Archive for the ‘World Building’ Category

Welcome to this week, the third post of the week. Once again I am coming late. Let’s just plan on having this posts on Saturdays until I know for sure I can get these posts done on Friday. There was one more post on our Magic and Technology sub-series, but I sorta covered what I wanted to say on that topic on Technology of your World post. Today we will be starting our Penultimate sub-series on Daily Life. This series will cover the following:

  • Daily Life
  • Fashion and Dress
  • Manners
  • Education

Let’s jump in.

We all know what Daily Life is like. We wake up, have our coffee, eat breakfast, shower, get ready for work, get stuck in traffic, work, get yelled at our boss for something they didn’t tell you to do, have lunch, work on that issue that our boss yelled at us for, go to the gym after work, get stuck in traffic, get home, have dinner, spend time with friends/family, watch some tv, and finally go to bed. The next day we repeat.

Now that maybe my example of daily life doesn’t apply for everyone, but it is a general idea. What is daily life like in your word? Before you answer, let’s look at how you could answer this question. You could do it by nation, people, religion, etc. Depending on a people’s society works there could be similarities, with some changes. A nation that is ruled by religion may have a worship time or times built into their daily life.

How you answer this question is how you have the people’s daily life. Is a nation a mixture of different people where their cultures blend together to have a unique structure of daily life? Maybe there is no structure, and people are able to go about what they wish?

What about how certain things like how everyday utilities handled? Such as garbage and other material waste handled? How do things differ from cities to towns? There is so much you can look at about everyday life and see how what you could do with it or change it.

That’s all I got today, check back on Monday for my Weekly Writing Wrap-up. Next Saturday for another craft Post on Fashion and Dress.


Welcome to post two of three this week of Craft Posts. I am posting three times this week, due to not having a Weekly Wrap-up. You can find all the posts of our sub-series on Magic and Technology here. All the other posts in our ongoing Worldbuilding series can be found under the Worldbuilding link in the toolbar. So let’s dive into it.

In our last post, we talked about how the technology of our worlds, what makes it different. Unique. Today I want to take a look at how technology affects that world. What do I mean by this, look at the introduction of the desktop computer to the marketplace. When computers were first invented they took up whole rooms. During this time there were some famous predictions from top people in that field that were wrong.

I think there is a world market for maybe five computers. -Thomas Watson, president of IBM, 1943

There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home. -Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, 1977

There is some debate over that last quote, some were saying more of a personal computer, not a household computer. These predictions were way wrong. It’s hard to find a home that doesn’t have a computer in it. Or an iPad, smartphone, etc. Computers made things easier. Running complicated mathematics equations, typing up documents, where if you made a mistake you didn’t have to start over, and there is that creation of the Internet. That could be debated if that actually helped. Anyway, life changed from doing things by hand and taking longer to much faster.

How would your world change if the main character in your story found a working computer in his journey? How would it change the world over two hundred years, that’s with the computer surviving and working after the events of the story? Would it make any changes since the people didn’t understand the science behind it? Or did it jump them ahead a hundred years, because they knew enough to be able to figure it out over time?

Let’s look at this another way. Let’s introduce laser guns into our world. Tomorrow, President Trump announces the use of a new weapon for the military, laser rifles, and pistols. These weapons will give us an edge over ever country in the world he says. Which, it would. How would our world change, or a better question how would war change? One over the next few years every country in the world would be looking new kinds of armor that could take the hit and not hurt the wearer. Mirrors would become in high demand. Why not just reflect the light. However, that may not protect the wearer if the guns were plasma and packed a punch.

Before we know it, fighter jets would have lasers or plasma weapons on them. The protective armor on them would change, what else could change? Possibly, having dual laser and projectile weapons. Use bullets to shatter the mirror and then use the lasers. Who knows. All we know is war would be changed completely. So would battery technology, since it would take a large amount of energy to power these weapons. Sensors on the soldiers to gather information from enemy troops and computers to analyze the data in real-time to tell our soldiers direction the beams are coming from how to dodge in time, etc.

Then you have everyday life when those weapons eventually make it over to the public. You think the debate on guns is a hot topic now, wait until some gun nuts start demanding they be able to have laser weapons. (Gun nuts refers to the person who take their right wear weapons in public way too far, such as wearing a rifle on their back at a mall.) Eventually they would find their way into the public’s hands, criminals, terrorists, and just overall people. That would change how society lives and reacts too.

