Differentiating between Ancient Times and Medieval Times in your Fiction

iamnotoneofthem asked:

My world is set in what would be BC in our world – around 300 BC, give or take. But how do I make that clear without having real life cultures that existed at that time? I want the readers to know we’re not in your typical middle ages setting, but even further back in time, but can only come up with no technology/inventions that were made later.

There is quite a difference between the tech of, say, Ancient Greece or China and the Middle Ages (5th-15th century AD). What you’re going to want to do is pick out a few elements of the Middle Ages that people heavily associate with that time and leave it out, even if it would technically fit. In the same way, focus on elements of ancient times, the Iron Age, that people really associate with that time period and play those up, while also implementing your own things.

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Brainstorming Series: War & Conflict

Deepening Social and Political Conflict in your Fiction

In many speculative fiction works, war or civil unrest is common. Sometimes a given. And yet so often, these grand, world-shattering wars are shallow when looked at straight-on. If you think about the history of the conflict or the spark that sent the nations to war, you can come up kind of dry. A lot of readers are tired of “WAR” being the default backdrop of a story, especially when it’s used as a prop rather than handled with the care it should be.

So how do you make sure that your social and political conflicts don’t just provide a canvas to your story, but help deepen and strengthen the world and the characters therein? Simple! Just do a little thinking!

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Long-lived species in fiction

Anonymous asked:

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:

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Writing Pregnancy, Labor, and Birth in your Fiction

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.

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Submissions Re-opened

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.

Head over to the Contact Page to ask any questions. Or the Editing rates or Writing rates page to see what your specific project will entail.

I’m so excited to be working with more of you in the near future!

Until then, happy writing!


Brainstorming Series: Map Making

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…

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New Resource Page

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.



Brainstorming Series: Culture

golden angel in the sunlight (antique statue)

Why develop a fictional culture?

When you’re creating a race of people for your new world, you need a culture to give those people and their way of life some context. The culture helps determine how the characters act, dress, eat, solve problems, among so many other things. You can (and sometimes, should) have multiple cultures in your world, depending on how large your focus area is. Cultures affect each other, but also serve in a narrative sense to draw contrast in-world and to draw parallels to the reader’s world.

So here are some thoughts, big and small, that are meant to help inspire you as you create amazing cultures. (And remember that you’re thinking about the following questions in the context of the general population, not your main character(s).) You can simply answer these questions in short-answer form, or you can write a short story to flesh out one or two or three questions at once.

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