writing help

World Building: The People/Cultures

Greetings My Lovelies!

Sorry this post is a little late.  I’ve been dealing with a stomach issue (thank you lovely children).  I’m feeling a bit better so I figure it’s better to post late than never.  Today we’re delving into the second segment of my world building series…The People.  Now I don’t mean your characters.  When I refer to people I mean the humans in the background and the factors that create the basic foundation of your characters.  

Last week we created the countries that made up your new world (insert Little Mermaid reference) now we got to fill it and like before we have to apply a little bit of common sense.

So here are five things to keep in mind when creating the people for your new world.

How are they structured?

Do your people group themselves by families, profession, or lifestyle?  Do they have war chiefs, elders, councils, or singular rulers?  Are they lead by their religious leaders?  All societies have a structure so make sure that you have this thought out because each one will cause your people to act differently.  For example, if your people are ruled by war chiefs then that means that they value strength.  That also means that leaders can change.  How would they go about this change?  Is there a specific time to challenge the old leader or can it be done anytime?  What about lineage?  Does that come into play at all.  These are just a few questions for one way.  You don’t need to go too far into it, just get a basic understanding.

In what ways does their environment affect them?

World building is laying layer upon layer.  And here is where your work with the countries come into play.  If your country is cold and full of ice, then your people aren’t gonna wear shorts and tank tops (unless you provide a logical reason for it).  My recommendation is to use real world examples.  This will help to give your culture a more realistic feel and you can always tweak from there.  Another thing to bear in mind is how your countries interact with each other.  Some countries get along better than others.  If your countries have conflict, then why?  Are they fighting over resources?  Land?  Differences in religion or culture?  Blood feuds?

What does your culture value the most?

You could pick something from what you’ve already worked out with the land or what you’ve hashed out while planning your cultures.  But you could always choose, or not, something entirely different.  Some cultures value respect above all.   For some it’s all about advancing your family.  While some it’s all about that green.  Even different regions in your country can value different things like people in cities verses rural environments.  It could provide some fun depth or the possibility for conflict which is always entertaining.

Religion

I’m not going to delve too far down this rabbit hole because it’s a post all it’s own.  But a religion can have just as much influence on a culture as the landscape.  Even the lack of a religion can drive a people.  They might scoff at religion and strive to be logical and pursue the sciences and other areas of learning.

Outsiders

In every culture there are those who lie outside the cultural norms.  Who are these people for your culture.  Are they people who despise the ruling class?  Sexual orientation?  Genders?  Mixed ethnicity? Who are your low status people and why are they there.  There’s no culture that is all bright an shiny.  There are areas of gray or full on black.  By having at least thought about these people can add complexity to your story and add that much needed realism.

 

Well that’s all I have for now.  Like I said earlier, I’m getting over a stomach bug.  It honestly took me three days to get this post done.  I tried to work on it a little bit so I wouldn’t miss it.

If you think I missed something please comment below.  I’d love to hear your suggestions on creating a rich and complex culture.  Until next time!

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writing help

World Building Part One: The Land

Greetings My Lovelies!

 

Today is part one of my six part series on world building.  I’m supper fricking excited to get into this.  I love creating worlds and all that mess.  You would think that I play D&D because of how much I love creating new worlds, but nah I don’t.  Not that there’s anything wrong with playing D&D it’s just I don’t have anyone around me who plays so I never had the opportunity.  Any way, lets get started.  

So you’ve decided that you have to create a whole new world for your story.  That’s awesome but where do you start first?  My suggestion is the land where the story will take place.  Here are 5 things to ponder while creating your world

1. Is it one country or a whole bunch?

One country is a whole lot easier to manage than let’s say a continent.  But with a continent, you will get more diversity in your world and therefore, a world that’s more believable.  You can have multiple climates in one country (for reference check out Tamora Pierce) but you still have to apply logic.  If you decide to go the multiple country route, you don’t have to go crazy (like me) and create countries that you may not even go to.  You can always add countries later so staring out with only two or three could be more than enough to get you started.  So let’s say for the point of this post that you choose to have multiple countries.  The best thing for you to do is to tackle each country individually.  Don’t worry about how they connect, you can deal with that at the very end when you create your map of your new world.  Which leads us to the next point….

