Sunday, April 25, 2010

Day 4.5 – Seekretya - More About Scars

I've been thinking (and I haven't gotten a chance to do the map yet so I'm stalling as well).

As written the magical items, animals and people were all FORCED into Seekretya. I don't like that and it doesn't really match the MOOD. It is somewhat allegorical of "Indian Reservations" and I don't want that feel at all.

A better way to look at the World Scars is that the Ley lines were affected. This affected the usefulness of magical items and changed the power base. True this was caused by humans, but humans did not corral, transport and imprison the magical races. There were no Nazi death trains, slave ships or Trails of Tears. The magical races followed the magic to Seekretya. They are more akin to humans going to the new world to find new wealth and opportunities.

I think the magical animals both followed the Ley lines and were brought by the magical races. The magical artifacts as well, both followed the magic and were brought by the magical races.

Also, there is no Fate and no prophesies.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Addition to Day 4 – Seekretya World Building Scars

I know I said I wouldn't revisit Day 4 for Seekretya, but I have a few things I need to talk about.
I've been toying with the name of this land (I have to name the land so I can put a handle on what I'm doing, though naming comes much later in this process). It's all based on the spelling convention I intend to use.

In this book all letters will be very civil and behave properly. Each letter will say its name and say it in only one way. When vowels whisper their names (short vowel sounds) it will stand alone, and when it shouts its name (long vowel sounds) it will be doubled. Y says yeh, not ee. C can't be trusted at all, so the only place you will see it is if it's being accompanied by a letter that can be trusted. For example you may see it with the letter H (ch).

Because of this spelling convention Sekretia would be pronounced, SEE-kreh-t-ih-ah. I have a hard time saying it like this so I'm changing it to Seekretya (SEE-kreh-tyah). It doesn't look as right, but it's much easier to pronounce and it this way and it invokes the feel I want, that this is a secret place.

The other thing is this: most writing guides that talk about magic and fantasy say that you need to create a system of rules for your imagined world and stick to it; but I've found some of the biggest sellers never did this.

J. K. Rowling and L. Frank Baum never let rules and consistency bother them. Heck, Baum swapped East and West on his maps, made the Wizard a good guy, a bad guy and then a good guy without explaining any of it (not in the same book but between books). It didn't seem to make sales suffer. Rowling is renouned for plot holes big enough to fly a Ford Anglia through and obvious enough for a muggle to spot. Doctor Who, Star Wars and Indiana Jones all take such liberties with science that they could be called Fantasy, but still they wouldn't be following their own rules, but instead follow the money and never let little things like consistency and logic get in the way of making the story exciting.

I'm not going to go into pointing out all the inconsistancies and plot holes (there are plenty of websites out there for that). What I want to point out though is that the big blockbusters don't follow that rule, so why should I try so hard?

The most popular music isn't always the best, the most expensive "art" often isn't art. Curse you Henry Ford! If you hadn't pointed out that the most available bucks are to be gotten by good-enough with the masses, and not by excellent with the rich, I wouldn't be suffering this crisis of creativity.

I like order and rules, but I sometimes get caught up in creating the system and not the story.

Anyway, it's Seekretya now, going forward. I'll correct a few things I already did if they are connected with things going forward so that searches will work correctly. This has nothing to do with World Building Scars, but Day 4 is one of the things I'm going to go back and change the spelling on.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Day 3 – Seekretya – Going Back to Mood and Setting

I'm not really sure where or when I abandoned the children's fantasy with the 30 Days of Worldbuilding, but I did and I started only doing this exercise for Heavy Magic. That's nice, but now that my Father is gone I've been telling bedtime stories to my two younger daughters and I want to bring Seekretya back up to where I got with Heavy Magic.
I think I got to Day 4 with both. I want to catch it up with Heavy Magic. First, I'll revisit day 3 because I want to adjust it a bit and crop it down to just the Seekretya part. I don't have any changes to Seekretya from Day 4 so I won't post that again.

