Category Archives: City of the Dead

These are all the posts that deal with my City of the Dead setting.

Some of the posts that are labelled with this category only talk about it in the comments.

#WriteTuesday – Working on City of the Dead

Last week I actually did sit down and think through a couple of the City of the Dead worldbuilding kinks I’ve been putting off for two weeks!  I’ve been needing to properly think through some of the fantastic ideas my brother gave me about the setting when I told him what I was working on.  At the time I was trying to puzzle through whether the undead need to sleep.  My brother and I discussed what the different undead within City of the Dead are like and as I mentioned before, he made some suggestions about the undead that were fantastic but had huge repercussions for the entire setting if I decided to use them.  Having mulled them over for a few weeks, I finally examined what those suggestions would mean in practical terms last Tuesday night; in the end I decided to use them (I kind of thought I would because they really were fantastic ideas!)

Of course, all of this led to more questions I needed to answer about different kinds of undead.  I continued working on worldbuilding City of the Dead for a few days until I felt I had sufficiently found answers to my outstanding questions.  Then I finally turned back to thinking about the actual story for the Make Your Way anthology.  My first order of business was figuring out how all of the new worldbuilding changes impacted the characters.  Once I’ve got all of that figured out, I will be able to get back to actually writing!

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Filed under #WriteTuesday, City of the Dead, Worldbuilding, Writing

#WriteTuesday – Taking Some Me Time

This week I’m trying to slow life down a bit to get caught up with things that I’ve been putting off.  To that end, on Sunday I finally uploaded the pictures I took from the second day of ThunderCon to Flickr (they’re in this album), as well as all the pictures I’ve taken with my phone over the last few months.  You can find all of my pictures on my Flickr photostream. 🙂

While going through my pictures (specifically the ThunderCon ones), I was a bit sad that some of them really didn’t work out.  I’m hoping to be able to work on taking better pictures, specifically of people in low light settings, so if I’m taking pictures for them again next year my pictures will be better in the future.  That being said, I still got some fantastic shots (especially of the Fire Eater, but he was outside so I think that helped a lot!)

Along with slowing down a bit, I’m also trying to take this week to kind of reset myself both mentally and physically.  Over the weekend I was eating a ton of pizza (as well as just way too much on Saturday night at a Christmas party).  So today I went to buy some mandarin oranges (they’re my favourite holiday treat!) and some ingredients I need for some no bake energy bites that are great to snack on.  If you follow me on Twitter you may have also seen a few Tweets I’ve sent to  – I signed up for her 30 Day Challenge, which sends you a 15 minute workout every day for 30 days.  I’ve felt super sedentary over the last few months, so I’m hoping to be a bit more active and healthier with her help.  So far her workouts have been pretty great!

On the writing side of things, this week has been rather quiet.  I went for coffee with my brother last Tuesday and mentioned the worldbuilding kinks I’ve been working through with City of the Dead.  As we were talking, he gave me some fantastic ideas, so now I need to see how well they actually work with the setting.  Unfortunately these ideas may have some far reaching consequences for both the setting and the specific story I’m working on for the Make Your Way anthology , so that’s set the story back a bit.  But hopefully I’ll be able to work through everything and be back to writing soon!

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Filed under #WriteTuesday, City of the Dead, Conferences, Photography, Worldbuilding, Writing

#WriteMonday – Mostly Worldbuilding

So this weekend I managed to actually work a bit on the story I started for the Make Your Way anthology.  I had a really hard time sitting down with it for some reason, but last night I finally started thinking through the characters a little bit.  I guess the problem was that I knew I needed to do some worldbuilding in order to properly think through my characters.  But once I started I ended up on a roll!

One oversight that I made with City of the Dead was that I failed to come up with naming conventions for the world.  I’ve got rough naming conventions for pretty much all the other worlds I’ve come up with because I want to make sure characters from different settings don’t have too similar-sounding names.  So last night I sat down and thought through that; from there I moved on to thinking about the individual characters a little more.  Thinking through everything also made me realize that lands and titles in City of the Dead move through matrilinear lines.  This is a little thing, but it is pretty obvious because City of the Dead is ruled primarily by the Queen (she has a King, but he is in charge of security and military matters while she is the one who does the actual ruling).

