World Building: History

earth

Developing the history for the world you’re creating is probably the aspect I have the hardest time with. But it’s also very important. The history of your world sets the foundation for events happening currently in your story.

While you do not need to have every tiny detail of your history hashed out, you should have a general idea of what took place in your world before your story starts.

For instance, if you choose a dystopian world, you should have an idea of what took place for the world to reach that point. If your world is magical, were there any significant events that took place that were caused by magic? Is magic accepted or feared? Harry Potter and Merlin both have magical settings, but very different reactions and understandings of that magic.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when building your world’s history:

  • What type of world do you have?
  • How did it reach that point?
  • Were there any major events that took place prior to your story?
  • Are there any historical figures who could impact the story or characters?
  • How has your world developed since the beginning?
  • How long ago was your world created? Five years? A hundred years? Five thousand years?
    • This is important for how developed your world and other aspects (technology, architecture, etc.) will be
  • If you world did have significant events prior to your story, how long did they last?

These questions are important to address no matter what type of world you are creating, though they are especially important in a fantasy world.

Your fantasy world is entirely your own and your readers have no knowledge or information about it. It is entirely up to you to show and explain what has happened prior to the story so they will have a reason to care about what is happening in your story’s present.

Now, like I said, it’s important to develop the history for your world, but it doesn’t have to be done all at once.

Significant figures will also be developed through the creation of people for your world. The layout and geography may be affected by certain historical events. Technology you have may depend on how long your world has existed. All elements of worldbuilding are intertwined.

This was a short one, but like I said, creating the history for worldbuilding is an aspect that even still confuses me a bit so I didn’t want to include too much here. Worldbuilding is a pace you have to set for yourself so we’re really just covering the basics here.

Usually I’d only post one of these worldbuilding posts once a month, but since I’m just soooo good at keeping on top of my own schedule (can you hear the sarcasm?), there will actually be another of these posts up tomorrow!

I’ll be talking about people and the different types of people and figures you might want to consider for your world.

Let me know what you thought! Are there are questions you ask yourself when developing history for your world?

Is there are certain aspect of worldbuilding you struggle with?

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Academic Writing .vs. Creative Writing

academic vs creative writing

Wow! I am two weeks into college and it has been quite an experience so far.

In case I haven’t mentioned it on here yet, I went back to school! I’m taking Early Childhood Education and so far I’m really enjoying it.

Getting back into the swing of being in a school setting has been both interesting and fun. I definitely feel like I’m in a much better place at this time in my life than I was when I tried the whole university thing a few years ago.

All my classes have been great (expect for the fact that three of them start at 8am. Seriously, who thought that was a good idea?) I’m also taking an ASL course which is great and I signed up for a spin class which is really fun, but wow exercise hurts.

I think the biggest transition so far has probably been getting back into the mode of formal writing.

Seriously, I’m used to writing fanfics and blog posts and working on my book. All of which have structure, but it’s a loose structure.

It’s been a challenge returning to using ‘it is’ instead of ‘it’s’ or ‘cannot’ instead of ‘can’t’.

Like honestly, I’ve gotten so into this informal, type like you talk thing cause I don’t want these posts to sound like an essay. I want it to sound like I’m sitting in front of you talking.

However, I also don’t want my school essay to sound like my blog posts. Apparently, it’s not acceptable for formal school essays to be separated into single sentence paragraphs and statements.

So, after that long winded intro (which would not be acceptable in a school essay) and a brief life update, here are the primary differences between academic writing and blog writing.

 

Academic

Blog

Formality is required in every aspect Can be as formal or informal as you want, it all depends on what your purpose is
Structured layout and clear Should also be clear, but layout is your choice
Typically five paragraphs As long or short as you want it to be
Topic is usually chosen for you Topic choice is yours and usually based on something that interests you
Must use words like ‘it is’, ‘cannot’, or ‘would not’ Can use ‘it’s’, ‘wouldn’t’, ‘can’t’, and whatever other contractions you want
Feedback is formal and (hopefully) constructive Feedback (if any) hopefully gets a conversation going
Deadlines are set for you and typically set in stone You set your own deadlines and then feel guilty when you miss them

 

I could probably go on and one with this list, but I don’t want to bore you guys. I’m sure most of you can figure out how different the semantics are between writing on here and writing a paper for school.

