel somehow safe. “What he did to you wasn’t love, it was hate.”

“Why?” Draethlen asked, his voice muffled by the man’s chest. “Why did he hate me?”

“He didn’t hate you, Drae, he hated himself. He just took it out on you because you were smaller and weaker than he was and by hurting you he didn’t have to hurt himself.”

“What if, what if I really do like men like they said I did?”

“Well, then, you love men instead of women, that’s all.” Wellhym’s voice was gentle and matter of fact. He pulled back a bit to look Draethlen in the eye. “Just promise me one thing, Draethlen. Whoever you love, do it gently.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Comments

Filed under writing

June Halfway Progress

I’ll be working night shift tonight but have been on evening shift this week so no editing got done other than some work on the outline and world building for Hedge House. (And June is half over already!)

Wait. What? World-building? Isn’t Hedge House set in our world?

Well…yes and no.

I mean, yes, it’s set in our world (with a few changes to reality) but the town and businesses are all fictitious and have you ever tried to build a town from scratch?

You need streets and businesses and services and they all need names and let’s not forget about the people who live there.

And events and festivals – all those things that make a town… a town instead of a collection of houses and businesses.

Seriously, just stop for a minute and start thinking about the things in your town. And start making a list. It’s… overwhelming. (And I love lists!)

And while I may not need all of this for the book, I need to know it, just in case, especially since I need to fill in some paranormal events in the rewrite and having the town all set in my head gives me ideas. (Yes, I am creating a back story for the town and plan to exploit it. I’m an author: exploiting back stories is what I do.)

I’m more or less basing the town on my hometown (kind of combined with where I live now) just so I have some sort of starting point and an idea of what all is needed. My list already has over fifty items on it and is still growing. (And between the two towns they have a population of less than five thousand; I’d hate to have to create a large city!)

So, that’s what I’ve been up to this week. Just a couple more weeks until Camp NaNoWriMo and I’m a couple months away from being ready.

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under writing

Wednesday Words #181(6/13/2018)

Welcome to Wednesday Words!  Every Wednesday I will post some sort of prompt for a flash fiction piece.  The prompt will go live just after midnight Eastern time.

The prompt might be a picture, or it might be a list of things to include in a story, or maybe a phrase or a question or something from a “news of the weird” type thing, or a… who knows?

After that, it’s up to you.  But if you do use the prompt to write a bit of flash fiction (say, 500 words or so) I’d love to see what you came up with, so comment below with a link to where it is on your blog (or on WattPad or wherever).

(And a pingback to the post here where you found the prompt would be appreciated but isn’t necessary.)

Oh, and this isn’t a contest or anything.  It’s just a (hopefully) fun thing for all concerned.

And, hey, if it inspires more than 500 or so words, run with it!

This week’s prompt:

a moonless night
a mysterious package
a lightning bolt

And, as always, I’d love to see what you come up with!

 

2 Comments

Filed under writing

Whyyyyyyyy?

The month is a third over and I haven’t touched the edits of Book 5. Why do I do this to myself? (Of course, I have a very good reason for not touching it – it’s a mess and I’m avoiding dealing with it.)

And then this afternoon, while trying to mentally sort out the opening sequence (yes, it is still giving me trouble!) and telling myself for the umpteen thousandth time that I really need to draw a map, an idea wandered in, plopped itself down, and said, “Make me happen.”

That wouldn’t be so bad (it’s a good idea, even a great one) but it doesn’t belong in this book. (It does belong to the series, though. I’m just not quite sure where.)

Why? *sob* Why me?

I have scribbled the idea down and now I just have to figure out where it goes. Some of it probably goes in Book 4 but I have no idea where the second half of it goes, but it needs to be before Book 8.

And now I have a headache.

I did make some progress (sort of) on the outline for next month. I need to make the changes in the Word doc and print it out again before I do too much more because it’s getting to the point that I won’t be able to tell what’s what if I don’t. (I ended up color coding the current print out.)

I’m also thinking I should maybe go get the current incomplete manuscript printed out so I can insert stuff where it belongs (and take out stuff that’s being changed) before it gets any more convoluted. That just might happen this Friday.

So, I’m working on stuff. And thinking about stuff.

If only it was the right stuff…

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under writing

Sunday Snippet, June 10, 2018

I’m posting from Hedge House, a nearly completed first draft. Finishing it is going to be my project for Camp NaNoWriMo next month. I’m not quite sure whether to classify it as paranormal or urban fantasy; the two of them tend to blur together a lot for me.

Why hadn’t she turned off the volume on her phone before she went to bed?

Cara fumbled for it, the fog of sleep clearing enough that she could see that the sound was off, and yet the phone was definitely ringing. The number was one she recognized, one she had almost called many times, always changing her mind at the last minute before hitting dial.

Even as a shaky finger pressed the screen to answer the call part of her mind wondered if the letter had had time to reach her yet.

“Hello?”

Her voice was as shaky as her hands, part of her mind wondering if her grandmother would sound the same as she did in her dreams.

But it wasn’t a woman’s voice that replied.

 

Tentative blurb. (Gawd, but I hate writing blurbs!)

When Cara Hawthorne returns to the childhood home she had been torn away from twenty years earlier, she thinks it will be to do nothing more than settle her grandmother’s estate and return to her job as a junior lawyer at a prestigious law firm in Tulsa.

But every nook and cranny of the house and gardens unearths long-buried memories, and when the town’s mayor sets his sights on her and the property she finds herself caught up in a centuries old battle with powers she has only barely begun to understand.

