Thursday, April 24, 2014

U: A to Z Blogging Challenge


Welcome to another day in the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Find the entire list here. My theme this year is world-building. Mostly I’m asking questions that I believe need to be considered whether you creating a medieval fantasy world, a science fiction story or even a contemporary novel. The ideas I present aren’t in a particular order as I had to fit them into the alphabetical order needed. And don’t forget to visit the other blog I’m part of during the A to Z Challenge over at the IWSG. Now onto your world.
We know the universe is a big place. Infinite perhaps. But do your characters know that? Is their island kingdom the extent of their known universe? Perhaps their entire lifetime is spent in the same small village and its surrounds. Are they space travelers, off seeing new galaxies each chapter? Are they venturing across an unexplored sea or mountain, expanding their universe? How big is their world?

As you create a world for your characters, remember the possibilities are unlimited. The only thing holding back your world from being unique and engaging are the limits you place on your imagination.

So is the universe infinite or is there an end out there? Have you read or written a novel that takes place in one small area?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

T: A to Z Blogging Challenge


Welcome to another day in the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Find the entire list here. My theme this year is world-building. Mostly I’m asking questions that I believe need to be considered whether you creating a medieval fantasy world, a science fiction story or even a contemporary novel. The ideas I present aren’t in a particular order as I had to fit them into the alphabetical order needed. And don’t forget to visit the other blog I’m part of during the A to Z Challenge over at the IWSG. Now onto your world.
Time goes by, but how is it tracked in your world? By minutes? Hours? Are there clocks in your world? Do your characters judge the time by the passing of the sun or the stars? Are there weeks or months in your world? Are the months based on the phases of the moon. Is there a moon?

What kind of technology if found on your world? More advanced than ours or is indoor plumbing the epitome of technological wonders? Is interstellar travel possible or are smoke signals used to communicate? Computer communications or are a quill and bottles of ink needed to write notes?

Do people pay taxes to support the nobility or the government? Are tax collectors evil characters?

Did you pay your outrageous evil taxes last week? Can you judge the time without consulting a watch or your cell phone? Do you find most created worlds use time measurements similar to the real world?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

S: A to Z Blogging Challenge


Welcome to another day in the A to Z BloggingChallenge. Find the entire list here. My theme this year is world-building. Mostly I’m asking questions that I believe need to be considered whether you creating a medieval fantasy world, a science fiction story or even a contemporary novel. The ideas I present aren’t in a particular order as I had to fit them into the alphabetical order needed. And don’t forget to visit the other blog I’m part of during the A to Z Challenge over at the IWSG. Now onto your world.
Superstitions are part of life. You see them still in the contemporary world and they were numerous in a medieval setting. Will your characters have lucky charms, lucky weapons or unlucky days of the week? Will there be odd beliefs about old women living alone with multiple cats? With there be rituals to ward off evil?

Are your characters going to be divided among different social classes? Will there be servants and lords and ladies? Will there be a merchant class, the unskilled laborers and perhaps the old money rich? Is there every marriage or friendship between social classes?

What are the accepted social ethics and moralities of your chosen world? Are people faithful to one person in relationships? Is it acceptable to steal from a neighboring tribe? How are children and servants treated? Is slavery accepted? Do merchants cheat customers?

Do you have a lucky charm? Anything that you feel is unlucky? Do you think our contemporary world still suffers from social class divisions?

Monday, April 21, 2014

R: A to Z Blogging Challenge


Welcome to another day in the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Find the entire list here. My theme this year is world-building. Mostly I’m asking questions that I believe need to be considered whether you creating a medieval fantasy world, a science fiction story or even a contemporary novel. The ideas I present aren’t in a particular order as I had to fit them into the alphabetical order needed. And don’t forget to visit the other blog I’m part of during the A to Z Challenge over at the IWSG. Now onto your world.
Religion often plays a role in fantasy novels. Wars are fought over differences in beliefs and practices. How will you handle religion in your book? In a contemporary novel you might ignore it but in most historical or fantasy novels, the idea will intrude. I've put it at the very center of my latest fantasy novel, First Dragon. Will religious leaders be powerful, rich and possessed of supernatural abilities? Will the religion open opportunities to charlatans or attract true believers? Will sacrifices be required? Will a god walk among men? Will there be numerous gods? Places of worships? Religious tokens? Are men and women equal in the religion? Is there a history behind it?