This is why Star Fleet’s main order is not to interfere in the lives of lesser evolved lifeforms, out of fear of taking those people off their own track of discovery. One little thing can cause huge changes. Now how will technology of your world do that? If you are having problems with ideas for your story, maybe adding unique technology that only a few know about that is causing the change. How about, next technology the world knows about, but the villain of the story is using it in a way no one thought about using it.

We live in a world of cause and effect. Technology is the cause and then you need to figure out that effect it will have.

That’s all I got. Come back Friday for the last of the three posts. We maybe moving onto our penultimate sub-series. I know under the Magic and Technology page it says Technology in Fantasy, but I talked about that in my last post. I may still do it if I can come up with a new way to look at it. If not we will be moving onto a sub-series called Daily Life.

Welcome to a super late Craft Post. No Wrap-up again this week, and because of that, I am out $20 from not writing last week. As another form of punishment, I am posting three craft posts this week. That being said, we are moving along into the Technology part of our sub-series on Magic and Technology. For those who are new or returning, we have been going through a long series on Worldbuilding that is broken up into many sub-series. You can find all the posts under the Worldbuilding link in the toolbar. To find all the posts in this series you can find those here.

What is the technology of your world? Well, do you know? Why am I asking this? Every world is going to have technology. If it the wheel or an arrow catch or also known as the Bloodless Device from the KingKiller Chronicles. Before I go any further, I know the Bloodless Device uses magic. However, it is still technology.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. -Arthur C. Clarke

Just because you don’t know that typing on the keyboard of your computer sends a binary code of 1’s and 0’s, to the computer and based on that order of those 1’s and 0’s tell the computer what glyph to appear.

01001010 01110101 01110011 01110100 00100000 01100010 01100101 01100011 01100001 01110101 01110011 01100101 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 00100000 01100100 01101111 01101110 00100111 01110100 00100000 01101011 01101110 01101111 01110111 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100001 01110100 00100000 01110100 01111001 01110000 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01101111 01101110 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01101011 01100101 01111001 01100010 01101111 01100001 01110010 01100100 00100000 01101111 01100110 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 01110010 00100000 01100011 01101111 01101101 01110000 01110101 01110100 01100101 01110010 00100000 01110011 01100101 01101110 01100100 01110011 00100000 01100001 00100000 01100010 01101001 01101110 01100001 01110010 01111001 00100000 01100011 01101111 01100100 01100101 00100000 01101111 01100110 00100000 00110001 00100111 01110011 00100000 01100001 01101110 01100100 00100000 00110000 00100111 01110011 00101100 00100000 01110100 01101111 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01100011 01101111 01101101 01110000 01110101 01110100 01100101 01110010 00100000 01100001 01101110 01100100 00100000 01100010 01100001 01110011 01100101 01100100 00100000 01101111 01101110 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100001 01110100 00100000 01101111 01110010 01100100 01100101 01110010 00100000 01101111 01100110 00100000 01110100 01101000 01101111 01110011 01100101 00100000 00110001 00100111 01110011 00100000 01100001 01101110 01100100 00100000 00110000 00100111 01110011 00100000 01110100 01100101 01101100 01101100 01110011 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01100011 01101111 01101101 01110000 01110101 01110100 01100101 01110010 00100000 01110111 01101000 01100001 01110100 00100000 01100111 01101100 01111001 01110000 01101000 00100000 01110100 01101111 00100000 01100001 01110000 01110000 01100101 01100001 01110010 00101110 00100000 00100000

Note, that is the binary code for my last setence. Not knowing that doesn’t mean a computer isn’t technology but magic. Come from 100 BCE yes, it would be seen as magic. Anything can be technology. What is unique about your world that some kind of technology could evolve from it? I’ll give you an example. In my Forbidden Realm Trilogy one of the magic’s is called Life and anyone can use it, if they become strong enough. However, others found ways using science and machineries to use life in weaponry. While, magic is involve, there is some unique weapons that come from this.

The reason I brought up the Bloodless Device from Kingkiller Chronicles is because it is such a unique idea. I have never seen anything like it fantasy, but it really should have been. The idea of something that can stop arrows made of certain types of materials is very cool. How would such things work in other worlds? Who knows, we know how it works in Pat Rothfuss’s world, from how he describes it and the use of sygaldry. Other than knowing that certain sygalds mean different things and how you write them on something makes them do what you wrote out, we don’t know much about how or why.

