Archive for the ‘Craft Post’ Category

Welcome to this week’s Craft Post. We are still in the beginning of our new series on First Drafts. You can catch up on the first two posts here. Today we are going to be talking about the first chapter. We aren’t talking about prologues, we are talking about the first actual chapter. Prologues are still seen, but it is usually but established writers. Beyond that, they are considered by editors and agents as a sign of an amateur writer.

“Why are prologues seen as a sign of an amateur? I have one, and it is where I establish my world so they know what it is like.”

You answered the question for me. The reason why prologues are seen as would-be-authors. You are establishing your world in it and not the story to come. If it is the background on the world, it can easily be fitted in later in the book. There are other reasons.

I have heard literary agents say that 90% of prologues are unnecessary. This means that the vast majority of aspiring fantasy and sci-fi authors who have a prologue at the beginning of their book need to cut it. I can tell you from first-hand experience that they won’t like hearing this, even as a small part of them recognizes the truth to it. –Dan Koboldt

You may think you need the prologue, but your best bet is to just make it the first chapter. If you want more reasons why they are looked down upon.

  • Only serve as an excuse to drop into the action of a key conflict or world-defining event
  • Offer unnecessary backstory that could be worked into the novel
  • Often show the POV of secondary characters

While those reasons why editors and agents don’t like prologues, they are some of the reasons why readers love prologues. A lot of prologues serve no purpose to the story of the book, it is just events that take place way in the past. Usually, references a war that may have a very small importance to your story, but not really at all. That information can be added later on. I will talk another reason which I will talk about in a few minutes about why just make the prologue the first chapter. But lets here advice the king of Prologues, Brandon Sanderson who always has a prologue.

Prologues have been done so often in fantasy books that they’re almost a cliché. – Brandon Sanderson

I don’t think I have to say this, but I will anyway. Cliché aren’t good. Before we move away from Prologues, let me give this last bit of advice. If you are dead set on having one, write it as part of your first draft. Polish it as part of your second draft, and then give it to people to read. See what people think, if you get people saying cut it or take the information and put it elsewhere in the book, listen to them. In the end, it is your book and you can do what you want. However, if you refuse to cut your prologue and people have told you to cut it, don’t be surprised if you only get rejection letters from agents and editors.

Moving on. The first chapter. Long gone are the days where you could spend chapters showing the main characters normal life. No longer can you spend endless pages on describing the scene. While I am not sure if it is true, I once read that in the original Moby Dick, Herman Melville spent roughly 95 pages solely describing how white Moby Dick was. I not sure where I read that and it was a good source. In the end, it doesn’t matter. The thing to get from this is that times have changed and wordiness is not a good thing.

If you google What is the goal of the first chapter of a novel, you will get many pages of what the goals are. The things you need to achieve in are pretty simple.

  • Introduce the main character (another reason why not to have a prologue)
  • Give the reader a reason to care about them and their journey
  • Setting
  • Hook us.

There are many other things people suggest like, introduce the antagonist, tone, and theme. All good ideas. Sometimes you need to write to find your tone and your theme. This is the first draft remember, everything beyond the four I listed you really don’t need to do yet. It helps if you have others, to begin with.

Let’s look at the four things I listed. So the most important thing is to introduce the main character. Before moving on, how are you going to do this in a prologue that is set thousands of years in the past? Or if the focus on another character? Look at Harry Potter. The first chapter of The Philosopher’s Stone is essentially a prologue. Harry is only in the last quarter of the chapter. The purpose was to introduce something his horrible family and that something has happened. We then find out and Harry is introduced as a baby. However, that is the first chapter, not a prologue.

The first chapter hits everything I listed. It also gives us a reason to care about Harry. He is a child that lost his parents, did something no other Wizard could do and as a baby and is rewarded by going to live with horrible people. It also hooks us and gives us the setting of modern day London. If you find other lists that first chapters must accomplish, then that chapter checks them all off.

The first chapter must give us a reason to care about this character. I say care not like. A lot of characters aren’t really likable. Harry is one of them. In later books, though you can make an argument for book one as well, Harry is an ass. However, we are rooting for him.