Write down four words that fit into that feeling: two adjectives, a verb, and a noun. Now return to the page with your list of climates and emotions. Do any of them match up? If they do, you have your climate. If not, try to find closest-match words.

If you spend 10 solid minutes thinking about this and still can't decide, pick two climates that express moods you like. You can make up your mind later, and you can even build your world with both climates containing equally probable sites for your story.

Children's Fantasy Part of Day 3

1. ADJECTIVES: Cuddly, warm, fuzzy, lush, rich, inviting, homey, difficult, attainable
2. VERB: Teach
3. NOUN: Challenge

The climatic responses are:
• Green valley
• River
• Smokey Mountains
• Temperate forest

Today I'd just make a few minor changes. I'd emphasize Teach NOT preach. I'd add Anxious (not fear, but trepidation and eagerness to continue in spite of the uneasiness they feel (the listeners/readers). I'd combine Green Valley and Smokey Mountains and change them to Alpine (valleys, balds, lakes, peaks, cottages etc.). I'd add Great Lakes and Aspen Forest.

Children's Fantasy Part of NEW

4. ADJECTIVES: Lush, rich, inviting, homey, difficult, anxious, attainable
5. VERB: Teach (NOT preach)
6. NOUN: Challenge

The climatic responses are:
• Alpine
• Aspen Forest
• River
• Temperate forest
• Great Lakes
For inspiration on this story I'm thinking L. Frank Baum's Oz series crossed with C. S. Lewis' Narnia, Princess Bride, Indiana Jones and the Sound of Music. They'll be no talking animals though.

I want Multi-level appeal = Guy/Girl, Adult/Child. I want the kind of romance that boys like and the kind of adventure that girls like, I want the kind of story that a grandpa could read to a sick grandson, or a father to his daughters at bedtime.

Maybe it will have to have bedtime parts and parts that you shouldn't read at bedtime because they'd be too exciting and keep you up. I do want it to give you exciting dreams though. A warning before each cliffhanging chapter might be cool.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Day 19 - What If?: Character

BTW - Looking at Boris Vallejo's work I posted earlier I realized that his work does NOT actually fit the mood I'm trying to set. His work has mostly naked women like Frazetta or Corben, but it's too bright and overall too smooth (I do like smooth women, but the whole scene is too smooth).

These bullets are from 30 Days of World Building. She had used the name "Joe" but I'll use my wizard, Thahn.

• Describe Thahn's physical appearance, age, educational background, and speech patterns:

o See Spreadsheet

• What would a stranger notice 5 minutes after meeting Thahn?

o He wearing a Black Wizard's hat, but a Green Wizard's vest and carries a wooden staff (really his magical bow) that also shows that he is a qualified Green Wizard. He is under average height and weight, but has a look in his eye like he means business.

• What would a companion notice after 5 days of travelling with, working with, or being around Thahn?

o He's much more lighthearted by nature, but serious because of the situation of the story. He likes to smile and laugh, and will laugh easily, but the situation will cause the laughter and smiling to fade quickly. He takes a great deal of pride in his work, both Black Magklik and Green Magklik.

• Who are Thahn's parents? Are they still alive?

o When he was still a teen the local lord, Count Grogan conquered the land his Father farmed. Because Thahn was taken to become a Wizard his Father was taken into the army as a reward for providing a Wizard. He died in battle. Thahn's mother was made one of the lord's concubines as a reward. She has worked her way up to first concubine. (This is from the story I wrote originally, I'm not sure if it jives with the current marriage rules I laid out above, but I think it would suit the ultra-evil Grogan).

• What if Thahn met his parents? How would he behave?

o He would quietly weep if he ever found his Father's grave. If he ever met his Mother he would be respectful, but would resent her for using her sex to get ahead.