Will humans be the only race in your story? Will there be aliens, dwarfs, elves, giants, sentient animals or humanoid types of your invention. Will the races be equal and tolerant of each other or will prejudice play a role in the tale? Will the races live together, interbreed, or will they live apart?

Do you often see religion as a source of conflict in novels? Do you like having species other than humans in your tales? Do you realize you're entering the last full week of the challenge? Hang in there.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Q: A to Z Blogging Challenge


Welcome to another day in the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Find the entire list here. My theme this year is world-building. Mostly I’m asking questions that I believe need to be considered whether you creating a medieval fantasy world, a science fiction story or even a contemporary novel. The ideas I present aren’t in a particular order as I had to fit them into the alphabetical order needed. And don’t forget to visit the other blog I’m part of during the A to Z Challenge over at the IWSG. Now onto your world.
Many a great novel or movie starts with a quest. To destroy the ring, find a cure, drive the enemy back or safe the princess or prince. Sometimes a quest is more personal such a proving adulthood or finding one's courage. Two of my Recon Marine novels involved quests, one the quest for vengeance and the other for justice. Quests are great plot starters.

What would a story with some magic in be without some quackery? Someone has to be pretending for financial gain or to grab power. It can also add some human or flesh out a secondary character.

Some authors in all genres start each chapter with quotes. Often they're quite real. I've seen The Art of War quoted in many books. Other authors will completely make up quotes, inventing an author and perhaps a history book the saying came from. I love those. You can impart your own wisdom and give a brief foretelling of what it to come in the chapter.

Ever make up your own quotes or use someone else's in a story? Do you have some amusing ideas to use for a quack? What is your favorite quest adventure?

Friday, April 18, 2014

P: A to Z Blogging Challenge


Welcome to another day in the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Find the entire list here. My theme this year is world-building. Mostly I’m asking questions that I believe need to be considered whether you creating a medieval fantasy world, a science fiction story or even a contemporary novel. The ideas I present aren’t in a particular order as I had to fit them into the alphabetical order needed. And don’t forget to visit the other blog I’m part of during the A to Z Challenge over at the IWSG. Now onto your world.
Can any of us escape politics? Even small towns and villages have their share of politics. Teenage cliques have their share of politics. How will you address them in your story? Will there be people who have the actual job of being a politician as in our societies? How will politicians come into power? Will there be warring factions? How much power will the politicians have over the military and citizens?

Are your characters goings to live in a large city? What will population centers be like? Thirty families in a village? A few million in a city? Thousands settled on a distant planet or a few hundred flying together in a spaceship or riding a wagon train to a new land? Will your world have many population centers or one large city among many smaller settlements?

Do you like city or rural settings? Do you see politics are work in your story setting? Sick of politics at work? Does today's world give us all a tendency to make politicians a bit slimy?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

O: A to Z Blogging Challenge


Welcome to another day in the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Find the entire list here. My theme this year is world-building. Mostly I’m asking questions that I believe need to be considered whether you creating a medieval fantasy world, a science fiction story or even a contemporary novel. The ideas I present aren’t in a particular order as I had to fit them into the alphabetical order needed. And don’t forget to visit the other blog I’m part of during the A to Z Challenge over at the IWSG. Now onto your world.
Omens can be useful when your world involves magic or superstition. Animals, celestial events or even the weather might foretell impending disasters or fortune. Will you invent omens or use something that occurs in reality such as eclipses or comets? In setting up the history of your story, you can lay the groundwork for the appearance of an omen.

Will sexual orientation be addressed in your book or will you ignore its existence? Will it be an issue or will all choices be accepted?

Ever see something in nature you took as a sign or omen? How long until the day when sexual orientation isn't thought about as an issue, it just is?