You think going over setting should never have to be discussed, but you will be surprised how often that is wrong. If we don’t know where we are and when, how are we suppose to know what is acceptable and not. In the case of a fantasy world or science fiction futuristic or post-apocalyptic world, we will learn that as the story moves forward.

Then there is the hook. You must hook the reader by the end or they will place the book down and never pick it up. First, let me say this, your hook doesn’t need to be an explosion and giant aliens burst into the scene out of nowhere. It just has to be something that makes us go what, wait a second what is going on. Having some kind of conflict helps or an action scene does this, but it has to make sense quickly or the reader is going to see it for what it is, something just to get them to keep reading and has no real bearing on the story.

Most authors, agents, editors, publishers, the list goes on start your story at close to that exciting incident as you can. While we want to see the everyday life of the protagonist, the quicker you get to the hook the more the reader will be willing to learn about your world and characters. In Harry Potter, we actually get two hooks. One at the end of chapter one that we already discussed. The second is when his ten and about to turn eleven. He is at the zoo with his horrible family who treats him like he is a slave, and out of anger makes the glass vanish letting out a snake that then talks to him thanking him for letting him out.

This is where we are going to end. This is just the first draft, everything else that professionals in the industry say you need to have in the first chapter can be something to focus on in later drafts. Now, the purpose is to write this draft. While we want to focus on writing, you do want to have at least some of the things you need already in place now. It saves time when it comes time to revise and rewrite.

Be sure to check back on Monday for my Weekly Writing Wrap-up post.

 

Welcome to this week’s Craft Post. Last week we started a brand new series on the topic of first drafts. Unlike with my Worldbuilding series, I have the whole series broken down into five sub-series which you can find by clicking on the First Drafts link in the toolbar. The first sub-series is on writing the first draft and later get into some other areas of thing that can better help you prepare to write your first draft and things to keep in mind while writing. You can find all posts for this sub-series (insert link to First Draft page), which was tips on preparing. Today is all about first lines.

Go grab some of your favorite books from off your shelves. For those part of a series grab the first book. Open to the first chapter or if there is an intro or prologue. Read only the first sentence. How is it? Does it grab you right away? Is it anything like some of these classics?

A story has no beginning or end; arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead. —Graham Greene, The End of the Affair (1951)

There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it. —C. S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952)

The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel. —William Gibson, Neuromancer (1984)

It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the house-tops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness. —Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford (1830)

Call me Ishmael. —Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (1851) American Book Review: 100 Best First Lines from Novels.

Great right? Do you want to read any of these books now based on that first line? So may. Others not. You know why these lines are so great? Or why the first line of your favorite books are good to you? Because everything that follows is just as good and better. There is a huge idea that your first line needs to be epic and meaningful. It should be beautifully crafted. If you read the ones above they are. If I went and started one my novels like Moby Dick and changed the name from Ishmael to Todd, will that make my book opening line be just as great?

Clearly not, Herman Melville wrote one of the best classic books of all time. Also, everything that came after my opening line will determine if that line was great or horrible or somewhere in between. What makes a good opening line is that when you finish the book you can’t imagine it starting any other way. While some might believe, and I include myself in this two years ago that the opening line should be good, the rest of the story is just as important as that first line.

“But Tim, isn’t it true that agents and editors turn down authors based on the first few pages?”

The answer is yes. Some even by the first line. I can’t remember what agent said they have turned down an author based on the first word. What you need to know about agents and publishers is they have so many manuscripts int their slush pile that they have developed little tricks that help them know if the book is good. Was the grammar bad, or was the first sentence is confusing or bad? Did they even care about what was going on after the first page? Every agent and editor are different, and each has their own tricks.

“Then we should really take the time to make sure our first lines are perfect.”

Yes and No. When it comes to first drafts one of my tips from the first post was is get it written. That is the focus of the first draft. Spending several hours or days on the first line is just not a great way of spending the opening days of starting your first draft. I did that when I started the first draft for Seeing Through the Veil. I had just read The First 50 Pages by Jeff Gerke. It was a great book and got me a little to focused on that part of my novel. I recommend reading it after your first draft is done. I wasted a month of trying to make sure my first fifty pages were great so I had little polishing to do on them in the second draft. I ended up stopping and not pick up the book for two more months.