So what kind of technology could your world create? Just because your world maybe set in a time period that in our world was not that advance doesn’t mean you can’t have leaps and bounds of advanced technology in it.

That’s all I got today. Check back on Wednesday for the next post of this week. Hopefully, there will be a Wrap-up next week. If not, it’s going to cost me a lot of money.

Welcome to this week’s Weekly Writing Wrap-up. I got nothing. Yep, nothing. So instead of not posting anything, I am going to post a Craft Post instead. That’s right, this is the next post in our Magic and Technology sub-series in the Approaching a Year-Long Series on Worldbuilding. You can find all the Worldbuilding posts and sub-series in under the Worldbuilding link in the toolbar. For all the posts in our current sub-series, you can find those here.

So, what do you mean how your world affects magic? Good question. I got nothing…

Okay, just kidding on that one. To answer that question, we need to look at everything we have talked about thus far. No, I am not about to recap a year’s worth of posts. I will say, take a look at your world and how you developed it. What areas did you really develop and those areas you glossed over? You are probably asking why I am asking you that and it is simple. I am going to take an approach to that may seem odd or different. As I see it, if you are just starting to work on your magic systems now after everything else we have gone over, then your magic should be like nothing else in your world. Make it Alien to your world.


That’s right, make the magic stick out like a sore thumb. It should be so blatantly different that it seems like it isn’t of this world. Why? Because it will make it unique for the first part. I am talking about like your readers are into your story and they are just getting a grip on your world and then you introduce the magic, and they are like what!? I want them to question why you put such something that clearly is out of place into this world. Once they are wondering this, you’re going to show them why. Well, a small part.

Still doesn’t feel like I answered the question why do this, right? That’s because I haven’t fully. It will give your magic a wonder feeling, even if it is a very scientific style system. Second, it will tie into the story going on. Whether that is a huge point or a small one is up to you. The other reason it will get the reader to question why such a different form of magic developed in this world than what should have. This is where you could do something like magic is broken or it turns out to be actually alien (like advanced technology from another world.) Or it is what it is. It really is whatever the reason you want it to be.

This is where I confuse the hell out of you. If you are just developing your magic now, and have everything we have completed so far, make your magic blend into the world. It should feel like it is natural. What!? Yep. Stick with me, I have a reason for this. You could develop this earlier in world

You could develop this earlier in world creation because you came up with a great idea. That’s fine. However, this based having most of your world (or the areas you have selected to really flesh out) completed. With that, you know how your world works. You want magic, in this world. If you know your world as well as you do, that means how your magic works will be able to flow deep and natural. Just like it is a natural resource of your world (not that it has to be or is one). Think of it this way, your world is created from everything that has come from a black hole. In the sky is a white hole and over billions of years, this world has taken form. How life forms, to vegetation, to religions of what the white hole really is.

Knowing all this, you can link the magic from the same creation. Maybe the magic is what is left over from another world that had it and now is different because it has been twisted and deformed from coming through the white hole.

This allows you to layer it into everything else and how it will affect everything in your world even the development of life. A good example of this is Pandora from Avatar. There’s not magic, but life on that world is so connected. Everything works and flows together. This is how magic can work.

All right Tim, what’s going on. You just gave us a paradox for an answer. What one should we use if we are just developing out the magic system?

That’s easy. Whatever one works best to meet your rules, and most importantly serve your story. If you want something cool and unique and feel different. I would go with a magic system that feels alien. However, if you like cohesion and synergy, go with blended magic. Here’s a trick, pick one of the options and develop your magic system. Then go through and see how it affects your story. (No that doesn’t mean write out an complete magic system. But it does mean make it about 4/10ths complete. That much should give you an idea of how it works and how it will change your story or not.

Before I close, I want to give a little note to those who create their magic systems early in their worldbuilding. Whenever you do this, before moving forward and start developing a new area. Go back through what you already have done and see how it affects that. Once you have done that, everything you do from there on you should be able to answer how magic plays into it. (If it does at all.)

Well, that’s all I got for today and on Magic. WHAT! NO POSTS ON HOW TO DEVELOP YOUR RULES OR HOW RULES ARE A MUST IN MAGIC?

