Category: Writing – Worldbuilding

Worldbuilding Wednesday 12/1/21: The Best of Twittersnips
xxxx(Real World Locations)

Sometimes real world locations, built by human sweat with human dollars, can be as fantastic as any of those of fantasy. Take this pyramid at the river’s edge in Memphis, Tennessee, for example. Or these imaginary, yet plausible, places below. (I really beg for someone to name their Los Angeles coffeehouse The Wrecking Brew.)   …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 11/24/21: Russian Names

  Russian-themed fantasy was the hottest thing in YA in the 2010s, of which Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha books are the best known. At least a dozen others were published following the trend, some fantasy, some contemporary, some historical. It’s hard to tell with COVID still hanging around, but the trend may not be over. Want …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 11/17/21: States of Confusion
xxxx (Heart of Dixie)

Where did the word “Dixie” as a reference to the southern United States come from? Most likely from the Mason-Dixon line, a demarcation used to separate the states where slavery was legal from those where it wasn’t. But it could also refer to a ten dollar note used in pre-Civil War New Orleans with the …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 11/10/21: The Flat Earth

  In the late 1970s and 1980s British writer Tanith Lee came out with the books that most defined her career: The Flat Earth series. These books were about an Arabian Nights never-never land of deserts, demons, innocent maidens, leering rakes, and magic. The first three,  Night’s Master, Death’s Master, and Delusion’s Master dealt with, …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 11/3/21: Russian Palaces

Russia retained a feudal type of government until well into the 20th century (before the Russian Revolution, of course) that depended on the backbreaking labor of its serfs to fund the lavish lifestyles of its ruling elite. Not only that, the Czars were considered chosen by God himself to rule, and considered sacred, which is …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 10/20/21: The Best of
xxxxTwittersnips (Fairy Tales)

Russian fairy tales have a cast of characters rarely heard above in the West. I believe the pic above is of Alkonost and Sirin, two mythical, woman-headed birds with bewitching voices. Unlike the sirens, they used their singing for good, bringing happiness to those deserving. The cave full of giant gem crystals is an unfamiliar …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 10/13/21: The Best of
xxxxTwittersnips (Local Color I)

One of the things I’ve noticed about illustrations of dragons (and many imaginary creatures in general) is how closely they resemble dogs. The charming beast above is a sleepy German Shepard through and through, in spite of the wings, long tail, and feathered goat-featured face. This is not a criticism of the artist, mind you. …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 10/6/21: Insects

In fantasy worldbuilding, insects get the short end of the (walking) stick. What’s the last imaginary one you can remember? For me, it’s the odd bread-and-butterfly of Alice in Wonderland. The intelligent insect races of science fiction are more memorable. The Bugs of Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, and the Buggers (Formics) of Orson Scott Card’s …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 9/29/21: Bodacious Bs

I am not as fond of the letter B as I am of the letter A for fictional characters. Oh, sure, it has its uses for manly types, like Byron and Bradford — think the alliterative brawny, brash, beefy. But for female characters, it implies big bosoms, bellies, and behinds in matronly names like Bessie, …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 9/22/21: The Best of Twittersnips
xxxx(Narnian Creatures)

It’s not too often that you see an illustration of Narnia where the viewpoint is looking into our world through the wardrobe, not the other way around. It also illustrates how odd this is, in a snowy forest filled with pine trees. Naming Narnian beings is fun for me, so here’s a list of all …

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