First drafts are to get it written. Once it is written then you know what is happening, even if you outline having an outline and fleshing it into a full-length book is different. For some, there are probably outliners out there that they know every step and all writing is making it more visual. Once you know what is happening you are better prepared to spend more time on your first line. However, don’t worry about making your opening line great like some of the ones I posted above. You don’t decide if it is on par with those lines. The readers do.

That’s all I got today, check back next week for the next post called The First Chapter. Be sure to catch my Weekly Writing Wrap-up on Monday’s as well.

 

Welcome to the start of a brand new Craft Post Series on First Drafts. We will be going doing five different sub-series in this series. You can find all the series and the breakdown on the posts in each sub-series on the First Draft Link. Today will be talking about Tips for Getting Ready to write your first draft.

My first tip is something that applies to all first drafts. Learn from each first draft you write. I remember the general details of all my first drafts and how they went. From difficulties to the great things. Take notes after you complete your first draft on where you struggled and what worked. The main thing is to try to figure out why things worked well and why the things were hard. Taking notes why you are writing the draft can help with this. After you have written a few first drafts start to try to see if you are having the same difficulties or strengths.

Next is more of a personal choice, but I recommend knowing your ending. This doesn’t mean you have to know everything about it just a bullet. The basic ideas. For those who are more organic, writing styles have an idea for it, and you can change it as you are writing. My point is having something to work towards, but let the story flow and take the turns that come even if it goes away from your idea for the end. If you go in a new direction try to see what that may be leading to. It could a way of working towards and find the next bump.

Next tip is to find a time to start your writing. A lot of published authors suggest finding your time where you can write every day.

I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp. ― W. Somerset Maugham

This doesn’t work for everyone because not everyone can write at a specific time each day due to work and other commitments. I recommend picking a time for the first day of writing the first draft.

Another tip is to get a good night sleep before you start. Having enough sleep the night before will help you think and let ideas flow easier. Days when I got little sleep and write the next day I barely get many words out and if I do get a lot of words out they are crap.

Remember, first drafts are always crap and don’t try to make it perfect. I have tried too many times to make the first few chapters really good instead of just trying to write and get the story.

Finally, my last tip is just to get the draft written. You want to get to the end. Take notes on things you want to change as you write, it will help with the next draft, but your focus needs to be on getting it done.

That’s all I got, there are more tips but this is based on my experience. You can google for more tips if you want more thoughts. This is the first post in the new series, so check back next week for our discussion on First Lines.  Check back on Monday for Weekly Writing Wrap-ups.

Calendar

Posted: May 31, 2017 in Craft Post, World Building

Welcome to the last post in our Worldbuilding series. It has been a long series, and the end has finally arrived. To get caught up on this series you can find all the posts above under the Worldbuilding Link. To get caught up on all the posts in the last sub-series Other, you can find them here. Let’s dive in.

How do you tell time in your storyworld? I am talking about more on the grander stage. Days, weeks, months, years and beyond. What does the calendar look like in your world? Is it one calendar that all accept or do each race or nation have their own?

Our year on earth is 365. something odd days. That is why we have a leap year. There are 24 hours in a day because that is how long it takes for the earth to rotate around once. There area seven days in a week from Genesis creation account in the bible of six days of work and day off. Or it was the seven heavenly bodies: Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn. There are many reasons we have seven days.

The reason for all this is when you create your calendar there are reasons behind why our calendar looks like the way it does. If you want one unified calendar it would be best to have it be based on facts instead of superstitions. Facts are what you make them in your world. Maybe your Calendar is given from the Gods if you have gods in your world.

Are there older calendars that were used that don’t work well with the current or unified calendar? If so, when did these events happen in conjunction with the new calendar?

Think about how your calendar lays out. What are the names of the months and the days? How about how many days in each month? Are they evenly distributed or they uneven? How about those leap years? Do you even have leap years? Are there eras or splits like our, BCE and CE?  If so what are the dividing points, a great war? A God was born into flesh?

How do you go about it making your own calendar? I would recommend looking Aeon Timeline 2. It is a great program. You can read more about it apart of my Aeon Timeline 2 Review.