No. It was a little over a year I did a series on magic, so I really don’t need to go through all that again. Next week we will switch over to Technology. That post will be on Friday. Hopefully, everything will go as plan, this week so I can post my normal Weekly Writing Wrap-up next week.

Welcome to this week’s Craft Post, coming to you late, because Friday’s just seem to come out of nowhere and I forget to write it by the time I realize I need to. Enough of my excuses. For those who are new or haven’t been around lately, we have been in a nearly a year-long series on Worldbuilding. To get caught up, you can find all the posts under the World Building link in the toolbar. Last week we started a new sub-series on Magic and Technology. You can find that post and all the posts in this sub-series here. So, just to be clear, today’s post and our next post will be focused on magic and the following three posts after that will focus on Technology. I am doing that to give technology the time it deserves. All right, that’s enough let’s dive into it.

Should Magic be Mystical or Knowledgeable? That’s the question every fantasy writer and reader argue over. Well, not everyone. Several authors will tell you it doesn’t matter, but they prefer one or the other. Then you have the others who believe their side is the only way. If you have been following my blog at all, you know that I have my view on this topic. I fall clearly on the Knowledgeable side of the line. The mystical side is great, but I find it too much of a plot thread that authors use to get their characters out of a jam they can’t seem to find an answer for. It doesn’t always happen, but it has happened enough to shun me.

That speaking, my first book ever was written has magic that falls more on the mystical side than the knowledgeable side. (Note I am talking about Seeing Through the Veil). Before we get any further, let’s go over what I mean by Mystical and Knowledgeable. It’s time for the Line:

This line is usually a visual given when explaining the differences. A lot of magic systems out there fall somewhere on this line. If a system falls completely to the left it is completely mysterious and the reader knows nothing of how it works. If it falls completely to the right, the reader knows exactly what magic can and can’t do. The rules that govern it. Anywhere is a mixture of both. Examples of this would be the Lord of the Rings and The Wheel of Time Series.

While some people believe they figured out Lord of the Rings Magic rules, they haven’t because Tolkien was taking from myths and folklore for the creation of Middle Earth. I wouldn’t be surprised if he and an idea in his head of what magic could do, but it very well possible he didn’t. So those are the extremes. Where do you fall on this line? I am not completely with the Wheel of Time, but I can get close at times.

Before going any further, please note that once you pick where you fall, it doesn’t mean you’re stuck there. Maybe your current WIP (Work in Progress) you want more knowledge base magic. However, your next project could have magic more mystical form. But knowing where you fall on this line is very important because it will help you with your writing. There is one more line we need to cover and that is the middle. Why do we need to talk about the middle? Simple, if you can’t figure out where you want your magic system to fall, or where you fall, the middle is a great place to be. You get both worlds. What series could fall there?

Why not Harry Potter. If I actually had to put Harry Potte on the line, it would probably be just shy of the middle to the mystical side. Solely because while we know about magic, we don’t come close to knowing what it can completely do or can’t completely do. (Beyond not being able to bring someone back from the dead). The middle is a great place to give your readers some knowledge of magic and still keep it mysterious and open to new possibilities. Note: If you do this, or if you fall on the mystical side as well. I would say know how magic works yourself. This way you don’t use it in aways that can used as examples of magic being used to solve your plot because you can’t come out with away out without it.

What do you think? Should Magic be more Mystical or should it be more Knowledgeable? Or is the Middle a good place? Time to figure that out.

That’s all I got this week. Check back next week for How your World Affects Magic. Also, be sure to check back on Monday for my Weekly Writing Wrap-up!


Welcome to this week’s Craft Post. Since last may we have been going through a long series on Worldbuilding. I am happy to say it will be coming to an end soon. When? Right now! Bye!

Okay, not now, but soon. I have three more sub-series I want to cover and when they are done this series will be over and we will move onto something else. What’s that you ask? What are the remaining three topics? Our next to topics, Daily Life and Other. The third topic is what our new sub-series we will be starting today. Magic and Technology. Like before, let me list off the working titles of all the posts in this series:

  • What’s your Rule?
  • Magic: Mystical or Knowledgable
  • How your World Affects Magic
  • Technology: Known or Unknown
  • How Technology Affects your World
  • Technology in Fantasy

Six posts in all, and I am splitting it up like I did with Military and Law Enforcement so each topic gets its due. Today’s post is simple, What’s your Rule? Those who know me know that I love my rules when it comes to magic. However, this is something completely different and applies no just to magic and technology. It can apply to everything we have done so far. Why am I just writing about it now? I should make this the last post, but it applies to this sub-series well so I will place it here instead.

