Category: Writing

Worldbuilding Wednesday 6/20/18: Gems and Minerals

Opafire is the rarest of gems.   Gems and jewels often serve as a Macguffin in fantasy stories. Recovery of the myserious gray Arkenstone is what motivates the dwarves on their quest in Tolkien’s The Hobbit, and in his Silmarillion, the Silmarils that embody the light of the great tree. Similarly, the theft of the …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 6/13/18: Let’s Talk About Christopher

Christopher Marlowe, who was a dish.   Christopher is one of those names it’s easier to find modern times than in in the past. There’s Christopher Columbus of course, but since his fall from American grace over racism and slavery concerns, I don’t feel too comfortable giving him publicity, so Christopher Marlowe, whose picture is …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 6/6/18: Cooking with Magic

From left to right: Jesrick’s Magical Cheese Tower;  cupcake decorated with Perula’s Starry Sugar, and roast unicorn meat served at the Letchlake Solstice Festival.   Inspired by a thread on the useful AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler forums. Magic can be used for a lot of things, but rarely in a story is it mentioned for cooking… …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 5/30/18: Fantasy Villains

A good villain needs a good name.   When writing fantasy, which is a genre that must be larger than life, your villains should be larger than life, too… and that means an evocative name, something to let the reader know they are, indeed, the villain, in whatever made-up language or naming system you’re using. …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 5/23/18: Eurospy

The Cold War just got hotter. Typical poster (note the Sean Connery look-alike) for a Eurospy film.   In the early 1960s James Bond was the coolest fictional character ever. He weathered life-threatening situations with humor and aplomb, handled fisticuffs as well as martinis and expensive suits, and was always able to bed beautiful women. …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 5/16/18: Plague and Pestilence

Plague Doctor, by ChainclawofBloodClan   Many fantasies are set in a never-never-land of times gone by. Usually it’s Medieval Europe. But the Roman Empire, Bronze Age Britain, and Dynastic Egypt also get their times in the sun. All have one thing in common: the dearth of plagues. Which, admittedly, are hard to incorporate into uplifting …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 5/9/18: The Wild West

I’m going to guess this cowgirl just busted her bare-chested (but chaps-wearing) boyfriend out of a Mexican jail.   Yippee ki yay! The Western is a uniquely American form of cinema and literature taking its plot, characters, and setting from the American Old West in the years 1850 to 1900. Cowboys (and cowgirls) ride horses, …

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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda [Review]

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2015   Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda was one of the happiest books I’ve read this year. Recently released as a movie, it originally came out in 2015, earning a well-deserved place on YA must-read lists for …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 5/2/18: States of Confusion (New England)

An alternate history version of New England   Imaginary U.S. States are not as widely used in fiction as imaginary countries are, even though their pedigree is longer. Anthony Trollope created one of the first, Mickewa, for his satirical novel The American Senator in 1877, and Vladimir Nabokov the fictional state of Udana for Lolita. …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 4/26/18: Pern

BRREEeeeeeee! I’m never wearing clothes — or seatbelts — again!   Anne McCaffrey wrote a long-running series of books about the backward planet of Pern and its giant, telepathic dragons used to combat “thread” – an invasive space spore that filtered down from an adjacent orbiting body — by burning from the air with their …

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