In conclusion, we can clearly see – I’m kidding. Sort of. That is all I have to say about the differences between college papers and blog posts. For now anyway, I’m sure as time goes on I’ll come back to the topic of school and the different writing methods and techniques that go with it.

Now it’s your turn!

Were there any major differences you found between creating and school writing? Let me know down below!

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*Once again, picture at start is not mine. Found on Google through searching “writing”*

Writing Playlist

Writing Playlist - Music Notes.jpg

Journey. Beethoven. Sinatra. The Avenue Q Soundtrack.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to music options in 2018. Which is good because everyone has different taste and different things they enjoy.

And for writers, we all have different things we like listening to when we work.

Now, I work in a music store so I’m literally surrounded by music pretty much all day, every day to the point that I can’t work in silence. I’m listening to Louden Swain’s, Sky Alive, album as I write this.

I’m also a big movie watcher and the way music affects a scene and the mood of the story is something that has always interested me.

For this reason, it’s always super important for me to have music on while I’m writing.

Now, I have different playlists for each of my projects. I used to listen to the same things for everything I was working on (usually film scores), but found this really didn’t help as all it did was make me want to watch the film.

By having different playlists, I can pick the music I listen to for each project and the songs on each of these playlists really helps me get in the right mindset for what I’m working on.

When I’m working on Brave Young Boys I listen to a lot of songs about war and loss. Carrie Underwood’s, “Just a Dream”; Dean Brody’s, “Brothers”; and Rise Against’s, “Hero of War” are just a few.

It’s not the most cheery thing to listen to, but it definitely gets me in the perfect mindset for working.

Kind of on the opposite end of the spectrum, I have a different writing project that involves two people going on a road trip. This playlist consists of (mostly) happy, fun songs.

“Beat This Summer” by Brad Paisley; “500 Miles” by The Proclaimers”’ and “mmmbop” by Hanson are three songs I listen to a lot when working on this particular story.

However, not every song directly relates to a theme of the novel.

In some cases a song will remind me of a character. Or I’ll hear a song and go “oh my god that’s perfect.”

Two instances where this has happened are with “Bad Reputation” by Joan Jett and “Lost Boy” by Ruth B (for two very different writing endeavors).

Everyone likes music. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who didn’t like music. It’s a universal thing, something that, even if you don’t speak the language in the song, you can still bob your head to the beat.

As a writer, different types of music inspire both my work and myself. I find it helps keep the story moving, gives me ideas for different things, and gives me a connection to my characters. It’s a language that transcends the usual barriers of most other languages.

Now I’d like to hear from you! Do you listen to music when writing? Is there a particular style of music you prefer to listen to, whether in life or when working?

Let me know down below and also let me know if you want to talk more about writing playlists!

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*Image at start of post does not belong to me, it was found on Google*

Goodreads Readers Choice Awards 2017

Goodreads Readers Choice Awards 2017

Goodreads

Best Fiction:

Little Fires EverywhereLittle Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng

You can read more about Little Fires Everywhere on Goodreads

Runner Up: Bear Town, Fredrik Bagkman

Buy Little Fires Everywhere on Amazon

Buy Bear Town on Amazon


Best Mystery & Thriller:

Into the Water, Paula Hawkins

You can read more about Into the Water on Goodreads

Runner Up: Origin, Dan Brown

Buy Into the Water on Amazon

Buy Origin on Amazon


Best Historical Fiction:

Before We Were Yours, Lisa Wingate

You can read more about Before We Were Yours on Goodreads

Runner Up: Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders

Buy Before We Were Yours on Amazon

Buy Lincoln in the Bardo on Amazon


Best Fantasy:

Fantastic Beasts.jpgFantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, J.K. Rowling

You can read more about Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay on Goodreads

Runner Up: Norse Mythology, Neil Gaiman

Buy Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay on Amazon

Buy Norse Mythology on Amazon


Best Romance:

Without Merit, Colleen Hoover

You can read more about Without Merit on Goodreads

Runner Up: Come Sundown, Nora Roberts

Buy Without Merit on Amazon

Buy Come Sundown on Amazon


Best Science Fiction:

Artemis, Andy Weir

You can read more about Artemis on Goodreads

Runner Up: Waking Gods, Sylvain Neuvel

Buy Artemis on Amazon

Buy Waking Gods on Amazon


Best Horror:

Sleeping Beauties, Stephen King & Owen King

You can read more about Sleeping Beauties on Goodreads

Runner Up: Final Girls, Riley Sager

Buy Sleeping Beauties on Amazon

Buy Final Girls on Amazon


Best Humor:

Talking as Fast as I Can.jpgTalking As Fast As I Can, Lauren Graham

You can read more about Talking As Fast As I Can on Goodreads

Runner Up: I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons, Kevin Hart

Buy Talking As Fast As I Can on Amazon

Buy I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons on Amazon


Best Nonfiction:

How to be a Bawse.jpgHow to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life, Lilly Singh

You can read more about How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life on Goodreads

Runner Up: Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Buy How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life on Amazon

Buy Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions on Amazon


Best Memoir & Autobiography:

What Happened, Hillary Rodham Clinton

You can read more about What Happened on Goodreads

Runner Up: Hunger, Roxane Gay

Buy What Happened on Amazon

Buy Hunger on Amazon


Best History & Biography:

Radium Girls, Kate Moore

You can read more about Radium Girls on Goodreads

Runner Up: Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann

Buy Radium Girls on Amazon

Buy Killers of the Flower Moon on Amazon


Best Science & Technology:

Astrophysics For People in a Hurry, Neil DeGrasse Tyson

You can read more about Astrophysics For People in a Hurry on Goodreads

Runner Up: Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong – and the New Research That’s Rewriting the Story, Angela Saini

Buy Astrophysics For People in a Hurry on Amazon

Buy Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong – and the New Research That’s Rewriting the Story on Amazon


Best Food & Cookbooks:

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It! Simple, Scrumptious Recipes for Crazy Busy Lives, Ree Drummon

You can read more about The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It! Simple, Scrumptious Recipes for Crazy Busy Lives on Goodreads

Runner Up: 5 Ingredients, Jamie Oliver

Buy The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It! Simple, Scrumptious Recipes for Crazy Busy Lives on Amazon

Buy 5 Ingredients on Amazon


Best Graphic Novels & Comics:

Big Mushy Happy Lump, Sarah Andersen

You can read more about Big Mushy Happy Lump on Goodreads

Runner Up: Wonder Woman, Volume 1: The Lies, Greg Rucka

Buy Big Mushy Happy Lump on Amazon

Buy Wonder Woman, Volume 1: The Lies on Amazon


Best Poetry:

The Sun and Her Flowers, Rupi Kaur

You can read more about The Sun and Her Flowers on Goodreads

Runner Up: Depression and Other Magic Tricks, Sabrina Benaim

Buy The Sun and Her Flowers on Amazon

Buy Depression and Other Magic Tricks on Amazon


Best Debut Goodreads Author:

Hate U Give.jpgThe Hate U Give, Angie Thomas

You can read more about The Hate U Give on Goodreads

Runner Up: Caraval, Stephanie Garber

Buy The Hate U Give on Amazon

Buy Caraval on Amazon


Best Young Adult Fiction:

The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas

Runner Up: Turtles All the Way Down, John Green

You can read more about Turtles All The Way Down on Goodreads

Buy Turtles All The Way Down on Amazon

*As Angie Thomas’, The Hate U Give, won two of the reader’s choice categories (congrats Angie!), information given here is listed for the runner up novel


Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction:

A Court of Wings and Ruin, Sarah J. Maas

You can read more about A Court of Wings and Ruin on Goodreads

Runner Up: Lord of Shadows, Cassandra Clare

Buy A Court of Wings and Ruin on Amazon

Buy Lord of Shadows on Amazon


Best Middle Grade & Children’s:

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Rick Riordan

You can read more about Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard on Goodreads

Runner Up: The Trials of Apollo, Rick Riordan

Buy Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard on Amazon

Buy The Trials of Apollo on Amazon


We're All WondersBest Picture Books:

We’re All Wonders, R.J. Palacio

You can read more about We’re All Wonders on Goodreads

Runner Up: Malala’s Magic Pencil, Malala Yousafzai

Buy We’re All Wonders on Amazon

Buy Malala’s Magic Pencil on Amazon


Congratulations to all the winners, runners up, and everyone who had a book featured in the Goodreads Readers Choice Contest for 2017!