Every heard of the writing trope called: The Rule of Cool?

The Rule of Cool

“The limit of the Willing Suspension of Disbelief for a given element is directly proportional to its awesomeness.Stated another way, all but the most pedantic of viewers will forgive liberties with reality as long as the result is wicked sweet or awesome. This applies to the audience in general; there will naturally be a different threshold for each individual. Also known in some circles as a “rad herring”, in which something doesn’t make sense within the guidelines of the story’s reality, but it’s too cool not to include it.” Rule of Cool – TV Tropes

The rule of cool is what a lot of authors use when creating a world, story, magic system or basically anything. Sure they will do their best to make it seem possible in within the world it takes place. Some do it better than others. I dare to say some don’t care if it truly fits in well, as the rule quote above says, it just too cool not to include it.

I use this rule when I develop my worlds. If I didn’t think it was cool, it wouldn’t be in the story. I also use project rules, meaning I have a rule for how I design my world. What my intention for the story and the world to be like. To put it another way, I have a mission statement. While that works in business, it just doesn’t sound as good for writing. So rule it is. My question and the topic of this rule is what’s your rule? Do you have a rule or a guideline of what you want to accomplish with your world or story?

To bring it to a small scale instead of a whole project, let’s talk about magic and technology. What is kind of rules could you have to guide you in developing your magic/technology? One of mine for magic is, How amazing it would look on in a movie? What a movie? This is a book, why are you talking about a movie?

Good question, it’s because I am the very visual person. I see a lot of this in my head and wonder if it would look just as good in a visual format, like a movie or tv. If my magic won’t look good on the big screen I am not interested in it. This is just me. I also how big can I go with it? Now, does it mean I need to go big with it? No. Will I, most likely because my stories are pretty big. I just like to know that if I want to I have lots of room to go with the magic.

What are some other rules that you could us:

  • My magic will be completely mystical
  • Magic can be understood, but not completely
  • It must good for fighting
  • Magic be able to do cool in huge battles
  • I want the magic to feel completely alien to everything else in the world.

Those are just a few ideas. What these rules do, is help guide you along with coming up with ideas to achieve what you want. An example: I have four ideas for magic, my rules or goals for my world are the last four ideas above. Magic can be learned, but not completely. Magic must be good in fighting, Magic must be able to do cool things in huge battles. Lastly, I want it to be alien to the rest of the world.

My ideas:

  1. Every time you use magic, the user is by affected. It can be good or bad.
  2. Spells requires very elaborate dances to do.
  3. Attacking one person directly, while magic will attack the enemies in the immediate surroundings.
  4. Magic can be used to keep a warrior going, if skilled enough take on a small army on one’s own.

Okay, not the best ideas, but it will work. Using my rules, which ideas would you not use in this world? It would be number 2. As cool a dance magic seems interesting to me, elaborate dances would take to long and not work well in huge battles, or even a one on one fight. It may fit feel alien, but that’s only one rule it meets.

When you have more ideas and they seem different or can’t work together, having rules or should I say guidelines to help you filter out ideas that may be good for a different story, but not the one you’re working on. So I ask again. What are your Rules?

That’s all for this week, check back next week. We will start on Magic, talk about if Magic should be mystical or knowledgable. Be sure to check back on Monday for my Weekly Writing Wrap-up.


Welcome to this week’s craft post. For anyone who is new or returning, we are currently going through a gargantuan series on Worldbuilding. To get caught up on all of the sub-series thus far, you can find them under the Worldbuilding link in the toolbar. To get caught up in our current sub-series on Military and Law Enforcement you can find them here. Today’s post is the Penultimate post of the sub-series, so let’s dive right in.

Last week was all about Warfare. This week is about the weapons used. I am not talking about shields, swords, lance, daggers, spears, etc. I want to talk about the weapons that make your world unique. “Well the story I am going to be writing takes place during the dark ages or middle ages, or whenever swords and armor were the weapons of choice.” That’s nice. I don’t care when the story is taking place, I want to know what kind of weapons make your world unique and different. Let me give you an example.

Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive takes place in a world where warriors have massive swords. You know, the kind of swords way too big for a normal person to be able to hold or use. The kind usually pictured on the cover of a fantasy book cover. Brandon wanted to create the kind of world where you could actually do that. Something that required them to use those weapons but believable. Thus the creation of Shard Blades and Shard Plate Armor.

This is what I am talking about. While it isn’t that different kind of weaponry, it is unique to that world. Even if your world and the time your story is going to take place is going to be during typical medieval times, you should have some kind of weapons that is not from earth. These weapons don’t have to be legendary weapons that only a brave warrior is rewarded or even have special powers. They can be common weapons, something that we haven’t seen before. More specifically, a weapon that changes how a battle is done.

Going back to Stormlight Archive, the world of Roshar has massive caverns and bridge teams are needed to take the armies to battle. The bridge men are the lowest of the low when it comes to soldiers. They are expected to die. They aren’t shielded and men are picked off by enemy troops. This isn’t a weapon, but it is how soldiers and Shardblade wielders get to the battle.

Think of it this way, how would war and battles be fought if antagonist’s forces suddenly showed up to a battle and they all were wielding lightsabers? First off, that battle would be a slaughter and a victory for the bad guys. All other battles from then on would change. Do would the good guys have to change to be able to fight against forces with such a powerful weapon. The answer can’t be magic.

How do you fight against a sword that works just like a normal sword but when your opponent or enemy is pushed back, you can shoot out the blade into a whip form and attack? Or a sword that has a weapon on the other end thus allowing someone to fight against two people or more at a time.

You don’t need to create all new weapons so that you have only weapons that don’t exist in our world. However, there should be unique weapons that exist. They can be the focus around the plot of the story or they can be just one of many weapons soldiers learn. With unique weapons make sure you show what it is capable of or the reader will always wonder and even question its effectiveness against swords, armor, etc.

That leads me to, what can be considered a contradictory point. Don’t have too many unique weapons. Let me say another way. Don’t introduce too many unique weapons at one time. You need to give the reader time to get their heads wrapped around one, but if you have introduced five. That’s going to be too much. I would say three is the most at one time. Especially, if you have a POV… an Important POV (an main character) learning to use that weapon. Then it will be a little easier to deal, as the reader will learn about the weapon with only a specific character. If introduce a weapon and only show it off but don’t tend to show more of it until late in the book or series, that should be okay. Especially if that weapon belongs to your main villain.

The key is moderation. A great author can either pull off introduction multiple unique weapons or styles of combat in a book, but also can mess it up. The keys make sure you know how the weapon works and have the basics figured out before hand.

How to come up with a new or unique weapon? For me, I would probably start with how the weapon works or the way combat would take place. If I wanted something long range or close quarters, then go from there. Once I had how I wanted the style of combat to look, I would then move into what kind of weapon(s) would be able to be used and wouldn’t be able used in it. Or just start drawing doodles and see if get something that looks like a cool or interesting weapon. The sky’s the limit. Study on the development of weapons and see how weapons evolved over the centuries.

A great way to do this is to link a weapon to one of the different races. If you have a race that skin like shells, what kind of weapons would they use?

That’s all I got this week. Check back new week for the final post of Military and Law Enforcement: Treaties and Alliances. I am playing around with a few ideas of where to go next, and I think it may be time to touch upon Magic/Technology. It has been over a year since I talked about magic. I am not sure. I have a week, but we will see.  I am aim to wrap this Worldbuilding Series up in the next month or two. However, I don’t want to leave a topic untouched. Time will tell.

Don’t forget to check back on Monday’s for my Weekly Writing Wrap-up.


Welcome to the third and final post of, not one! Not two!, but three Craft posts. For anyone new or coming back, the last two week’s I have been focused on finishing the 2nd draft of Seeing Through the Veil. I did not post craft posts those weeks. Now I am done I needed to make it up. So I posted those two posts, the first one on Tuesday (which you can find here), the second on Wednesday (which you can find here). Today, Friday, when Craft Posts are posted, is the final post. We are going through an immense series on Worldbuilding. You can find all the posts under the Worldbuilding link in the toolbar. The current sub-series is on Military and Law Enforcement (which you can find all the posts in this sub-series here). Let’s get started.