2.  What’s the topography?

What land masses make up your country.  Now bear in mind that most countries have more than one.  Does your country have mountains?  Is it a flat plane?  Are there forests?  Hills?  Cliffs?  Glaciers?  What about swamps and marshlands?  Deserts?  You can combine as many or as little of these as you want.  When using land features you should also keep in mind what other uses could the land mass be.  Sometimes they make for good boarders or even territories within the country for different cultures.  Go as wild as you like but try to stay on this side of logic, you can’t go from arctic to savanna with only a small mountain range separating it (unless you have a magical explanation).

3. Waterways

Most countries, even desert ones, have some type of water.  Water is life so it’s important to include it in some fashion.  You could have a river that cuts through your countries serving as a natural boarder.  You could even have massive lakes.  Having your country back up to the ocean is by far the easiest option.  Don’t forget to think about your farmers or work out how the water gets to the people.  Do they build wells?  Are there tributaries?  Irrigation canals?  Just having a vague thought now in the planning process can help deter a major headache later on.

4. Climate

You can’t develop a country without thinking about it’s climate.  You can have mountains in the desert that have snow and flatlands that get a fair amount of rain.  Does your world have normal seasons or is it irregular like in Westeros.  Or is it one season all the time like Narnia during the rein of the White Witch?  These factors will help you develop the cultures and peoples in your world.  People who live in harsh climates use every last scrap of whatever they get while people in milder climes can be wasteful because there’s always an abundance.  Milder climates mean easier to produce goods which can lead to some countries being wealthier than other.  Just use our own world as a guide when choosing a climate for your world.

5. Cities

You don’t have to put every possible city, town, or village on the map.  But it does help to think about the placement of a few major cities.  It’s at these places that most of your population will live in.  The first city you would place is the capital.  It doesn’t need to be in the heart of your country, but it can be.  You could even have it backing up to some of your other land masses.   I have the capital in my new book backing up to a cliff side with a drop straight to a rocky coast.  This serves as a natural safeguard for the capital and the royal family.  No hostiles can encircle the capital and they have to fight up hill to get to the ruling family.  Towns along coast lines, rivers, and before mountain ranges, all have the potential to be ports or trade cities.  If you’re going to have a class of people who rule your country, you could include some of their homes on the maps.  But if you are, maybe think about what those ruling people contribute.  They could provide lumber, so that means near woods.  Or mined minerals?  Or even crops and livestock.   Just put like a half a second thought into the places you add.

 

Well that’s all that I have for this weeks installment.  If you think I left something out or want to expand on what I talked about please comment below.  I actually, truly and honestly love getting comments.  I love connecting to my audience.

 

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book reviews

Series Review: Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

Greetings My Lovelies!

 

It’s Monday so that’s means that it’s time once again for me to do a book review.  Yea!  I had a book last week that made me want to reread one of my favorite series.  I’m actually in the middle of rereading it so I figured why not review it. 

So here’s how this works.  I rate books on a scale of coffee cups….because I love coffee.  Also there will be no spoilers in these reviews.

 

0 cups= I hated it/couldn’t finish

1 cup= did like but finished bc I’m stubborn

2 cups= meh

3 cups= Not the best but interesting enough to finish

4 cups= I really like it.  

5 cups=OMG YOU HAVE TO READ THIS

 

 

Rating:

4 Cups

 

General Overview:

These books follow Percy Jackson as he discovers his Olympian heritage and deal with the complications that come along with it.  Prophecies, monsters, and combating the embodiment of evil is a lot for a twelve year old to handle.  But at least he doesn’t have to do it alone.  Percy has some loyal and bad ass friends along the way, some of them even god like.  But all he really wants is to go to camp and have fun learning how to sword fight and fly Pegasus…you know, normal things; and spend time with his mom.

 

My Thoughts:

When I first read the first book, The Lightening Thief, I didn’t like it.  I enjoyed reading it but by the end I was like, “meh”.  When I told my friend Acree about it he urged me to keep reading.  I guess I owe him because I did and fell more in love with each book.  Yeah it can get tiring with all the drama, but that’s not really what moves the story.  The connections the characters make with those around them and within themselves are just top notch.  Plus, the chapter titles are pretty hilarious and there are some great one liners.  The energy in these books kinda fluctuates like the tides for the first three and then it kicks it up a notch for the last two.  But one of the things that I loved the most is that you have strong male and female role models, and there are different strengths.  It’s not all brawn.  You also have weak characters whose flaws are the very things that make them special.  There’s a lot of resentment for parents who abandon their kids and as someone who once felt that way about a parent, these books show kids that you are not who your parents are, be they in your life or not.   It shows them that they can find their own strengths and learn to soar as high as the heavens.

