Category: Writing – Worldbuilding

Worldbuilding Wednesday 12/4/19: Birth Signs

One of the perks of worldbuilding is creating a zodiac, or set of birth signs, for your particular setting. The Western Zodiac* is the most familiar model and is named for the path the sun, moon, and planets take through the constellations on their journey through the sky. The constellation the sun is in when …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 11/27/19: Let’s Talk About
xxxxAphrodite

In Greek mythology Aphrodite was the goddess of love, but she had a surprisingly macabre beginning. Legend says she was born of the sea-spume cast up on shore after the Greek god Cronus cut off his father Uranus’s genitals and tossed them into the waves. Also strangely for a goddess of love, her own lovers …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 11/20/19: Minor Magical Items

Some magical items are very useful to the recipient. Some are cursed, or useless. But more often than not they have a minor kind of magic, helpful in a certain situation. Here are some of those items.   Minor and Mundane Magical Items The Wizard Kift’s Small Dirt-kicking Satyr: A diminuitive statue of a satyr …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 11/13/19: Steampunk Characters

Steampunk as a genre got its start with The Difference Engine and The Diamond Age, both set in a alternate world Victorian England. So, it bears to follow that Steampunk characters have English language names that were popular during that time. There are no hippy names like Rainbow or Phoenix in Steampunkland, and neither are …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 11/6/19: Pumpkin Cuisine

In the past few years, the American consumer knows that Autumn is here by the number of pumpkin-flavored food items that become available. Starbucks has led the charge with its pumpkin-flavored lattes and now (delicious, trust me) pumpkin frappucinos. There are also pumpkin doughnuts, pumpkin cereal, and pumpkin M&Ms.  But all this obscures the true …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 10/30/19: Witches!

Witches are a staple of fantasy and horror fiction. In their broad definition, they mean any kind of magic-using female. But for this list I’m going to use a more narrow definition: the Halloween type of witch, evil, cackling, out to do no good. The kind that brews potions in a big black cauldron and …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 10/23/19: Torture Devices

Medieval England came up with more than its share of punishment devices. Take the Pear of Anguish pictured above. It’s a speculum, basically, with an extendable pointy thing in the middle which may or may not have been spring-shot. It was inserted in any of the victim’s orifices and splayed them open. The spike then …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 10/16/19: Elfquest

Elfquest, created by Wendy and Richard Pini, exploded onto the publishing scene in the early 1980s. A graphic novel series about, basically, hippy Native American elves who ride wolves, it took the comic world and SF fandom by storm, kick-starting the indie comic movement while also growing out of the earlier adult comic movement of …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 10/9/19: Apple Varieties

As I discovered when I read Rowan Jacobsen’s Apples of Uncommon Character, a name can make or break an apple type. Heirloom apples were commonly named after who discovered or propagated them or where they were discovered. Such as Ben Davis, McIntosh, and Rome, which came not from Italy but the little town of Rome, Ohio. …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 10/2/19: Roller Coasters

The first roller coasters were not called roller coasters at all. They were known as Russian Mountains and were created in Portugal, not Russia, from mounds of ice piled up by Russian refugees from wars of Ivan the Terrible in the 1600s.  To this day, in Spanish-speaking countries, roller coasters are still known as montaña …

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