Tuesday, 31 October 2017

A World of Inspiration


Yep! This is a laaaaaaate post. I had scheduled it and all because I was going to be away on an AWESOME trip to the Opera House to listen to a string quartet, as well as being part of a Mass Choir singing many songs including Mozart's Requiem (It was insane), but my post never came through apparently. *scowls* But the trip was fun, and I shall be doing a post on Thursday as per usual.

So, here is the belated post!

Last post, I was asked about my world for this novel, and, well, I love world building. Therefore you will get a post on just that!

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The first thing that I feel must be said is this; World building is not always fun to everyone. And no, it is not genetic. I know two sisters, one who loooooooooooooves world building, and the other who runs the opposite direction. I happen to love it. Then again, I love most planning with systems and creating rules, places and other fun stuff.

In Chosen by Fire, I have only planned out the country, not the full world. Namely because one doesn’t see any interaction of the country with the rest of the world, and also that the country is an island. So, no trading with other countries!

I have an unusual world, particularly for fantasy. In fact, a lot of the structure fits more clearly into dystopian. Because the land was run by magic a while before my story, the very structure of the place is symbolic, and the maps of the countries, and of the individual towns would look near the same. Here is a picture of what Jade’s town looks like…


(Sorry for it being so blurry!)

Now, for the entire country, it is also divided up into those lots. This means that in the Farm Land area in Miritain, it would be a mostly farming community.

The random thing in the middle of the picture is also quite important to the plot. In the history of Miritain, that was where the magical flames would burn; a symbol of power. As soon as one of those beacons went out, all of them would. If this happened, then the previous prosperity of the country would cease.

One of the other major things that I love about world building is the history.

As you can see from my excerpt above, I have written and planned my history of the world. Does that come into the story? Very slightly. However, this in general is a useful tool. Adding landmarks and feature of history and culture to your world makes it more believable. Think of Narnia with the Stone Table and the Lamp Post. Those are part of it’s history, and just make it more real. It had relics that have been there for a long time.

It has a past.

One problem a lot of people find when writing fantasy worlds, is that they are very cliche. They just fall back on what they know is awesome; C.S.Lewis and J.R.R.Tolkien. I love both of them, but, most people cannot re-write their worlds in such a way that I like them.

So, how do you avoid writing a new Middle Earth or Narnia?

As weird as it is, I would say start with a sketch. Sketch out your world and then draw in the divisions. What are the politics like? Who talks to who?

And above all, have fun in your world building. Go with what you can feel inside you. Make a world that suits what you need, and make it real. Write a history.

So, after all of that on the grand art of world building, maybe some Inspiration would help?

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Tell me about your world! Are you Inspired? Feel free to chat!

Thursday, 19 October 2017

The Magic of Writing


As you have probably gathered from my last post, I am in Plotting for NaNo Mode. (Trust me, that's a legitimate thing… Condition even.) So… I have another post that has a lot of cool stuff for you strange, mythical race of people who are known as writers.

You people who use magic to make worlds for at the tip of your fingers.

You people who hold that fate of countless lives in your hands.

Yes. I am talking to you.

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My main character in Chosen by Fire, Jade DeArchet, is a fire mage. So, that means she has magic.

It didn’t take too long in my planning to realise that I was in a foreign area. I hadn’t ever worked with magic systems before, so, how does one do it? I used the magical skill I had—Google. (Wow, that sounds like an ad, maybe I should go into marketing some day….)

Anyways, I hunted about and basically got one clear message; Magic has to come with a cost. Now that’s fair enough. You don’t want limitless magic and characters being super overpowered. But how can one make a magic system of costs?

There are a few ideas about the place. Y’know, if you use magic you will slowly transform into something. You could suffer nausea, fatigue. Maybe it requires a sacrifice. Maybe it is sporadic and dependent on a much greater power.

I decided to go with a chance of loss of control.

Sooooo, I had to come up with a system to have this all neatly arranged so that I could calculate how much fire magic she could use before she loses control, resulting in a bushfire. Now, this was an interesting process, so, here are some tips for anyone else considering doing something similar.

I use spreadsheets. Label one column, “Magic” the next “Cost” and then the last one “Calculating.” Then go ahead and write in the type of magic in the first and then put a number in the second. Put in numbers and then decide what your max will be before the loss of control happens. Then, while writing, just add up the numbers. Its pretty easy.

But you know what all of you magical writers? Magic is less terrifying when you get into it than it is when you’re staring at it for aaaaaages trying to pluck up the courage to start the planning. I actually really enjoyed doing my magic scheming. Admittedly, I do love that sort of stuff.

I wish you all luck and a prompt on this magical day! Have fun performing your magic while typing away!