That’s all I got. It has been fun, but all great things have to come to an end. Next week we will start a new series, I am still thinking about it but I leaning towards First Drafts. Note there will be no post on Saturday. Check back next week on Monday for my Weekly Writing Wrap-up and the start of our next series second Saturday of June.

Welcome to our Penultimate Post in our Other sub-series in our long ongoing Worldbuilding Series. This is also the Penultimate for the Worldbuilding Series. Today we are looking at Art and Entertainment.

What is Art?

What is Entertainment?

Can they be both?

The answer is yes. Not to everyone, but to many they are. Many, myself included, think of some fine painting or drawing when we hear the word Art. Fine could be different to some. The Mona Lisa would be considered fine art, but many might not like that kind of art. Anime, weapons, cartoons, comics, etc. They are all some kind of art. Many of them are also entertainment.

Teen Titans Go, to me is a horrible style. It looks like something I drew in high school but perfected. That’s not saying it isn’t art. That just my opinion of it. Some love that style. Same goes for other forms. You have other kinds of art like glass blowing, pottery, iron working, wood carving, etc. Even writing can be seen as art.

Let’s define both Art and Entertainment before we go any further.

Art is:

The quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aestheticprinciples, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance. dictionary.com

Entertainment is:

Something affording pleasure, diversion, or amusement, especially aperformance of some kind. dictionary.com

If you click the links to each definition, you will find others I didn’t post. I choose these for specific reasons. They support me when I say art and entertainment are both.

Now that we have that defined and know it can be both. Let’s look at some questions you should think about.

First, who supports the Arts and Entertainment? In your world are they seen as one in the same or can only things like a painting or a statue be art and a play masterfully written and performed cannot? Is one better than the other? Do only the rich get to see plays while the poor get art or the other way around? Are artists praised or seen as people who don’t want to work? Is and can magic be used in either? Are there those who think magic has no place in art or entertainment and those who think it is fine?

What do people of all social levels do for fun? Do you have sports and are those who do it for a living or is it seen as something only as a past time? Is gambling allowed on such events? How does your religion’s think of art and entertainment? Do they allow only wholesome things or only things that talk about the gods?

Think of how all the other races in your world will think of art and entertainment? How are they different and similar? Do something they are a waste of time or all about them?

How much does it cost to own a piece of art or see a show? Are there any professions that constantly make up new games to teach people?

There is so much in this area. Also, blending it with everything we talked about so far? Can how cities and towns are built be artful? Weapons, are they plan and more convenient than well designed and pleasing to the eye?

A lot of this is going to be more background stuff unless you have a character who has a job working as a painter or actor. Take some time and think about how you will portray art and entertainment in your world.

That’s all for today. Check back tomorrow for the Last Post in our Worldbuilding Series. It is on Calenders. Note, there will be no Craft Post this weekend. I am going to take a week to think through what will be our next series. I am thinking First Drafts, but we shall see.

 

Welcome to this week’s Craft Post. We are in our final sub-series that is a part of our year long Worldbuilding series. The title of this sub-series Other. That’s right we are in the few topics I want to talk about that didn’t have a sub-series to put it in or it hit many sub-series. On Wednesday we talked about Communication and Transportation. Today we are talking about Science and Medicine.

“Wait, you’re telling me that you couldn’t find a sub-series to put Science in?”

Actually, I could, if actually fits into multiple sub-series. So I decided to put it under other.

What level of science is your world at? Is it at the wheel? Or is it at where we will be in two thousand years? If you remember from Communication and Transportation post, I don’t like it when fantasy follows the path of human on earth. If you have humans in your world that is fine, but it doesn’t mean they have to follow our path. Meaning, you can have certain areas of science be more advanced than others. Example. Maybe they don’t understand what it would take to build a rocket and launch something into space. However, they have a high understanding of how their bodies work and the medicine to heal and fix them. Maybe it is even to the point where they can speed up the natural regeneration process to minutes instead of days.

“Whoa! How could any race of people have the technology to speed up the healing process to minutes, but not know how to build a rocket?”

