Category: Writing

Worldbuilding Wednesday 8/15/18: A Few Noble Families

Here’s something a little different, a set of randomly generated noble families (with a little tweaking) for use in a roleplaying game or as story background. I find that when these disparate elements are put together, the story or adventure may practically write itself. What would happen, for example, if Vylen Lemugia returns home and …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 8/8/18: Heraldry

  Crests of modern cities in Germany. Top row, left to right: Stuttgart, Nurnberg, Tubingen. Middle row: Atzelgift, Honigsee, Nachtsheim. Bottom row: Falkenfels, Trechtingshausen, Flogeln. The production designers for George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones TV series have done a smashup job creating a fantasy world like Medieval Europe (in spite of those ice-zombies …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 8/1/18: States of Confusion
(Mid-Atlantic)

Continuing my series of randomly generated names for fictional U.S. states that sound similar to the existing ones. This time, I’ll tackle the Mid-Atlantic states. Grand Theft Auto, from Rock Star Games, has been there before me, allowing players to be one of the bad guys stealing cars from “Aldernay” (New Jersey) and its urban …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 7/25/18: Clothing of Distinction

Making up things for characters to wear can be tedious sometimes, especially for a culture that has no earth analogue. Do we default to Medieval-normal (which wasn’t very normal at all), stick to the faux-Medieval we are most familiar with from endless movies and illustrations, or strike out on our own into new territory? Sometimes …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 7/18/18: Steampunk Jargon

  One of the things that really makes Steampunk literature, and Victorian literature in general, is the use of odd English words to describe little odds and ends that need describing, like parts of machinery, personal items of clothing, genitalia, obscure occupations, and other fluff. Charles Dickens was a pioneer of these charming names, through …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 7/11/18: Himalayan Mountaineering

Chances are, when you think of the Himalayan mountains, you see sharp, snow-capped peaks, desolate valleys, and peaceful yaks. Or, maybe this. This was my favorite ride as a teen at the Jersey Shore. At night, all lit up, it was truly spectacular. Even then, however, I knew people didn’t ski or stay at ski …

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The Dig

A few brushstrokes brought the skull to light. She dribbled some water on it to remove the caked clay. Homo denisova… the first intact cranium. Then she gasped, crabwalking back. Where the water had touched bone, skin and hair were growing. I write this flashfic in under five minutes. I’m more than a little proud …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 7/4/18: Alternate Americas

Because it’s the Fourth of July, my mind turns to other versions of the United States of America. Perhaps, if some butterfly was crushed on the dirt paths of time, this country would be the United Provinces of America. Or still part of Britain and called the United Colonies. Maybe Amerigo Vespucci’s name was never …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 6/27/18: Harry Potter Books

There’s no doubt the Harry Potter series of books is one of the world’s most popular fantasy epics, transcending age, nationality, and socioeconomic status. Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, which I reviewed here, features a similar series called Simon Snow as a plot element, Simon Snow being a boy wizard at an English boarding school for magic. …

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Fangirl [Review]

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell St. Martin’s Press, 2013 I had high hopes for Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl when I bought it, but because of disappointments with other YA books, I tempered my expectations. But it turns out I didn’t need to. I enjoyed Fangirl every bit as much as I’d hoped I would, and then some. …

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