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Monday, 29 October 2012

World building and titles?

M.L. Chesley

Coming Soon!
What is it with book titles?

Well, in my book, Adversarius, the title is Latin for Adversary. Veritas is Truth and Bellum is War. I chose these names specifically. I wanted one word titles for my books and each title represents what is written within. Book one defines the adversary my characters face. Book two reveals some hidden truths and book three is the war that ends an ages old war.

It took me about ten years to build my world of Eir du'Brusai. (Pronunciation Alert!: 'air do brew sigh') I had lots of help. As a matter of fact, there is a list on my blog under the Special Thanks page. I began with a small town called Moordigan, which grew into the kingdom of Haldera and expanded (exploded, really) from there. At first, my map contained one large continent with several kingdoms, surrounded by a few smaller continents/kingdoms. After much debate, I split the major continent down the middle, removed a couple of kingdoms that were on the main continent and added continents.

So you can see why it took so long to build just that aspect of the world. Next came the decision: Typical creatures of fantasy or my own? Well, I'm a huge Sword and Sorcery kind of gal. While I love Elves, Dwarves and the like, I didn't want to limit myself to that. So I expanded on those typical races/creatures and also came up with some of my own. I have Kefferlings, which are half Elf, half cat. They have Elven features, walk on two legs (most of the time) but have fur covering their body and of course, they have tails. Dargorians are my humanoid dragons. They stand about nine feet tall, have scales, tails and wings like dragons with dragon-like features. They stand on two legs and most can speak.

In the Elvish races, I've included water Elves. These Elves live near bodies of water and can turn into fish-like creatures either completely or partly, giving the impression of merfolk. I also have ice Elves. This race of Elves must live in extreme cold climates. They also reside around a special lake that had transformed them long ago. The lake is the final resting place of an ice dragon and as the dragon deteriorates, its magic has corrupted the water, giving ice qualities to whatever happens to drink from the lake. So add in some usual creatures with these abilities as well.

Lots of what I have included in my world either already exists and I expanded upon it, or I used my imagination. Things I needed to research were more along the lines of armor, weapons, hierarchies and nautical terms. I have naval fleets and pirates. My pirates are spelled 'pyrate' however. Just to be different, no real reason other than that. My wizards are called Mahjii and most of their magic has limits. Not necessarily rules, just limits.

When creating something new, I have to sit with my friends or husband and bounce ideas off of them. I feel that if myself or any of my friends or husband find something unbelievable, chances are, the reader will as well. Fantasy is about using your imagination, of course, but you can go too far. Don't be overly ridiculous in your creations, be plausible. If you think something is over the top, most likely your reader will as well. There are lots of sites out there that help in all aspects of fantasy writing from name generators to the do's and don't's of fantasy writing.

While you shouldn't really let a long list of 'should not's' affect your writing, you do want to limit yourself. Expand your mind and think outside of the box. Using typical characteristics of fantasy such as races and creatures is all well and good, but take one and start a 'What if...?” scenario and see what comes of it. Take lots of notes and keep these in a binder for future reference.

A good list of things to work on would include:

·     Hierarchies. Do kings and queens rule? Who is in line to inherit? Eldest son or daughter or is each succession voted upon by the lower class? Could a peasant become king?

·   Money. What forms of money would be acceptable? Gold, silver or gems? Perhaps your world uses a barter system? Personally, I have several different types of monetary items. If any of my characters end up in a different place, all forms of money are accepted, but bartering doesn't always fly with merchants.

·  Magic. Are you going to limit the power? Does your magic have rules? Can spells only be cast once per day like traditional table top gaming or endless spells? Will the magic user be born this way or can anyone learn?

·    Gods and Goddesses. Do you have one all powerful deity? Several? A pantheon? Do they walk among your people or are they kept apart? Do they interfere? Do prayers work or do the gods ignore them?

There is a lot to world building, more than I can write about in a single post. As it is, this is probably reaching beyond a limit. So I will leave you with these things to ponder and work out for yourself. Everyone will go a different route. Some of us want to stick to tradition, others want something new. And some of us are in the middle, like me. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. I love discussing fantasy! Links are below of where to find me. Thanks again to Louise! Have a great day!

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Mel Chesley is a High Fantasy author, and has recently been signed with Hellfire Publishing with her first book in a trilogy, Adversarius, Shadow of the Rose, Book One (publishing date not specified)

She began writing at the age of 19, and lives in Alaska with her husband, children and cats.

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