I never actually used or said the world technology. I said to understand and from understanding developed a medicine that did this. It is very possible the future when we are traveling the stars, that we will come across a very advanced race where the are able to heal but are still fighting with swords and shields (or whatever type of weapons that are simple in nature).

Knowing where the people of your world understanding of science is crucial for many areas of your world. How can you have a transport through the planet that takes only 38 minutes to go from one side of the planet to the other, when they don’t understand gravity? Better yet, what if your people’s level of science is so far advanced they can’t figure out how ancient sites were built? I am looking at you Stonehedge.

Have the people of your world got around to where they understand the science of magic? Yes, I know you want your magic to not be science based. (You as the author should know the rules of it.) Under the system you want, the answer would be no! Your people don’t understand the magic that well.

Want a building that seems to float in the air, but your people have an understanding of physics that we had about a hundred and fifty years ago. Guess what can’t happen. The Architecture possible will be limited. Fun fact, next week’s post will be on Architecture.

Depending on the understanding of science and the many different subjects will determine what is possible from roads, bridges, towers, food production, navigation, telling of time, etc.

Moving on to Medicine now.

I mentioned the medicine above that can speed up healing from days to minutes. How much would medication in our world cost that could do that? A lot, if it got released ever. Big Pharma doesn’t like cures, they like medicines that help mask or make the problem go away temporarily. Is it the same way in your world? Are there medicines that some people see as too risky or they just don’t want around due to it being a profit it killer?

How is health care looked at in your world? Is it seen as a right? Or only to those who can pay for it? Maybe one of your races on your planet sees good health as for all so they can help the tribe or nation out. At the same time, that race sees frail and old as a liability so when you hit a certain age you are no longer able to contribute to the tribe so you are given the option to take your own life or they take it for you.

Is birth control seen as a positive or a negative? Is it even allowed? Same goes with abortion? If a male and female have relations and the female is now with child (assuming the women care the child) but the male or female doesn’t want to have a child does the one who doesn’t bare the child have a say if the pregnancy is terminated? How are children with mental illness looked at? Can same-sex pairs have children or are both genders needed?

Is death seen as the hand of god and if god wants them dead they die or can a medical team, work on the person and save their life? Is there a taboo to touching a dead body or is it okay?

What kind of illnesses are there that can kill someone in hours to years? Are there diseases that cross between races?

There is so much on medicine and science that I could make this post super long. I am going to cut here because I want you to just see only a small portion. If you want to see how much more there is pick a simple topic like childbirth. Now answer every question you can think about on that topic just off the top of your head for one of the races on of your world.

Once you have done that, go through your answers and find what new questions arise from your answers. Do this until you have every possible question you can see how childbirth is done for one race. If you want to find more questions, give your answers to someone and see what questions they have. Once you’ve answered your friend’s questions that’s just one area. Do that for everything I covered.

That’s all for today. Check back when we will talk about Architecture. Surprise! Be sure to check back on Monday for my Weely Writing Wrap-up.

Welcome to the start of our final sub-series in our year long Worldbuilding series. The title of this sub-series could be called nothing but Other. Yep, there are a few topics I want to talk about that I just couldn’t find a place for. Some could easily be placed in their own sub-series, but after a year of this, I am ready to move onto other topics. So they get one post. Now you may be asking why is there a post on Wednesday? Good question. It simple. I feel like I owe you all more since for the last few weeks I haven’t been posting on time. So you get two posts this week.

Now you may be asking why is there a post on Wednesday? Good question. It simple. I feel like I owe you all more since for the last few weeks I haven’t been posting on time. So you get two posts this week. The other reason is I want to finish the Worldbuilding Series as a whole by the end of this month. So two birds. Let’s dive into today’s post.

There are two topics so we are going to split them up. We will talk about Communication first and the move onto Transportation.

How is communication usually done in fantasy stories? It is either by a messenger who delivers it by horse or other for of transportation. However, long distance communication is usually sent by messenger pigeon or raven. There’s nothing wrong with this, but these things have become tropes of fantasy. Why? Well because like a lot of things in fantasy (mostly stories taking place in a medieval setting) we use things from our own history. Why? Because we are familiar with it. Also, we know it works. No author wants to come up with a way of doing something and have their readers say “Nope, that wouldn’t work.”