All the pictures included in this post came from Goodreads. Make sure you check out the books on this list and if you’ve read any of them let me know what ones you think are worth the read!

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Names of the Week

Alessandra

Female
Alternate Spelling: Alexandra (Alessandra is the Italian and Spanish Version)
Nickname: Alex, Ales (Pronounced Alice), Ally/Allie
Pronunciation: Ah-Leh-Sahn-Dra
Origin: Italian
Meaning: Defender of Mankind
Well-Known Alessandras: Alessandra Cullen (The Devil’s Advocate), Alessandra Ambrosio (Model), Alessandra Torresani (Actress), Alessandra De Rossi (Actress)

 

Elena

Female
Alternate Spelling: Alena, Eleena, Eleana
Nickname: El; Lena
Pronunciation: Ee-Lay-Na
Origin: Italian
Meaning: Shining Light
Well-Known Elenas: Elena Gilbert (The Vampire Diaries, L.J. Smith); Elena Lincoln (Fifty Shades of Grey, E.L. James); Elena “Helene” Vasilyevna Kuragina (War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy); Elena Galathynius Havilliard (Throne of Glass Series, Sarah J. Maas); Elena Jane “Ellie” Goulding (Singer)

 

Horatio

Male
Alternate Spelling: Horacio
Nickname: Ray
Pronunciation: Huh-Ray-Shee-Oh
Origin: Italian
Meaning: Man of Time
Well-Known Horatios: Horatio (Hamlet, Shakespeare); Horatio Hornblower (Hornblower, C.S. Forester), Horatio Caine (CSI: Miami); Horatio Alger (Novelist)

 

Sienna

Female
Alternate Spelling: N/A
Nickname: None that I am aware of
Pronunciation: See-En-Ah
Origin: Italian
Meaning: Reddish Brown
Well-Known Siennas: Sienna Martin (The Lifeboat Clique, Kathy Parks); Sienna Blake (Hollyoaks); Sienna Rosa Diana Miller (Actress and Model); Sienna Tiggy Guillory (Actress)

 

Enzo

Male
Alternate Spelling: Enzio
Nickname: N/A
Pronunciation: N-zoh
Origin: Italian
Meaning: Short Form of Lorenzo
Well-Known Enzos: Enzo Valenciano (The Young Elites, Marie Lu); Enzo (The Vampire Diaries); Enzo Knol (Dutch Youtuber); Enzo Anselmo Ferrari (Founder of Ferrari)

Francesca

Female
Alternate Spelling: Franncesca; Fransesca
Nickname: Frankie, Frannie
Pronunciation: Fran-Ches-kah
Origin: Italian
Meaning: Free
Well-Known Francescas: Francesca (Torment, Lauren Kate); Francesca Altifiorla (Kept in the Dark, Anthony Trollope); Francesca “Franky” Fitzgerald (Skins UK); Francesca Isabella Simon (Author); Francesca Gregorini (Writer/Director)

Isabella

Female
Alternate Spelling: Izabella; Isabela
Nickname: Bella; Issy; Isa
Pronunciation: Iz-ah-bell-ah
Origin: Italian
Meaning: Devoted to God
Well-Known Isabellas: Isabella “Bella” Swan, a fictional character in Stephenie Meyer’s, Twilight, series; Isabella Knightly (Emma, Jane Austen); Isabella Thorpe (Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen); Isabella Linton (Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte); Isabella (Measure for Measure, Shakespeare)

Mara

Female
Alternate Spelling: Marra
Nickname: N/A
Pronunciation: Mar-ah
Origin: Italian
Meaning: Of the Sea; Bitter
Well-Known Maras: Mara Jade Skywalker (Star Wars Extended Universe); Mara (Clockwork Forest, Doug Macleod); Mara Amrita Dyer (Mara Dyer Trilogy, Michelle Hodkins); Mara Carlyle (Spontaneous, Aaron Starmer); Mara Wilson (Actress and Author); Mara Liasson (Journalist)

 

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World Building: Deciding the Type of World

There are tons of blog posts out there that talk about world building. There are entire books that discuss the different aspects put into creating your own fictional world and all the intricacies of it.
So naturally, because it’s been done so many time before, I decided to add to the madness and give you my thoughts on world building in this new series of posts.

