As Camp wraps up in the next few days, I know I, for one, am going to have a lot of slush to work through. And I figure a lot of you will, as well. Since this first stage of editing is often my favorite, I want to help other writers out there get started! So I’m offering a special rate for my critical beta reading services for all of May.
I’ve had several in-narrative encounters and also questions regarding crazy, mad, off-their-rocker characters lately. I’ve also written one of my own. So I thought I’d talk about it a little. The reasoning can be anywhere from, “I thought it sounded fun,” to “I wanted them to be virtually unpredictable,” to “My plot needs them!”
But no matter your reasoning, your character is still a character. And even if you have fun writing crazy, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your reader will enjoy reading it if the character isn’t still fleshed out, three-dimensional, and motivated.
First, there is a difference between a chaotic character and an insane character. They can sometimes look the same on the outside though, so the differences really come out once you get into the character’s head. And when you’re writing them–especially if they’re a POV character–then you need to know what’s making them tick: their moral compass or their lack of sanity.
Establishing your fictional government
If you have a society of any kind within your story, chances are there is some form of government. It might be a relatively new group of rebels trying to settle a home, or it might be a millennia-old empire.
Now, if you’re like me, grasping the formation and nuances of politics is really hard. I’m pretty sure I slept through most of my polisci classes in college and I definitely barely scraped by with a C. Unfortunately, even those of us who are polisci-indifferent often have to consider the impact of government within the stories we write.
News flash: little boys are obsessed with their penises.
I have two boys and genitals take up approximately 10% of our daily conversations.
Eventually, this is going to get uncomfortable for me. But right now, my 3.5 year old cares about little more than biological facts. Mostly related to: How in the world does Mommy pee?
Why would a race (like elves) evolve to be immortal, or like super long lived? That seems like a way to easily overpopulate and break suspension of disbelief. And if they don’t breed very much in comparison to other races they’re going to get overrun…
Long-lived species is a common thing in speculative fiction. Most of your readers aren’t going to have their suspension of disbelief broken by that simple fact. “Long Lived” is a trope, after all. And for those readers that would, there are several things you can do to help curb that issue:
I’ve come across this issue a surprising amount in my editing. Writing something you’ve never experienced can be a challenge, but adequate research can do wonders. In many areas, writers know this and do it as a matter of course. But rampant, inaccurate media portrayal of the process of pregnancy, labor, and birth has not only filled the general public’s brains with wrong information, but seemingly given writers an excuse to do as they think it probably happens as opposed to how it actually happens.
Well, never fear. I’m here to give you a basic run down of how to accurately portray the whole process. I will cover the most common issues and mistakes but I am always willing to answer questions you have in addition to what I’ve provided here.
Thank you so much everyone for your patience. I’ve gotten several huge projects out of the way and I’m ready to begin talking with you about your project! I still have a queue, so wait times might still be a few days or weeks long, depending on the scope of your work, but you can start reserving your space now.
I’m so excited to be working with more of you in the near future!
Until then, happy writing!
Creating maps for your world
There are so many ways to go about making a map for your story, that I’m almost intimidated to try and make a useful post. I’ve done a few things regarding maps in the past, but this will be a more comprehensive look at the physical act of getting the image of your world down on paper. Or, at least, fanning the spark of your idea and developing it further.
Method One: Freedraw
This is my preferred method. I sit down with a pencil (or a drawing tablet, more often) and sketch a wiggly line in a nonsensical shape. I usually end up with something like this:
A single country. peninsulas, islands, bays, the works. Inevitably, I see silly faces in my land masses and I always make a point to name them.
That’s not meant to be advice, just…a me thing. Anyway…
It’s live, but young.
Check out the new Resources page that is a collection of things I’ve created or links that I frequently share that help with various writing things, often common problems I encounter.
This page also includes the free download link for my Fantasy Map Making Photoshop brush set. Check it out.