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Any Inspiration? Any ideas on magic? Feel free to say so, and enjoy writing!

Thursday, 12 October 2017

NaNoWriMo is Coming!


Ack! Am I the only one who is shocked at how fast November is coming?

Why is November such a big deal? Well, you see, this will be my first ever NaNoWriMo.

A quick fill in for anyone who doesn’t know what NaNoWriMo is…

It’s an online event/challenge that happens in November every year. Basically, you sign up (for free) and you will aim to reach the goal of writing 50k in a month. You update your word count and have fun with other people doing the challenge by buddying up and encouraging each other.

So, that’s what I’ll be doing this November.

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Yup. First ever NaNoWriMo. So this will be a cool experience. I don’t know why this seems so much…bigger, than Camp NaNo, but it does. I mean, the last two camps I have exceeded my goal of 50k, so, this should be no different…right?

I think it has a lot to do with the name. NaNoWriMo. No ‘Camp.’ It just seems so much more foreboding. I mean, I should be fine to get to my goal, I just need to calm down.

So I have been doing plotting. (No WAY I could write unplanned.) So, I figured I’d tell you guys a bit about what I’ll be working on.

I know that a while back I said I’d be moving on to the next book of the Survivor trilogy, buuuut, that isn’t to be. My brain is going dead on the dystopian line, and when I asked Jane she suggested to do something totally different. Soooo, that is what I shall be doing!

I am definitely doing something quite different.

As in, fantasy.

From 1st person present tense.

Very different to dystopian 3rd person past tense.

I have been trying to come up with a plot, with a little bit of success. I’ve got a basic idea. And some plot twists. I’ve planned out character arcs (always exciting) and a lot about my characters.

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Chosen by Fire is a fantasy novel about a nineteen year old girl called Jade who happens to be able to control and use fire. In Miritain, there has been an uprising that destroyed magic, and people have been hunting down and killing anyone who has these magical qualities.

However, there is also a secret group who are also trying to find people with magic—not to kill them—but to get them to fulfil an ancient prophecy that will restore peace, magic and prosperity to the region. Caeden, a twenty year old street musician, is among these people.

When Jade’s family found out that she was magical after she lost control over a fire and burnt her brother Pierre, she was cast out. One day, she met Caeden who saw her for who she was. The Chosen One of the Ancient Prophecy.

He eventually convinces her to come with him on the quest to fulfill the prophecy, and on the way they meet a strange man who trains Jade in her magic and teaches Caeden hand on combat. Thusly prepared, they leave.

Then…well, the rest is pretty big spoilers. But hey, it’s still cool.

I’ve had a lot of fun preparing for this, and have even done an Inspiration prompt that is Inspired by it!

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Feeling Inspired? Are you doing NaNoWriMo? What’s your WIP? Feel free to comment, I love to talk!

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Holiday Inspiration #2 In Which I Shall Go All Writer on You


Lately, I have been writing a ton of different things. I mean, what better time to write than in the holidays? Anyways, even during the school term it was rather interesting how many ideas I was juggling.

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After Camp NaNo in July, I was writing, rewriting and butchering my first draft, trying to get it to the stage that I could allow others to read over it without hating it immensely. (Still isn’t quite there yet :D) It was a slightly less exciting and epic thing to be doing than when I was in my frantic Camp NaNo craze of being in the mindset of write,write, write. This was more trying to make it good.

Aaaaaand, if you know me, I have the attention span of a— *Stares at a bird outside the window* Um, what was I saying?

You get the picture.

So, as you can imagine, this has been a long task, and then all of these little ideas snuck into my brain. *Sighs* And, I was back to my writing. Loooots of it. All of the ideas just seemed so perfect. I was writing up more character arcs and plot lines and worlds than I think I ever have before. Then I looked at my bookmarks bar, and saw the Survivor Trilogy was still sitting there. So, I went back to going through my first book there as well, Sister. And then, I began to get sidetracked-ish.

Now I have managed to work out a system of editing, re-writing, writing, and plotting.

It is possible guys! But, my advice for all of you writers out there who are suffering with this problem is simple.

Those awesome ideas that come into your head? Write them out, as much as they Inspire you and as soon as they come. But don’t go and try to keep writing them as soon as you are stuck. The moment you don’t know what to do, stop, and go back to you WIP. Get the other things down there, and who knows? Maybe one of them will be your next WIP.

Whatever you do, don’t make your writing a chore. Don’t suffer from unexpressed ideas. Get them out and enjoy writing.

Now, it is my turn to Inspire all of you who are staring at this blankly as you currently have no WIP and want one. Or you people who need help to push through your current WIP.

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Only cliche if you make it! Any ideas? Comments? Do share! I love to hear what you have to say.