I came up with my character motivations as well.  I think I’ve figured out how they think (and why things unfold the way they do).  Last night I was thinking they were an aristocratic family, but after sleeping on it I’m thinking they are not.  While I liked the idea of them being aristocrats (especially because it explains where the family’s father is), I’d then have to figure out either why they don’t have servants or why the servants saw and heard nothing.  Plus having servants in the picture may pose a problem for keeping the character count down (which I want to do because this is going to be a short story).  If they aren’t an aristocratic family, and so don’t have servants, all of these problems become nonexistent.

Most of the work I did was yesterday, but I did find names for the characters today.  I’m planning on doing some more work on things tomorrow afternoon, too.  After that I’ll probably have to turn my attention back to Sustainably North and getting a blog post ready for next week.  Thinking of Sustainably North, today I talked about drinking straws, if you’re interested in reading it. 🙂

I hope everyone has a good and productive week.  🙂

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Filed under #WriteTuesday, City of the Dead, Short Story, Worldbuilding, Writing

#WriteFriday – November 27th

I actually did some writing on a Friday!

This week has been so full of writing, it’s kind of ridiculous!  I wrote a stupid amount last weekend.  I think it was almost 5000 words before midnight, then another almost 5000 after midnight.  I started Saturday about 13,000 words behind, and ended Sunday only about 5000 words behind.  And as of Thursday, I ended the day with 43,399 words written; the target for the day was 43,333.  And yesterday I was about 1000 words ahead of target.  Seriously, check out these stats, it’s ridiculous!

So what did I write this last week?  As I already mentioned, I finished the Grief Project draft.  Then I went on to write a rough draft of a story for a friend.  His dog, who was rather old, wasn’t doing so well and my friend thought he’d have to put him down.  I don’t know if I’ll be able to give him this story, but it was written for him.  Well, I definitely won’t be able to give it to him as it is because it’s a very rough draft.  I set it in City of the Dead because that seemed appropriate.

After that, I really had to move away from stories about grief and pets.  Another friend told me Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void was out.  He started talking to me awkwardly about it, but didn’t want to spoil anything so I decided I had to go play it.  With my head firmly in science fiction mode, I turned away from Faeriia and another untitled world (I’m calling it the Centaur World right now.  It’s the world the screenplay I started for Script Frenzy takes place in) and started working on a science fiction setting instead.  This was helped by me rewatching Firefly as well.  I wrote down a random scene I’ve had in my head, which I have to admit, writing story makes the words go faster than working on world building stuff.  From there I decided to write another story for Apocalypse Madness (it’s set on Faeriia and called “Scourge of the Seas“).  And then I decided to write this blog post as part of the word count because I was just rambling otherwise.

I have to admit, writing 50,000 words of mostly world building is really, really hard to do.  Around the point where I started writing more stories (so I’m talking “Scourge of the Seas” and the other scene), I felt like there was no more world building I could do.  I know there are lots of holes in the settings that I’ll need to think through.  But right now I’m sitting at the end of an 80+ page document that’s basically just a big blob of text.  I tried to make notes and comments on the side of things that need doing.  But I know the way that I work, and right now I need to print out this document and go through it, organizing all the world building bits into their own documents to actually see exactly what I have and what I’m missing.  So here I am now, sitting with less than 3500 words to go to win, and I don’t honestly have anything in particular to write about (which is why I decided to write this blog post there, even though it sort of feels like cheating).  The sheer amount of world building stuff I’ve done this NaNoWriMo is awesome – I’ve got one world up to the point where I can easily start writing stories in it, even if it’s missing things, and two more (well, one world and one “setting”) in the works.  I’m super glad to be fixing some of the issues I had with my story ideas (namely the problem that almost all of them were stuck in world building).  But it’s super hard to remember everything that I’ve done these last few weeks (especially when I’m typing like a maniac to get caught up and jumping from setting to setting as it strikes my fancy).  I definitely think, if I ever decide to do NaNoWriMo again, I’m going to write a novel rather than another writing blob.

So apologies to everyone.  I keep saying I’m going to get caught up with your blogs, but realistically that’s not going to happen until after NaNoWriMo is over in a few days.  So wish me luck as I finish off the remaining 3000 or so words I have to write, and I’ll talk to you after the 1st!

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Filed under #WriteTuesday, Apocalypse Madness, City of the Dead, Faeriia, NaNoWriMo, Script Frenzy, Short Story, Werewolves etc, Worldbuilding, Writing

#WriteFriday – July 17th

It’s summertime, so I’m not going to lie – I didn’t get any writing done this Friday. But that was okay – on Wednesday, my brother and I went on our own sort of writing retreat at a provincial park.  I admit, I didn’t spend the entire time writing.  We wandered around for a bit, I went swimming, and ended up reading for a bit (in case you’re wondering, I’m reading The Martian, which is really awesome!)  But I still managed to write a few more NPC’s for my (still untitled) StoryNexus game project.

