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.
When the blood in your veins returns to the sea, and the earth in your bones returns to the ground, perhaps then you will remember that this land does not belong to you, it is you who belong to this land.
- Indian Proverb
A lot of great sayings refer to respecting the land and ensuring that we leave it in better condition than we found it. Many American Indian cultures refer to the land as a living, breathing thing that can be spoken to and interacted with on a daily basis. When thinking of your story…what role does your land play? Innocent bystander? Unbiased mediator? Unwitting accomplice? Take a look as we explore building the terrain for your world and how it makes sense. Add credibility to your story and allow your readers to immersive themselves in the lifeblood of your environment…the land.
Those Who Are About to Write, I Salute You!
Imagine for a moment…you wake up in the morning, fix yourself a cup of coffee, and walk out to the shaded patio with your laptop to see how many copies of your latest fantasy novel have sold as you wave to your neighbors, who are rushing off to work. As you take those first few sips, you check out your creative writing blog to see that you have 700 new subscribers and over 100 new comments on your latest social media posts. If you’ve ever had a creative bone in your body, this describes the start of your dream day…but how do you get from where you are now to sitting in your bath robe (or not) and waving to your neighbors as they trip over the skateboard on another fantastic Monday morning? How do you turn your right brain into something tangible?
The Lay of the Land
If you've followed along in our series, then you know we've spent the first few articles defining the 'rules' of the world...the overall foundation for which many future decisions will be made. Are you creating a fantasy world where monsters, magic, dragons, or worse rule the land? Did you decide on a alternate reality setting where the basic principles are already in place, but some pretty important questions remain unanswered? Now that the foundation is in place, it's time to build the frame, the geography. Follow us through this multi-part series as we lay the groundwork (pun intended) for how the land itself plays a role in the making of your new world.
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 the world of 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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