 

Reread factor:

Like I said before, I’m in the middle of rereading these books.  I reread them at least once every couple of years.  I thoroughly enjoy them now from start to finish.  I will probably have these books on my shelf for as long as I’m alive and having to replace them when they become too worn out like my Harry Potter books.

 

Want other content?  Want to get to know me on a personal level?  Follow me on my other sites by clicking the links below:

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Want to help me continue putting out content be it book reviews, writing help, or epic stories, click the link below and become a patron today!  Patrons get special goodies like sneak previews, bonus content, and opportunities not available to public.

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See ya next time!

 

Greetings My Peeps!

Out of Balance

I have finished my first year of teaching and boy did the rest of my life suffer for it.  Almost everything got pushed to the side while I tried to keep my head over water.  I had no energy to do anything, and I mean anything.  Most nights I came home and instantly went to sleep.  Now bear in mind I got back home at 3:30.  That’s crazy.  I stopped working out.  I stopped reading.  I stopped painting and I especially stopped doing anything writing related.

I felt terrible.

But now it’s summer so I have the time to catch up on the huge pile I have on the back burner.  This blog being one of them.

My third book is due to come out at the end of next month but I’ve done almost no marketing for it.  I have no idea what I’m going to do.

I need a drink and start getting my life back on track.

Until next time my peoples!

Greetings My Peeps!

Happy Friday Everyone.

Greetings and happy Friday!

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I just wanted to stop by and let y’all know whats been going on.  I just finished chapter 10 and sent another chapter packet off to my editor.  I can’t believe that I made it to this point.  I never have.  This makes me excited and freaked out all at the same time.  I know that the likelihood of my book becoming popular is slim to none, but I hope that a few people like it.  If they don’t it’s ok because I love writing and I’ll continue to write because there is no way that I can stop writing.

This year is also the first year of my garden.  I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am.  I’ve wanted to do a garden for years.  I picked up my plants yesterday, but I won’t be planting for a little while longer.  According to my neighbor, who has been farming his whole life, I shouldn’t really plant till the first week in May.  I don’t think I can wait till then but I’ll try.

I’ve also started to work on a rough outline for my next book.  The Lost Guardian is the first book in a trilogy.  I’ve already worked out the cover and the title for the next book. I know they say that you shouldn’t worry about those things till the end but if I don’t then I can’t focus on the story.  The title and cover are just as important as the story itself so I try to make them right off the bat.

I’ve also taken up embroidery again…I know, I know…but I always like to have something going on.  Plus I’m extremely old fashioned.  Any who, that’s  all for me and I hope you guys have a wonderful weekend.

Till Next Time

 

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Greetings My Peeps!

What’s Going On

Greetings everyone!  Man I have been struggling with the latest chapter of The Lost Guardian.  This is an extremely important chapter.  Not only is it the middle of the book, it’s also the point when things start to gear up.  I can’t seem to get it right.  I think I’ve rewritten it three times so far.  I hope to get it worked out soon because I need to keep on schedule if I want to complete this book by October.  I know that seems like a long way from now but as you know writing takes a long time.  I may just have to walk away from it for a few days so I can clear my head and then go back to it.  I still need to complete my cover for this book.  I have everything roughed out I just need to finalize it.

So in other news, I’m now in my last class before I earn my degree!  I couldn’t be happier!  I still have to take care of my graduation fees and set up an appointment with the school board in my area to discuss what steps I need to take to get my license and certification to start teaching.  I really hope to be in the classroom by years end so keep your fingers crossed.

I also need to start working on the quilt for my great-grandmother.  It was supposed to be done by Christmas but things got in the way so now I’m trying to finish it by her birthday which is in April.  I’ve become a bit old fashioned so I’m mixing embroidery into the quilt which does make the process longer.  Some of the material comes from an old blanket that once belonged to my great-great-grandmother.  When I get done I’ll make sure that I post a picture up so you guys can see it.

I’ve also started planing my garden for the spring. I know winter is still raging on, but since I don’t have a yard to dig up I have to use pots and planter boxes.  I’ve been dying to do a garden for years but it hasn’t worked out yet.  I tried when I lived in southern California, but the sun was too harsh and all my sprouts died.  (I cried)

So this is just a bit of what’s going on with me right now.  I haven’t really put anything up in a while so I just wanted to touch base.  Take care and see you soon.

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