World Building is still a process I’m figuring out for myself so I thought through these posts I could share with you what I’ve learning about the different elements of creating your own fictional universe.

The first and most basic step is deciding on what type of world you’re going to have.

Is it a dystopian world? Utopian? Conformist or evolutionary? Medieval or fantasy?

This is the most basic thing you need to determine because the type of world you’re creating will literally affect every single thing you write and decide for your story.

If you’ve got a dystopian society, the world you create isn’t going to be bright and colourful. It won’t be full of rainbows and people won’t be skipping down the streets. It’ll be dark and gritty and you’ll use a thesaurus to find every variation of the words “dark” and “gritty” to describe the setting.

On the flip side, if the world you create is a utopia then there probably will be rainbows and skipping involved. Your characters will probably be happy with their lives and things will seem good.

Now obviously neither of those descriptions are set in stone and there is always the possibility of a light at the end of the dystopian tunnel or of a dark underworld side in your utopia. But you get the general idea.

Choosing the type of world is just the first step in world building. It’s the first layer of a very elaborate cake. It’s the base for many different things that will happen in your story and happen to your characters.

The world you build does not have to fit exactly in to description box of the world you choose. But you can’t choose to have a totally normal story and then, five pages before the end, a dragon suddenly appears and eats everyone.

I mean, sure, that would be really cool, but it’s not really plausible when the rest of your story was set in a normal, average, every day town where, previous to those last five pages, there were no dragons.

And if you do choose to do that, you better have a really cool sequel lined up and ready to go.

Now, as I said before, this is only the first step. There are so many other aspects to world building that turn it from an idea into an actual thing. The people, the history, all the stuff that doesn’t necessarily make it into your book, but is still so important to your story.

In the coming months I will be talking about world building and the various things that go into it.

If there is anything you would like talked about or anything you would like to add let me know down below!

And let me know: is there a type of world you prefer writing over others? Do you prefer a fantasy universe? A dystopian world? The possibilities are endless and I want to know what you think!

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Back at it Again With the Blog Posts

Guess who’s back? Back again? Are you singing, cause I was as I typed that.

Have you ever briefly lost your motivation to work? And then as you get your motivation back, you become overwhelmed by how much you need to do. Then you lose your motivation again as a result of that overwhelming stress? Yup, that has been my life for about a year now.

I’ll keep my reasoning brief here. There was a lot going on in 2016 that made me lose all my motivation for writing.

I was working at a job I hated, then that place closed down, a new store opened up and I was helping to get the place ready so majority of my time was spent at work.

I’d come home and I was tired and the less writing I was doing, the more overwhelmed I was getting by how much there was to do.

I was putting out half attempts at blog posts and even worse fanfic chapters. I started getting some really negative reviews, especially on one of my stories. Not like, “hey, didn’t enjoy this chapter that much”. More along the lines of telling me I should quit writing and that I was terrible at it.

I try not to let it get to me. It’s part of the business right? Not everyone is going to like your work and that’s totally fine. But I was already feeling overwhelmed and stressed and all these things combined was really making me lose my love of writing.

So I decided to take a step back. I focused on work and myself and really figuring things out.

The place I work now is fantastic, best job I’ve ever had. I’m going back to school in a few weeks and I’m beyond excited. I didn’t think I’d ever go back to school, but I decided it was the best choice for my life and my future and I can’t wait.

And I started writing again. I’ve been rewriting the old chapters of my fanfics to a level I am much happier with. I also continued working on my novel and have been writing blog posts that I actually enjoy.

I found it was becoming too much about the numbers and what other people thought and less about what I liked and what I thought.

This time away has definitely been beneficial. I feel refreshed and excited to be back and I can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store.

Thanks for sticking with me!

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