• Where did Thahn grow up? What if Thahn had grown up somewhere else? What if he didn't like his home?

o Thahn grew up on a farm in the forest. When he was a very young teenager he was taken to the Academy to become a Wizard. He hated having to learn to be a Black Wizard and eventually left with his degree but sought other work.

• What if Thahn wasn't born there?

o This question doesn't make sense, it would have to ask what if he had been born in a specific different place.

• Who is Thahn's biggest hero? What if Thahn met his hero?

o Thahn's hero is the Green Wizard Lohm, who died defending his forest from wonton distruction. Thahn would be very surprised and confused to meet the dead wizard.

• What if Thahn met his nemesis in a neutral public place?

o He wouldn't hesitate to try to kill him. He would try to attack the instant he saw him, not in a sneaky way, but also he doesn't care if his enemy knows or not who killed him, just that he die.

• What if Thahn had a family, kids, etc.? What if Thahn's kids were part of Thahn's problem?

o Thahn thinks he wants a nice farm girl for a wife, but he is actually attracted to the ultra sexy Priestesses if they are the village type. He would marry one and try to go off somewhere to be the protectors of whatever village they end up in. He would closely and lovingly rear his children and would be crushed if they were a cause of problems. He would never be able to kill or hurt them even if they were evil, but he might help the officials who were hunting down his child.

• How does Thahn fit into your speculative element? Does he not believe in it? Is he an expert in it? Is he an outsider?

o Thahn holds a degree in Black Magklik and Green Magklik. This is very rare and he is considered a prodigy in magklik.

• What if Thahn encountered something he didn't believe could happen? How would he react? What would that something be?

o He'd be skeptical, but approach it in a scientific way. That something would be a truly good Priestess.

• What secrets does Thahn have? What if his nemesis knew his secret? What if a love interest knew? What will Thahn do to protect his secrets?

o His secret is his involvement in The Movement. He might kill an official who knew if they were a sufficient threat to the Movement. He would suffer torture and death is he could keep the Movement a secret.

• What does Thahn not know about himself? What if Thahn wasn't who he thinks he is? What if he learned about himself? How would he take the information?

o He can and does love a Priestess. If he didn't have the history he thought he did he'd disown it if it didn't match his current moral values.

• What if Thahn left home? What if he returned? What if Thahn became an outsider or outlaw?

o He did. He can't it's destroyed. He is an outlaw, he doesn't mind if since he's in the company of good people.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Mystery Analysis

I know I've been doing thus 30 Day Worldbuilding, and I do intend to continue, but I've been having a hankerin to do mystery shorts. The trouble with that is I can't seem to be able to focus my efforts. I thought it might help me if I analzed what kind of myteries I like to read.

For this I'm going to look at what I like and what I don't like and why. I'll also look at the style, and look at Pros and Cons.  This may take a couple of posts.

Who I like - Doyle's Holmes (of course)
Style - Old Contemprary (historical but it was contemprarary when written)
POV - 1st person Watson

Who I like - Poe's Dupin
Style - Old Contemporary
POV - 1st person "Watson"

Who I like - Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe/Archie Goodwin
Style - Old Contemporary
POV - 1st person Watson/Sleuth

Who I like - Donald Sobol's Encylopedia Brown
Style - Contemporary Cozy/Puzzle
POV - 3rd person

Who I like - Psych / Shaun Spencer
Style - Contemporary

Who I like - Raymond Abrashkin and Jay Williams' Danny Dunn Sceintific Detective
Style - Contemporary Cozy/Puzzle
POV - 3rd person

Who I like - Lindsey Davis' Falco
Style - Historical
POV - 3rd person

Who I like - Christie's Poirot
Style - Contemporary Cozy
POV - 1st person Watson

Who I like - Max Allen Collins' Nate Heller
Style - Historical
POV - 1st person Sleuth

Who I like - Martin Cruz Smith's Arkady Renko (Gorky Park)
Style - Contemporary
POV - 3rd Person