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We are not makers of history. We are made by history – Martin Luther King, Jr.
The ancient Greeks conquered the entire known world, the ancient Romans spread their culture throughout Europe, and the ancient Chinese built monuments that have stood the test of time. Your story is set in the present day, but many of the ideologies, beliefs, and inventions sprang from civilizations that lived long ago. While these civilizations may be long gone, their lasting influence remains. Continue reading as we explore the importance of historical societies in your contemporary story and see how to weave the fabric of mystery and folklore throughout your creative project.
The ‘origin story’…Comic book powerhouses like Marvel and DC have been banking on them for decades, giving a glimpse to ‘how it all started’. But what does it mean to your new world? As far as your readers are concerned, what is the true origin of the world they’re reading about? What is the origin’s significance, or does it really even play a role at all? In this article of our World Building 101: History series, we’ll jump to the very beginning and work to bring your universe to a proper existence. Let’s discuss a few of the more common ‘origin stories’ to see which one works well for your world, and see how we can use pieces of it to enhance your reader’s immersion into your creative endeavor.
Page one, paragraph one is the first sense of existence for your new world and the characters within, right? Of course not! Your story picks up somewhere along the line, probably near the beginning, of a series of key events that change your world in some way…but it's by no means ‘the beginning.’ But how do you leverage the past while trying to write the new future? How do you come up with backgrounds when you spend all your time writing about the conflicts, struggles, and resolutions of the present? And more importantly, how much do your readers really care about what happened before page one, paragraph one? Let’s delve into a new section in our world building series, History. Learn how to come up with a compelling back story and how to make it interesting for your audience and crucial for your cast of characters.
By now you probably have several posts up on your blog and have dabbled a little in social media marketing, ecstatic over your recent ‘mention’ on Twitter. But you check back days, if not weeks, later only to discover your page views are non-existent! This article is for all of you that find this example all too common. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not a new concept, but mastering it can escape even the savviest of bloggers. Continue reading for a few tips on SEO and some of the more common pitfalls to avoid along the way.
The Nile River turned the deserts of ancient Egypt into a blossoming oasis, springing forth the first great civilization of recorded time. Similarly, the roaming buffalo herds of the Great Plains brought some of the most well-known Native American cultures to prominence. On January 24, 1848…in a small mill near central California, a man by the name of James Marshall discovers shiny metallic flakes. Over the next few years, over 300,000 eager prospectors and their families flocked to the fledgling colony in hopes of striking it rich. By 1849, the Gold Rush was on, and cities with populations in the hundreds swelled to tens of thousands. The resources available to a civilization make or break its future…and in the case of California, forever change the landscape. This article goes into detail about the types of resources used in creating a new world and how access to those resources will have a lasting impact on the nearby cultures.
The Great Wall, the Alps, the Rio Grande…what do all of these have in common? They serve as boundaries, both physical and political. Ever wonder why they built Hadrian’s Wall? Ever stop to think of what American History would look like without the Mississippi River? Boundaries come in all shapes and sizes…some natural, others man-made. But they’re critical in determining how civilizations are defined. Stop and consider for a moment that the 7th Century Chinese hadn’t begun the Great Wall? Imagine the political implications if the Mongols had invaded southern China instead of turning their attention westward. Read along as we discuss the different ways boundaries can play a pivotal role in your world, and how you can use them to define your land and your culture.
If you're like most bloggers, the thought of making a little cash for your creative efforts is very appealing. After all, who doesn't want to wake up in the morning and see several dollars fall into their pocket from a well placed advertising campaign? But not so fast! A lot of young bloggers fall into an all-to-common trap…they look to Adsense exclusively for those early income dollars. In this post, I intend to serve as a warning (having learned first hand) and to enlighten fledgling authors on the PROPER way to engage in advertising to get the gravy train rolling on their new blog.
You've read several blogs, followed a few others, and then one morning, you're sitting in your easy chair and you have an epiphany…."I can do that!" You've felt the creative juices and want to nurture the budding writer within you. But the sensations of joy and excitement are quickly diminished when you suddenly realize that you have no idea how to get started. You have the urge, you have the desire, and you want to take the leap as a blogger. You have a story to tell and feel you can pass something on to the people of the interwebs. You stare at your computer, scanning yet another blog entry and think to yourself, ‘now what?’ This article is all about how to get started on the right foot. Blog building basics for those that want to explore their new-found passion, even if you don't know that's what it is yet!
If you’ve ever had an interest in writing, you’ve likely also had a budding interest in blogging. While not entirely the same, the parallels between the two are enough that writers often go to the internet in search of ways to hone their craft. But gone are the days where bloggers would aspire to become writers. These days, blogging has carved an entirely different niche in the internet world and those that are successful, carve out an equally nice living off of it. My personal interests lie somewhere in the middle…a novice writer looking to develop an entirely new fantasy world, and a novice blogger looking to advance my skills and develop a following of readers. This series will chronicle my efforts to do both…simultaneously. You’ll see more about what I mean as you read on, so I hope you stick with me to see how this crazy plan unfolds!
The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
We recently spent a little time reviewing 4 of the more commonly seen types of terrain: plains, grassland, mountains, and desert. When building your new world, it's important to diverify your landscape and give credibility to your universe. In this section, we'll take a look at a few more common terrain types, as well as give examples of how to utilize thier special characteristics in your environment.
Hello, my name is Scott...I'm a husband, father of 3, and work full-time in IT. If that's not enough on my plate, I'm also tackling the biggest 'creative' project of my lifetime, bringing Mists of Kel Doran to life. I hope you like what I'm trying to pull off and I truly appreciate all of those who have supported this dream of mine. Here's to following your heart and having the courage to put your ideas out there for the world to enjoy :)
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