Side note, if that happens it is not because the premises of the idea didn’t work, it was the overall execution throughout the story. Other things in the story aren’t done well enough to make use believe it can work.

Continuing. While there is nothing wrong with using things from our world that work, it just not as unique. I am tired of having so many fantasy worlds feel the same because they all have the share things from our world. The idea is this isn’t our world. Maybe humans exist there, but they aren’t humans from earth. They should have different kinds of plants animals. If you are going to go with a less technically advanced people, come up with ideas for they would communicate over various distances. Maybe you have bird post, but only commoners use it because they can’t afford the really cool and instant communication that the rich have access to.

If you want to use something from our world, put a twist on it. How about the telegraph, but instead of sending electrical signals maybe it sends pulses through the magic ley lines. It doesn’t just go to a specific place, but everywhere. Maybe that is why a code is needed so only the person the message is intended for can get it and read it. Speaking of magic, why can’t it be used to communicate with people far away? Have magic mirrors or portals that allow you to actually see each other. How about

How about a telepathic race? Instead of writing anything, you visit the local Telepathy shop or if you are wealthy enough have your own personal telepath, and by contact with them, you can communicate with another person. Either through another telepathy or directly to the person.

This isn’t limited to fantasy. If you are going to have a science fiction world where all or a portion of the galaxy is colonized, you need to know how they will communicate. My problem with science fiction right now is that they are relying too much on current science. So communication to another star system takes years. Some might say that’s because it is accurate. Yes, and it works if you want a storyworld where every star system is there own separate place and communicate long term. What if you want a world where you can talk to someone on the other side of the galaxy?

“Sorry, you can’t do that, because based on our current science that is impossible.” Wrong. You have to come up with that works for your story world. If you want people to know how it works, make it believable. Or come up with a new discovery that allows for it to happen. This is why I love Stargate. Sub-Space Communication is how they talk to each other so far away. When you get really far, such as different galaxies, you have communication stones that switch consciousness with someone else. You are in someone else’s body.

Let’s move onto Transportation.

“You’re just going to ask the same questions but about transportation.” Probably. However there is a difference between talking to someone far away and actually going there. Let’s look at all the different ways there are to travel on earth. You can walk, ride a bike, use an animal like a horse, you have cars, trains, ships on rivers and oceans. Planes for crossing around the world in hours instead of days or weeks. There are submarines for going below the ocean and shuttles that go into space.

There are a variety of types within those ways to travel, such as sled dogs for animals. You have motorcycles, dirtbikes for as motor vehicles though I just said cars. Depending on the time period your story world is in, will determine your ways to travel.

“Wait! You made a huge stink earlier about fantasy worlds being too similar because they used things from our own world and time periods. Now you’re saying travel has to be based one time period.”

I did just say that, but I said it because a lot of people seem to think that way. I would hope people would look at ways of travel and come up with their own even if they have their world set in a medieval type period. Why not have cars at that time? Instead of using gas, they use a different kind of fuel. If the world is closer to their sun, but not so close it is a desert planet, maybe they have a form or solar power. They have carriages that move on their own that use crystals that are full of sunlight.

We will never truly get away from having worlds that are similar to our own completely, but we can take things from our world and place them into our storyworlds but make them fit. I am a huge proponent of stealing other people’s ideas.

“What!”

You heard me. Am I saying steal someone’s novel they wrote and publish it as your own? No. However, you will find ideas that you really like from your friends, other writers and take them and use them. However, those ideas don’t work if you just drop them into your storyworld as they are. You have to make changes to them so it fits. That goes with anything. If you want flying cars in your colonial time period type world, you can do it. Just give a reason why, and make it believable. Maybe that world has a stronger magnetic field or something that allows them to have those kinds of vehicles.

Going back to magic, why can’t you just open portals and be there instantly. How about jump sites. This way you can get to civilized areas fast like other major cities, but if you want to get to the mountains, you have to jump to the closest site and then travel by foot or animal. If you’re using magic, you can have flying carpets. If you don’t want instantaneous travel, magic allows you to move faster or slows time down so you can get to places far away, quicker.

