Category: Writing – Worldbuilding

Worldbuilding Wednesday 11/14/18: Tarot Cards

Contrary to what you may have heard, the Tarot was not created for telling fortunes. It was instead a cousin of the regular playing card deck used throughout the Western world. Tarot cards date from 15th century Europe and are still used in the present day to play games such as the Italian Tarocchini. Note …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 11/7/18: Let’s Talk About the
xxxxKardashians

In my art classes I was taught that the way to create a good caricature, whether for a political cartoon or MAD magazine parody, was to exaggerate the two or three most distinctive features of a subject’s face, because that is what the human eye takes in first. Such a depiction is grotesque, yet instantly …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 10/31/18: Gothic Mansions

It’s Halloween. And what better way to celebrate than by visiting a spooky old mansion? Old castles, manses, and abbeys are a mainstay of Gothic literature. Manderlay, in Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, is practically its own character, along with its housekeeper. And who can forget “The Great House of Collinwood” mentioned at the beginning of …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 10/24/18: Halloween Costumes

Vintage Halloween Costumes

Thinking up a new and unique Halloween costume can be a chore. Everything seems like it’s been done before, and done better. Pizza Rat. A Thousand Points of Light. A Stayfree MiniPad. But through the magic of random generation, it’s possible to combine costume ideas in new ways and truly create one that’s unique. Unique …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 10/17/18: Let’s Talk About
xxxxSalt Lake City

Salt Lake City is a city with a most illustrious pedigree, having been settled by religious visionaries like many of the original towns of America’s East Coast. It was named in the Western tradition of naming towns after prominent landscape features, like Butte, Montana and Boulder, Colorado. Yet it also has a certain ring. The …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 10/10/18: Elements

Unique and rare elements are a staple of worldbuilding when writing SF. Star Trek has its dilithium, Black Panther’s Wakanda vibranium, and the moon of Pandora, unobtainium. These elements serve as a means to explain a technology that does not exist, or serve as a McGuffin for conflict. Looking for a new element? Here’s a …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 10/3/18: Gaulish Tribes

If you’re from Western Europe, you will know who these characters are. If you aren’t, know that they are Asterix the plucky Gaul, his big pal Obelix, and their pet dog Dogmatix, creations of French comic writer and artist René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo. They are the equivalent of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck in …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 9/26/18: Individual Dragons IV

One of the things I’ve noticed about following the AD&D universe from puberty through menopause is how the quality of the artwork has changed. The original creators of the game were geeks, not artists. Whatever art skills they had were self-taught, probably over many lonely hours. The game needed visuals for its players, being at …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 9/19/18: Individual Dragons III

The earliest edition of  Dungeons and Dragons released in the late 1970s listed only ten different types of dragons for adventurers to test themselves against. The good-aligned ones were Metallic: Copper, Brass, Bronze, Silver, and Gold, while the evil ones were Chromatic and named after colors: Black, White, Blue, Red, and Green. Each type had …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 9/12/18: Individual Dragons II

In the fantasy world, you can pretty much combine any any other animal into a creature and still call it a dragon. Dragon turtles are the terrors of AD&D maritime kingdoms. A Chinese dragon/lhasa apso hybrid featured strongly in The NeverEnding Story movie. And as I’ll continue to do on my site for September, there …

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