 

Find more great reading
at the Sunday Snippet group.

6 Comments

Filed under writing

Rainbow Snippet for 6-9-2018

rainbow logo 1

Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, bloggers, and readers to gather once a week and share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).   Check out all the other awesome snippets by clicking on the picture above.

Looks like I’ll be posting from Book Five of the Academy of the Accord for a while. It’s a fantasy series that I have been (and will be) working on for forever.

A bit of background on the characters in this snippet for those new to the series.

Kordelm and Wellhym are warriors, captains at the Academy, and lovers.

Draethlen is 10 years old, and is a new cadet at the academy. Marsden (the commander of the garrison at the academy) rescued him from an orphanage where he was sexually abused by the headmaster.

(This book is my current edition of editing hell, so… squint.)

Skipping ahead some from last week. Kordelm and Wellhym have given Draethlen a sword lesson and a demonstration in hand-to-hand combat that ended with the two of them in a wrestling match) and they are now heading for the bathhouse. Draethlen is frightened about undressing.

Wordlessly, Draethlen nodded and slowly unbuckled his sword belt, adding it to the shelves with the other weapons; as he sat down to take off his boots it was all he could do not to shake. 

“Drae, listen to me.” He looked up to find Wellhym kneeling in front him so that their eyes were level. “Marsden is going to kill me for telling you this, but he filled us in a bit on what happened to you, on what the Headmaster made you do.”

Draethlen felt waves of shame break over him and he looked down.

“No, Drae, look at me.”

Startled by the unexpected tone of command in Wellhym’s voice, Draethlen looked up.

“What he did to you was wrong. But it was his wrong, not yours. Do you understand that?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 Comments

Filed under writing

The Glamorous Life of a Writer

It’s been… a week.

I worked Monday, was off Tuesday (and was surprisingly productive).

I was supposed to work on Wednesday but woke up about 7:30 in the morning with a pulse of 165, bilateral jaw pain, and a heavy feeling in my chest. It went away and since I’d only been in bed for about four hours I went back to sleep. (I’ve had these symptoms before so wasn’t too worried.)

So a couple hours later the dogs (who think that I am the only two legged member of the household who can properly open a door) got me up to let them out. I still wasn’t feeling right, but, stubborn person that I am, I ignored it for a while and got ready for work.

But since I was still feeling light-headed and “off” I left early and detoured to the Emergency Room, thinking they’d pat me on the head and tell me I’m fine and come back when it’s actually happening next time.

Nope.

They plopped my ass into a wheelchair (never mind that I drove myself there, apparently I was now unable to walk) and then into a bed where I was hooked up to an EKG and then a monitor, and then was sent for a chest x-ray.

After much stabbing (blood draw, two tries for an IV), and a CT scan, it was determined that all the cardiac tests were normal, it looks like I’m getting my third round of bronchitis for the year (this is getting really old!), and there were no blood clots in my lungs.

Diagnosis?

Probably SVT (Supra Ventricular Tachycardia). Not life-threatening, not heart-damaging, so they sent me home with orders to follow up with my primary care physician in three to five days and to not do anything too strenuous.

Anyhow…

I came home, changed clothes, and began a serious hunt for my thumb drive that I could have sworn was on my computer hutch.

It wasn’t.

It also wasn’t downstairs with the stuff I dump from my pockets when I get home from work. (Never ask a nurse what’s in her pockets.)

(This is the thumb drive that has the latest version of edits of Book Five. Losing it would probably make me cry. A lot.)

I had a sickening feeling that it might have fallen into the garbage bag by my computer hutch so I got a second bag and began transferring garbage from one bag to the other.

Ah, the glamorous life of a writer!

I found it, though.

Anyhow, I was still feeling “not right” the next morning so called off again. (My boss said the whole department is falling apart this week.)

Symptoms eased up in the afternoon so, since I don’t consider painting to be an overly strenuous activity, I painted the second side of a lattice board panel and three 1×6 plank (8, 10, and 12 feet).

This morning I cut the grass, got the planks and panel nailed up, and planted a yellow rose bush that’s been on my back porch for a month. Oh, and did laundry.

Writing-wise I haven’t done too much (other than a panicked search through garbage for my thumb drive). I have done some work on pulling notes from the manuscript and pasting them into the outline doc so I can work on the outline for Camp next month. I’ll be saving it onto my rescued thumb drive before I go to work tonight. (I created my project and opened a cabin, too, so other than the outline I’m all ready to go.)

And how was your week?

 

1 Comment

Filed under writing

Wednesday Words #180(6/6/2018)

Welcome to Wednesday Words!  Every Wednesday I will post some sort of prompt for a flash fiction piece.  The prompt will go live just after midnight Eastern time.

The prompt might be a picture, or it might be a list of things to include in a story, or maybe a phrase or a question or something from a “news of the weird” type thing, or a… who knows?

After that, it’s up to you.  But if you do use the prompt to write a bit of flash fiction (say, 500 words or so) I’d love to see what you came up with, so comment below with a link to where it is on your blog (or on WattPad or wherever).

(And a pingback to the post here where you found the prompt would be appreciated but isn’t necessary.)

Oh, and this isn’t a contest or anything.  It’s just a (hopefully) fun thing for all concerned.

And, hey, if it inspires more than 500 or so words, run with it!

This week’s prompt:

yarn
pride
a book

And, as always, I’d love to see what you come up with!

 

1 Comment

Filed under writing