Tag Archives: Worldbuilding

#WriteTuesday – Book + Make Your Way Story Editing

Hey everyone, how’s the week been? Did you have a good Halloween? 🙂

Last week was mainly spent on editing the book.  I finished editing a third chapter and sent it to its author.  Then the first chapter came back to me, so I spent the weekend working on that (just finished those edits yesterday).

Once that was finished, I found myself with some unexpected extra time.  After reading some of The Wealthy Renter (which I picked up over the weekend – very excited to read it!), I turned my attention back to the Make Your Way story.  I’ve been wanting to go over the character’s dialogue for over a month now, but haven’t had the time (or energy to be editing more in the middle of book edits).  Going over the dialogue actually led me to a bit more worldbuilding for City of the Dead – I got stuck wondering what someone would say rather than “thank goodness.” “Thank goodness” didn’t sound right to me, coming from someone living in that particular world.  What immediately came to mind was “thank the gods,” but I hadn’t actually thought about whether or not people living in the City worship gods.  But they do keep altars for the dead, so I settled on “thank the ancestors” as what would probably be said in that case.

I did the initial edits to the story using the Game Book Authoring Tool (GBAT) file, but in the end decided to randomize all the sections and just start working off of a rich text format document instead (which is easier to search through).  I went through all 73 sections looking at dialogue; I’m not sure how well I succeeded in differentiating the characters….but there are some definite subtle differences in how they speak.  One character uses really long words and no contractions (assuming I got rid of them all properly) because she’s a lady who is extremely bookish/studious.  Another character uses more formal words, but they’re tempered with contractions because she is exhausted (and has more real world experience than her studious twin).  The minor soldier characters don’t use big words (again, assuming I successfully caught all of their dialogue).  The only character’s speech that hasn’t been changed is the avatar/player character.  I made that character purposely vague because they are the “you” in typical choose your own adventure-style books.  For that reason, I wasn’t really planning on giving them a specific style of speech, especially since the player has the choice between playing a smarter character or a stronger character (and I was not going to give different versions of dialogue depending on that choice! The story would have ballooned to double the length it is now!!)

Depending on how the rest of the week goes with the book edits, I’m hoping to go over the Make Your Way story a few more times (or at least once more really in depth); after that, I’d really like to submit it!  Wish me luck!!! 🙂

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#WriteTuesday – Sick Again :(

Not a whole lot to talk about this #WriteTuesday – I got sick AGAIN last week (I started feeling off earlier in the week, but after work on Thursday night it turned into a full-blown cold, which knocked me out of commission for the weekend). :/

But I did start thinking through an idea I had for another short story (the one I mentioned in my last post for a new market).  My plan was to use an alien species I came up with many years ago for it, so I thought that wouldn’t be to tough to plan out and start writing.  Unfortunately, the more I thought about that alien, the less sense it physically made to me; so while I wasn’t planning on it, I kind of got stuck in worldbuilding for this story idea too. :/  While aquatic, these aliens don’t live on Imezza, so I haven’t really thought about them in a long time (or properly thought through their biology).  I’d really like them to make sense to me before I actually write any stories with them.  So I spent some time over the weekend doing some research on how aquatic animals evolved; I *think* I found a way for these aliens to make sense to me.

Of course, once that’s done, I’ll need to figure out how they got themselves to space since they are aquatic!  I also need to get back to the Make Your Way story.  I still need to plan out the ending(s) then write that up. So everything is currently stuck in planning.  Well, wish me luck on all of this – hopefully I’ll be actually writing something soon!

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#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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Last #WriteMonday (It’ll Be #WriteTuesday Going Forward!)

Just to warn everyone, this is going to be the last #WriteMonday.  I was thinking about it, and since I generally work on things on Monday (and so never really have a consistent time when I post on Mondays), I’m going to move the weekly update to Tuesdays instead.  That way I can do all my writing without trying to remember to post on here simultaneously! 🙂

Fitting in with this change, I also decided to move the monthly Tuesday Book Talk to Thursdays.  So starting this month, that will now be happening on the last Thursday of the month instead of the last Tuesday.

This last week has been full of brainstorming and worldbuilding and plotting, all for the Make Your Way Story I’m working on.  As I mentioned before, the story is going to be set in City of the Dead.  After finally finishing bingeing through the Pitch Meetings on Youtube (they’re by Ryan George for Screen Rant), I started thinking a lot more about this story.  I don’t know why, but I was having a really hard time working on it, so I forced myself to go over things and see what the matter was.

My thoughts led me off in some unexpected directions: the original story I envisioned had a man looking for his betrothed, but I wasn’t really clear on how he realized she was missing.  Thinking through that, I thought it made the most sense that they separated because of an argument and he realized she was missing when he went back to apologize to her.  But the more I thought about their argument, the less sense the story made as I had originally envisioned it.