Time to look at science fiction. Unlike with communication, if you want to use science it isn’t that bad for travel. Why? Well, many scientists have many different theories on how such galactic travel may be possible without breaking the speed of light. There this is my approach and screw the cosmic speed limit and just do whatever you want. Ever heard of Hyperspace, Faster than Light Travel, Wormholes, hell why not just use portals.

When it comes to doing anything in writing, if you make it seem possible within your storyworld, then readers will buy into it. Not all, but most. Its when you don’t make it seem possible that everyone rejects it. If you have this great idea on how people can travel across the universe, but don’t think anyone will believe it is possible, and keep thinking that. Well, when you write it, you will write it in a way that tells the reader you don’t think anyone is buying it or you don’t believe it. Guess what happens, they won’t either.

My closing remarks are, to limit yourself to ways we travel or communicated during specific time periods. Do what you want and just sell it. Also, there is nothing wrong with using things we use, but put your own twist on it.

That’s all I got. Check back on Saturday for the next post in our Other sub-series. The topic Science and Medicine.

 

Welcome to this week’s Craft Post. Sorry, it is coming a few days late. I said on Friday in my last post when I should have said Saturday. Yesterday, I got distracted. Damn you 13 Reason Why? For being so good. Today’s post is the last post in our Daily Life sub-series. I am sure I could find many more topics to cover here, but these were a few things I thought important. Maybe sometime after we wrap out Worldbuilding series I will come back and talk about some of them. For those who are new or returning after some time, you can find all the posts in our ongoing Worldbuilding series under the link in the toolbar. You can find all of our Daily Life sub-series posts here. Let’s dive into it.

Education. What form does it take in your world? Is job-related, where if you are going to be a blacksmith you are taught what you will need for that job? Is it more one on one with an instructor who determines what you learn? How about a teacher who knows all and teaches all the subjects similar to the Maesters in Game of Thrones? Do children leave home and go to a special building where a teacher teaches them, similar to how it is done in our world?

Those are just a few questions you need to ask yourself about how education is done in your world. Why? That’s simple, depending on how education is handled in your world will determine how educated your characters are. If only the rich are education beyond what is needed for their job, and your lead protagonist is a commoner, but spouts off facts about things not dealing with their job, will be seen as a huge contradiction. Unless the character purposely seeks out new information. That leads to a huge question, who get’s to be educated? Is it only boys? How about only girls? Maybe it is only the rich. How do adults feel about education? Do those who live in the city see it as a way for their children to move up in the world, where those in smaller villages see it as a waste when they could use their kid’s help on the farm or in their store or whatever they do?

Let’s go back to the structure of education. How long does the education last? Do children go from a young age all the way to adulthood? Does it stop after they get to an age where they can be working and help earn extra money for the family? Is it a law that children must be educated? How many hours in a day does school last? Eight hours? Five? It is year round or ten months with a few breaks in there and then two months off (or how many days in a year in your world)? Do the teachers grade the students or is it more of a keep doing it until they get it right? How are students treated when they act out? Are they beaten? Put in the corner for a time out with a Dunce cap?

If you look around at how different countries education systems are like, you will find so many different structures. Some have strict test base structures where others have gone away from tests altogether. There there is how teachers are viewed. In many countries, teachers are seen as important part of the education system. Then you have the U.S. where teachers are villainized for low test scores, told how to do their jobs by people who don’t know a damn thing about education. Ops, guess my own thoughts on that slipped out. Oh well. Are teachers seen as something anyone can do or someone special, who is seen as wise and people have great respect for?

The last point is how is education paid for? If you have a maester based system where they are cared for by the Lord they work for. Or does the country pay for it? How much money is given to education will depend on a lot of the questions I already asked you. If the rich are seen as important to education and the commoners not, then most of the money if not all will go to schools for the wealthy, where the commoner schools will get little to nothing. Let’s look at specific areas of cities. If education is of commoners is seen as important then do only good areas get money and the bad areas get less? Racism comes into play, as does sexism and any other kind of bias.

That’s all I got today, check back tomorrow for my Weekly Writing Wrap-up, and next week when we start our last sub-series other. There are few random areas I want to talk about before wrapping up this Worldbuilding Series. I do have a few ideas for where we will be going next, but I am still processing them.

