Category: Writing – Worldbuilding

Worldbuilding Wednesday 8/21/19: Let’s Talk About Elric

Elric of Melniboné, that is. Elric was a creation of SFF writer Michael Moorcock and made his first appearance in 1961, in a novella titled “The Dreaming City” in the pages of Science Fantasy magazine. More stories followed later in the 1960s and eventually they were compiled, with added material and edits, into a a …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 8/14/19: Trendy Scented Candles

Yankee Candles, the granddaddy of all candle companies, was founded in 1969 by New Englander Michael Kittredge, who melted Crayola crayons together to make a candle for his mom. His company grew throughout the 1970s, given a strong push in the U.S. by hippie aesthetics and the back-to-earth-movement, to become the flagship giant it is …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 8/7/19: Let’s Talk About
xxxxCleopatra

The name Cleopatra conjures up images of an exotic Egyptian beauty, an ancient dynasty, a scheming queen, a seductress. In movies she’s been played by Elizabeth Taylor, Claudette Colbert, Vivien Leigh, Joan Collins,  and Theda Bara; and to this day she remains a popular Halloween and performing persona for celebrities like Katy Perry, Heidi Klum, …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 7/31/19: Detective Novels

The gruff private eye who investigated crimes with a world-weary cynicism had his start with author Dashiell Hammett amidst the throes of Prohibition when organized crime ran amok. Paperbook books began to be widely available in the decade after, and the two combined for masterpieces of vintage kitsch like the above (actual) novel by Fredric …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 7/24/19: The Best of
xxxxTwittersnips II (Characters)

Iconic female characters for SFF are hard to find… and by iconic I mean they will be easily known by any reader with a good knowledge of the field even if rendered by disparate illustrators. Elric of Melniboné, who was in last week’s post, is one: armored albino man with a sword. Molly Millions, who …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 7/17/19: The Best of
xxxxTwittersnips I (Characters)

I’ve posted almost 1,000 randomly generated names on Twitter so far, and I thought it would be interesting to showcase my favorites. These are names up to June of 2018 that may be used for characters, either in a story or in a gaming situation.   Characters I Queen Kapranje Liegestrud, an imaginary Scandinavian monarch …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 7/10/19: Arabian Nights Tales II

It’s not only the translations of One Thousand and One Arabian Nights that have changed over the years; illustrations of the classic have changed as well. The oil painting Alnaschar’s Fortune, by William Ewart Lockhart, embodies a realistic, dramatic Victorian style, but starting in the 20th century, children’s book illustrators  showed a move towards abstraction …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 7/3/19: Arabian Nights Tales I

One Thousand and One Arabian Nights is a treasure trove of literature of the fantastic. I’ve randomized its pseudo-Arabic names and places here, and the titles of the stories themselves also make for an interesting randomization stew. They stick to a simple formula of “Tale of the Something” or “Something of Something” repeating elements such …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 6/26/19: Parts of the Brain

Sometimes, when you’re writing, you need to pull something out of your ass, or your gluteus maximus using the medical term. Perhaps it’s something for a game or cartoon. Or the anatomy of some newly discovered space or fantasy creature. Or perhaps it’s a different world with a different sort of anatomy altogether. If you …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 6/19/19: Rare Dog Breeds

In the dog world there are hundreds of different breeds, some ancient and just now gaining recognition, others created recently to fulfill some aesthetic or work demand. These puppies, for example, are Turkish Catalburuns, a rare breed that is born with two noses ** or rather one nose divided into two chambers — split nostrils …

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