What made more sense within the story was to have the lady looking for her betrothed instead. That meant I had to change some aspects of the characters I had originally envisioned, too.  At its most basic, she was originally going to be a revenant, but now he would be instead (revenants are the soul that remains when a zombie is made – I talk a little bit about it in this post from 2015, and wrote a short story dealing with revenants and zombies for Apocalypse Madness).  Making that change led to some unexpected worldbuilding problems within City of the Dead that I had to work through (specifically whether the world’s magic is capable of affecting a revenant).  That question took an unexpectedly long time to answer (about two days!)  But that was okay, because now that I have answered it, I feel a lot more confident about this new version of the story.  And now that most of the worldbuilding is out of the way, I’ve been able to start re-plotting the story.  That has (of course) kicked up a few more worldbuilding things I need to think about, which will hopefully take a bit less time than the last one did.  But no matter how long it takes, once I’ve figured all of this out I think both the story and the setting will be much stronger!

Once I’m finished with working through the plot and the few worldbuilding kinks, I’ll get back to actually writing the story.  Unfortunately the changes I’ve made mean that most of what I had already written will be scrapped.  But that’s okay, these things happen (remember when I was working on that story for the Dark Crystal Author Quest? I wrote 5+ drafts of that story, many of which involved huge structural edits like this!) The main thing is that no matter how many drafts this takes, I end up writing the strongest story I can! 🙂

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#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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Last Weekend Writing

So last weekend was a long weekend here in Canada.  I set myself a couple of low-grade writing goals: get a post written for Sustainably North (that’s kind of a given), and write a first draft of a short story.  The Sustainably North post ended up a short rant about garbage and what to do about cat litter (I don’t have an answer to that last one – if you have any ideas, please let me know on the post!)

So that left the draft of the short story.  I knew what I wanted to do – I found a market on Duotrope that wants short stories about monsters (and not the usual ones either). With a bit of thought, I decided to write about a monster from Imezza (specifically a kraken, because why not?)  I originally started developing Imezza specifically to write short stories in it, so this seemed like an easy choice.  Unfortunately, as much as Imezza is developed, there are still gaping holes in the setting.  Which makes it very hard to stay focussed on writing in the setting right now because I keep getting sidetracked by research needs.

The main problem I was having last weekend was that I decided to focus on a character whose species hasn’t been very well developed by me to date (whoops!) And then the kraken itself started giving me grief.  Do kraken look like octopus?  Squid?  What do their eyes look like?  That last question sent me onto the internet for probably 45 minutes or so.  I now know how octopus eyes see colour.  But I never did track down what colours exactly octopus eyes come in (I ended up having to image search octopus eyes to see what colours they come in).

Despite all the research quagmires, in the end I did succeed in crafting a first draft of a story.  It’s going to need a whole lot of work, but at least it’s a start.  And in the process, I hit my writing goal for last weekend, so that’s a win in and of itself. 🙂

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Hello 2018!

Happy New Year everyone!  It’s that time of year again – time to look at the goals I set for myself last year and set new goals for this year.  Last year, my goals were:

  1. Read 40 novels.  Success!  I read forty novels, a bunch of graphic novels, and a bunch of comics!  2017 was a great year for reading!
  2. Write four polished short stories.  Yeeeah….partial success I guess?  I did write one.  But that was it.  I did start on a second one, but I discovered that Imezza isn’t in as good shape as I thought; I got a bit bogged down in worldbuilding, and the story ended up really blah as a result.
  3. Work on Tears of the King. This was nice and vague.  I worked on it a bit this year (it’s no where near being finished).  So partial success?  I don’t know if I built another third, but I did make some progress.

I apparently also set a fourth goal, which I managed to forget about (it was to spend an hour a week on writing).  😦

2017 saw me start two new RPG Maker Games (oops): Memories and a second one I haven’t actually talked about on here yet (oops, I’ll have to remedy that).  It also saw me working on a freelance project which I’m still unable to talk about, which was very exciting.  It also saw me slowly and unexpectedly move away from my second job.  So for 2018, I’m going to work on freelancing a little more than I have.

So with that in mind, here are the goals I’m going to set for 2018:

  1. Read 25 novels.  Well, novel-length books.  I know that the 40 novels from last year was my only really successful goal, but I need to back that off.  I found that 40 novels was a lot of pressure while I’m trying to accomplish other things.  I also found myself shying away from any books longer than around 300 pages, so making this goal less should help me tackle some of the longer books I’ve had for years and have ignored.
  2. Write two polished short stories.  I wrote one, so this year I will aim for two.
  3. Finish a bloody RPG! Like I said, I currently have THREE RPG Maker games on the go.  So this year, I want to get SOMETHING finished!  lol I also have to not start another RPG Maker game until I get something finished!

A couple of final notes for the upcoming year:

  • next weekend I’m going to be participating in my first ever game jam!  I’m really excited for it!  I’ll have to blog more about it. 🙂
  • I am not going to make a goal for “so much time writing” this year.  Instead, I’ve currently got one guaranteed afternoon off from work, so I’m going to try to use that time for working on things, be they writing or researching (although it’s also a time I use for other things like vet appointments, because I know it’s a time I don’t work).  Depending on how the year goes, this can change, so I’ll have to be flexible with it.

So that’s it.  Hopefully 2018 will be a good and creative year, giving me the flexibility to work on different things (and actually get some stuff finished!)

So what about you? Have you set any goals for the upcoming year? 🙂

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