The Blind Men and the Elephant

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Today, I came across a folktale from India, called The Blind Man and the Elephant. It’s a story about six blind men, each with an idea of what an elephant looks like or what an elephant actually is. To make this discovery for themselves, the men decide to set out to finally discover what truly is an elephant. They end up finding an elephant, and since they are blind, the old men reach out to touch portions of the elephant, such as the ears or the trunk. They get into a fight as they try to determine which of them is actually correct in stating what an elephant is, based on the portion of the elephant their hand has touched. Only until the Rajah informs them that they have each touched a different part of the elephant and if they had only put the parts together, they would have seen the truth, do the men stop fighting and decide to trust and coexist with each other, despite differing viewpoints.

I share this story because today is World Elephant Day, a day to reflect and think about these animals that are rapidly disappearing from this earth. I also share this story as a lesson. With the occurrences of injustice and prejudice happening everyday in this world, it’s important to learn that such practices need to be quashed and that coexistence, respect, and trust, is the way that we should live our lives.

 

 

 

5 Tips to Building a Fantasy World

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I had the pleasure of meeting author Terry Ervin, a fantasy and science fiction author (check out his works here: http://www.ervin-author.com) who is an expert on creating and building fantasy worlds. I was so inspired and in awe of the presentation that he gave on how to build fantasy worlds that I started to delve into the art of creating believable, make-believe places. If you are looking to get into fantasy writing, but are not sure on how to get started or how to move forward with your project, check out the following 5 tips:

  1. Decide the time period. Will it be in the past? The future? Perhaps in an alternate reality? Setting of time and place is key to getting started in building your world.
  2. Who is your protagonist and in what viewpoint will the story be told? Deciding whether or not to tell the story in first or third person can have a big impact in how your story plays out. Think about your story and its plot points to help make a decision on the best viewpoint. Also consider writing a couple of pages of your story in different viewpoints (I find this helps me discover the story’s true voice).
  3. Make the unbelievable have a convincing explanation. Consistency and convincing details are key with magical objects, occurrences, and places. Think about the Harry Potter series – every fantastic thing in the wizarding world has an explanation that is believable to the context of the story and therefore, the reader.
  4. Please give your world rules. Everything, even magic, must abide by some law or limit.
  5. Think about your characters – the way they look, how they speak, their desires, and their fears. Fleshing out your characters is necessary for any writing genre and should not be forgotten when in the process of building a fantasy world.

 

Now get writing – magic doesn’t create itself!

Harry Potter – 20 Years of Magic

20 years since Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was published. Really? These books changed my life.

I remember the day perfectly when I read the first Harry Potter book. It was suggested to me by my grandma, who had read in a newspaper article that kids were going wild over these books. I’m not sure why she thought I would like the books out of all of my siblings, but I like to think it was fate. I was seven years old at the time and my mom took me to the local library, where I eagerly checked it out. I will say, I had never really read a chapter book at that point in my life, so I was rather intimidated at the number of pages and chapters (now I read 600+ page books – I was so naive at that age). But, I persisted and fell in love with all of the magic. I became a better reader, a better writer, and I truly wouldn’t  be the same person that I am today if Harry Potter hadn’t come magically into my life. Thank you so much for the memories, Harry.

Ninety-Nine Ways to Fail in Writing, Publishing, and Marketing — A Writer’s Path

by Dr. Kent Gustavson When it comes to writing, publishing, and marketing a book, there are many mistakes to be made (many more than 99). The #1 most important mistake NOT to make is over-investment. I’ll give a quick anecdote about that, and then give the whole list of my 99 favorite book mistakes. […]

via Ninety-Nine Ways to Fail in Writing, Publishing, and Marketing — A Writer’s Path