Welcome to another Craft Post in our ever going Worldbuilding Series. You can find all the posts so far in the Worldbuilding link above in the toolbar. You can find all posts in our current sub-series Daily Life, here. This post is a make up for this past week and not posting on time at all. Let’s get started.

Manners and Etiquette, what the hell are they?

Let’s define them really quickly.

Manners Are polite behavior that reflects respect for others. Saying “Please” and Thank you” as well as waiting patiently and not interrupt others while they are talking.

Etiquette is a social code that is polite conduct that facilitates positive exchange. The code is for any given situation and helps create comfort and confidence for everyone. Think of a table setting. Part of etiquette is knowing which bread and butter plate are yours and what fork you use with what course. Also, understanding why these practices exist to make it more believable. A name tag is worn on the right side because it is easier for someone to read when you shake hands.

What are you the rules of your society? Is it not right for a woman to pull a chair out for themselves? How about the fork? Do you get offended if someone offers to shake hands with a certain hand? How about how you dress or the way you walk, talk?

Consider what people think of the code? Are some people love it and will have nothing to do with those who don’t follow it. Do only the rich follow it only because they fell they must, but actually hate it? Is the code a cultural thing or only certain people follow it?

When is comes to Manners, are they important to people in society or only a few people? Is there a word or a gesture said or used to ask politely or means thank you? Is it seen as a bad thing when someone who represents that they don’t have manners?

How do people react when someone is rude? Do they look on from afar and snare or actually get involved? How do these change from race to race? How about the difference within a race? Just because someone is an elf, doesn’t mean a wood elf will react the same when a plains elf. What about when you host a guest, is there something you should do when they arrive? Do you greet them or send your son or daughter to greet them. How about a servant or a soldier? What about food and drink? Is it first or after some time has passed.

Manners and Etiquette do cross over at times. There maybe manners part of the Etiquette code and by not following them you could purposely be rude to someone. How about a society where the code is not to be polite? Somewhere if you hold the door for a lady, you stand out. Where punching someone in the face for bumping you won’t.

That’s all I got. Check back on Friday for the last post in our Daily Life sub-series.

 

Welcome to last week’s Craft Post. Yep, I am late on this one. I’ll be posting a few to make up for it. For those who are new, we are in a year long Worldbuilding Series. You can find all the sub-series under the Worldbuilding link in the toolbar. You can find all the posts in our current Daily Life series here. Today’s post is Fashion.

What is the kind of dress is acceptable in your world? I am talking about the kind of dress that is okay in the culture of the nation. Then you have the kind of fashion that is frowned upon and seen as stylish. Is there even such a thing? Do the people of your world care about the style of dress. Every culture has their own styles and style. It could be a based on religion if the culture is more religious or something else. The Middle East have a strict dress for women while the tribal villages in Africa have a simple sheet style.

That brings use to Morality well at least the when it comes to dressing. Is it acceptable for women to have their breast exposed? How about men? Is it okay for their chest to be seen as long as we don’t see nipples? (Assuming the people have nipples). What about the gentiles? If you want to go odd, look at Brandon Sanderson Stormlight Archive where women cover their left hand. Beyond Morality, are there gender styles? Do just

Beyond Morality, are there gender styles? Is it acceptable for women to wear pants or men to wear skirts or dresses? How about young children? Teens?

Then you have fabrics. Do they have patterns in them, maybe a pattern that is unique to their people’s culture? How about colors, are certain colors okay for religious ceremonies, others for festivals, and then there are funerals. Same goes for the kind of dress for those events? Should a groom wear a suit and the bride wear a dress?

Do jobs have uniforms for everyone or just certain jobs like judges, sports teams, and military? We will be covering Education in a few posts, but do they have uniforms for public education or private?

Are there standard items required for dress such as jewelry? What about weapons? Are they part of the everyday dress or only part of specific jobs or dress codes?

I know this is a lot of questions, but when you think every culture has their unique styles designs. You need to think about this for every culture in your world. Also, how intermingling between cultures will affect each other. Take some time and think about each of your cultures.

That’s all I got now for today. Check back soon for another Craft Post on Manners. Monday there is my Weekly Writing Wrap-up.