Then on Saturday, I was hanging out with my brother for a bit again.  I was originally planning on staying home, but it quickly became apparent that if I did, I was going to waste the night playing Hearthstone.  So I went to his place.  Once again, I spent more time reading (because The Martian really is that awesome), but I did get a bit more writing done.  I figured out the name for one of my NPC’s (I wanted a gender-neutral name, and wasn’t able to come up with anything I liked on Wednesday when I didn’t have the help of my laptop).  And then I also planned out what I would be doing next (which is going to be fleshing out some of the stories a bit more before building more NPCs – I know I’ll need a few more, but I’m not quite sure how many yet).  So hopefully I’ll get that stuff figured out this week!

Oh yeah, and my brother and I came up with some ideas for Apocalypse Madness.  I realized that the month’s already halfway over, so I need to get writing something for that blog, too!

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Filed under Apocalypse Madness, City of the Dead, Game Development, StoryNexus, Untitled StoryNexus Project, Writing

#WriteFriday – July 9th

It’s about time I got back on track with my #Write Fridays.  So I ended up working more on my still untitled StoryNexus game today.   I decided to work on mapping out the island a bit more.  I wanted a baseline for what the island looked like prior to the events of the game (when the population exploded).  To that end, I figured out what a reasonable population would have been on the island.  It’s an experimental farming facility, which is why it is small but still centred around food production.  Much of the world is automated, but thanks to magic rather than technology.  So with that in mind, the population of the island can easily be a bit smaller than it would otherwise have been.

I also had to figure out what kinds of buildings would be on the island in addition to the Tower and the homes of people.  But once that was done, I made a rough map of what the city (or town, as it probably more accurately is) would look like.  Here’s what I ended up with:Korm Village

Of course, I only remembered the basic shape of the island.  What I drew does not work perfectly with the island map, so I’ll have to redo it (if I need a more accurate layout).  But at this point, this map is good enough.  The Tower is once again in the middle.  The bottom stuff is the airfield, which is attached to both the Terminal and what I have termed the Menagerie (that’s where the majority of the island’s monsters are kept – with monsters being pretty much the equivalent of machines in this setting).  In the town, most of the buildings are apartment buildings that are three floors high, housing four people or families per floor.  By the docks are some warehouses; in between those are the marketplace, which is mostly made up of stalls.  I thought that a European-style marketplace made the most sense for the island (and the setting in general), rather than North American-style big stores.  There’s a darker, bigger square just below the marketplace, which is the police/hospital/fire building.  The island doesn’t have a lot of dwellings and people, so I thought it made sense to have everything in one central location.  A few of the buildings are also things like a bakery (or two), a few restaurants, and a tailor.

So there we go.  It was a successful #WriteFriday where I finally mapped out the town on Korm.  🙂

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Filed under #WriteTuesday, City of the Dead, Game Development, StoryNexus, Untitled StoryNexus Project, Worldbuilding, Writing

No #WriteFriday June 12th

It’s birthday weekend!  I actually agonized on whether or not to hold to the #WriteFriday tradition, but in the end decided not to: I had too much stuff to do on Friday and chose not to write.

But that was okay, because I made up for it by writing a quick microfiction for Apocalypse Madness today!

I ended up looking through the older quotes, in particular the ones from March-August 2011 which did not have any stories written for them.  I found the June 2011 quote, which was from the Magic card Zombie Scavengers: “Pick a shell upon my shore and put it to your ear. That sound isn’t the sea, but the whispers of the fallen.” Of course, this screamed a City of the Dead story to me; I quickly came up with the idea for “Crushing the Rebellion,” which I do admit is rather similar in ways to last month’s “A Bit of a Waste.”  Even though it’s similar, it’s managed to suggest another story and more characters for the world, which is awesome – that means that City of the Dead has become more of a living setting, similar to Imezza (even though that wasn’t the original goal with it).

That’s all the time I have for writing today though.  I’m hoping that next week I’ll have more time and can get back to working on the StoryNexus Project. 🙂

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Filed under #WriteTuesday, Apocalypse Madness, City of the Dead, Writing