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!

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How To Outline By the Seat of Your Pants — A Writer’s Path

by Stephanie O’Brien When you start to create a novel, one of the first questions you have to ask yourself is, “Should I start by creating an outline, or just fly by the seat of my pants?” Both of these options have their merits. As I noted in a previous blog post, creating an […]

via How To Outline By the Seat of Your Pants — A Writer’s Path

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

Book Review: The Mysteries of Udolpho

I’ve been finishing up some writing projects, so I’ve been a little quiet on here. However, in the midst of all of the writing, I did take some time to read a book that I’ve been meaning to read for years: The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe.

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It’s an old book, published in 1794. It’s a long pieces of work (over 600 pages) and is the book that is considered the start of the genre of Gothic literature. It’s been a long time since I read a book from the 18th century, so I was preparing myself to slowly read through the pages, digesting each sentence to make sense of the stilted, archaic language. However, I was wrong. Okay, the words “countenance,” “honor,” and “esteem” are heavily used in this book, but the book is way ahead of its time in sense of sentence and story structure. There are also numerous tears that fall and fainting spells that happen (I mean a lot), but there’s mystery, horror, psychological thrills, and romance all neatly packaged within its pages. These pages follow the story of Emily, an orphan cast into the hands of her evil guardian, Count Montoni. Hidden away in the mountains of Italy in the Castle of Udolopho, Emily is not only at the mercy of Montoni’s wrath as he sets out to claim ownership of her estates, but placed within psychological duress as she uncovers the many haunting secrets of the castle and tries in vain to reconnect with her lover, Valancourt.

It took awhile for this book to grow on me but now that I’ve finished the book, I feel lonely without it (and that’s a good sign). I haven’t read a good, old-fashioned thriller (and romance!) in awhile and this has all the twists, turns, and surprises that I would hope for in such a novel.

I also think this book grew on me because of the many references to nature found within it. Though a pioneering piece for Gothic literature, the book is technically part of the Romantic Era and Radcliffe wastes no time in detailing the awe inspiring Pyrenees, the turquoise Mediterranean, and bountiful forests that make up many of her descriptive paragraphs. Emily also has an appreciation of nature that offers her comfort and solace when in duress; nature is also something that she and her lover connect upon. In short, I find it beautiful and terribly romantic.

Radcliffe was one of the highest paid authors of her day for her books and there’s not a doubt as to why. If you’re looking for something different and something somewhat challenging to for your summer reading, check out The Mysteries of Udolopho.

Writing through Anger

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This evening, I read a rather interesting article about writing and anger. We’re often told that writing when we’re angry will result in regret (after all, our emotions are getting the better of us and we spill our thoughts and feelings in a moment of passion to another individual). However, writing when we’re angry for only the audience of ourselves is a completely different story.

Writing is perhaps on of the most therapeutic endeavors that you can participate in. If you’re angry, hurt, and dejected, it’s a way to get your feelings out of you in a constructive manner. It’s also a way to get your emotions out of you in a mindful manner. According to the article Five Steps on Mindfully Releasing Anger by Andrea Brandt, PhD, MFT, “writing down your emotions—without judging them—is one of the quickest ways to become aware of what’s going on inside you.” I can tell you that each journal that I’ve ever written in throughout my lifetime has taken all sorts of anger from me – and has left me feeling better for purging in its pages .

This post perhaps seems a little out of character for Scribbles and Scripts, but I’ve suffered a number of frustrations over the past couple of months and I’ve noticed that writing has always allowed me to release these frustrations without ruining the relationships in my life. I’ve also been enjoying practicing yoga to release some of these frustrations as well, so perhaps that’s another reason why topics on mindfulness are so interesting to me at the moment.

So I’ll sign off on this post with a homework assignment for anyone who’s reading this – next time your angry, write out your feelings. No editing allowed. Just write. You’ll feel better afterwards.

 

Works Cited

The Five Steps to Mindfully Releasing Anger

Andrea Brandt – https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mindful-anger/201405/the-five-steps-mindfully-releasing-anger