Category: Writing – Worldbuilding

Worldbuilding Wednesday 1/9/19: Fantasy Fruits

To come up with some exotic fruit for a fantasy kingdom it is not necessary to look beyond this world. The strange-looking fruit above, known as a Buddha’s Hand, is a cultivar (a genetic variant encouraged by fruit growers) of the citron tree, and in the same general family as oranges and limes. It looks …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 1/2/19: Savage Queens

Lost kingdoms and hidden cities are a staple of pulp adventure fiction — and SFF! — as are their rulers, which, most of the time, are gorgeous, powerful, scantily clad women. Often they serve as foils for the male adventurers and, occasionally, romantic interests. The magazine cover above illustrates Phorenice, the ruler of Atlantis. With …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 12/26/18: Santa’s Bad Elves

  There are the cheery, upbeat elves who help Santa in his workshop, then there are those other kind. The ones no one talks about. Both came from the same roots, yet one creature was sanitized, the other morphed into Krampus and the servants of Krampus. Here are some names for them. Santa’s Bad Elves …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 12/19/18: Santa’s Elves

Hard as it is to believe, Santa Claus did not always have elves for sidekicks. That tradition came from 19th century Scandinavia and drew on the deeper pagan roots of Northern Europe. Elves, pooka, fairies, and the like were all part of a greater folklore of diminuitive, humanlike creatures that lived alongside humans, often in …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 12/12/18: Water Parks

This places looks like the stuff of fantasy, but it’s 100% real. Water parks got their start in the 1970s, 1977 to be exact, with the opening of Wet n’ Wild in Orlando, Florida.  From the beginning it boasted a lazy river and a pool with an artificial wave generator and served as the template …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 12/5/18: Atlantis

Everyone knows about Atlantis, right? In popular culture, it’s most often Grecian, a place sunk by some cataclysm to the bottom of the sea. People may or may not still live in it. Often it’s inside a dome, and just as often, the Greek-like culture is an advanced one powered by crystals with rayguns and …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 11/28/18: YA Novels

Why write a whole YA book when you can query by title alone? Feel free to nab any of these. Evocative YA Titles The First and Darkest Throne Above Clouds of Illusion A Pure Sea of Dragons Haunted Breath Godsmoke Unlike Promises of Glass The Fangling Starflame A Mortal Yet Heavenly Prince Among the Gold …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 11/21/18: Archaic Clothing

Knickerbockers, tam o’ shanters, farthingales, liripipes… who wears these things anymore? But even if we  don’t, we remember them because of their odd and lyrical names. Here’s a list of more you probably haven’t heard of (because I randomgenned them up) but will remember once you hear them. So will readers and campaigners. Use at …

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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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