WAR! What is it good for… Absolutely nothing!!!!! Accept action, conflict, story progression, character development, setting the scene. Okay, so maybe that song doesn’t apply to writing. Which leads me back to War. How do you handle it in your world? The answer is actually another question. What kind of world does your story take place in? Is it a fantasy world, sci-fi? Ops another question. This can go on and on. The best way to answer is when does your story take place in your world. Is it medieval, stone age, turn of the century, steam, iron, near future, future, etc? Depending on the time of the world affects the answer. Also, while you could have a future (like a super high tech world) but still have magic in it. Note, just because you have magic doesn’t mean fantasy can be in the future.

Depending what kind of war, what abilities the people who live in it have if magic exist or technology or both. All of these and more will affect how war takes place in your world. For example, you have two armies one that fights a specific away and has more forces and power. The other is smaller and not really trained, with some power, but are driven by ideals. How does the smaller, less trained, and experienced army win?

The answer, don’t fight the war how their enemy wants you to. WHAT!? The American Revolution, not all battles the armies of the soon to be U.S. and Britain formed up ranks and charged each other firing at each other. A lot of times, it was gorilla warfare. This made no sense to Britain, to them it was a cowards way to fight. Because the refused to adapt, they eventually lost (Along with many other reasons).

As much as we like to believe there are rules to war, there aren’t. We just have agreements not to do certain things, like use our super weapons of Mass Destruction (Nukes) in war (Kinda). What kind of agreements or codes do the people in your world have? These can be based on cultures, beliefs, religion, etc. When can battles take place? Will warriors or soldiers fight only on certain days? In Brent Weeks Light Bringer series, during the battle near the end, the Prism is trying to protect a city from being taken and knows if he can last until sunset, he will have another day to prepare as it is the summer solstice and no fighter will fight on that day.

War is a game that when played, people die, but the players with the best strategy win. Yes, Brute force is a strategy. How difference races, or people or whatever you have lived in your world, fight and train will determine how warfare looks like. It will also determine how a winner is chosen. Is there such thing as surrender? Is only one battle held or many? Can single combat or a series of single bouts determine who is the winner? Are there things that are seen as crimes that cannot be done? Example, killing families of the enemies soldiers. Is this okay in your world or not? Or is it what happens during a battle or time of war stays during that time?

This doesn’t mean it has to be just if you killed someone. It could also mean if soldiers cheat on their wives or husbands it is okay because they were at war.

Is Spying allowed? Or is this seen as cheating? What if an enemy force surrenders can the victor continue to slaughter them or do they have to stand down? Do battles take place near civilizations or are they in open areas away from innocents?

What I am trying to point out, we like to think about battles being bloody, action packed and full of strategy and more. When in reality they are but depending the side what is seen as okay and not okay could be very different. Depending on your characters and their cultures, beliefs and anything else you can think of will determine what war looks like in your world. We know what it looks like here, does it have to be like ours? No. It could be just a computer game and kids play and turn out to be them directing military forces on the other side of the galaxy. Yes, I am referencing Ender’s Game. It is up to you. Study war and its evolution and see how you can change make it something different than what we have seen before.

That’s all I got today. Check back on Monday for this week’s Weekly Writing Wrap-up and next week for the Penultimate post in our Military and Law Enforcement sub-series. The topic Weapons of War!


Welcome to day two of three Craft Posts week. For those who are new or haven’t been around lately the last two weeks, I didn’t post a craft post out of the need to finish my 2nd draft. With that draft done, I am not catching up. We are currently going through a massive Worldbuilding series, that has been broken up over multiple Sub-series. To get caught up in all them you can find them under the Worldbuilding Link in the toolbar. To get caught up on our current Sub-series on Military and Law Enforcement, you can find those posts here.

You can’t talk about Military without talking about war, and not just how war works, but mostly why go to war? Boy, this post is going to be long. Okay, where to begin….

Oh, I know! Reason to go to war is ANY DAMN REASON YOU WANT!

Wow, that was easy. Well, tune in on Friday for the last post of the three. Have fun writing everyone.

Okay, so we aren’t done actually. However, my answer to why go to war is absolutely true. You can go to war because the leader of another world commented on a pic of yours and asked if your hair is real. That could happen. Sure in this day in age, we would like to think that wouldn’t happen, but then again with who is in the white house right now, you never know. Sorry, couldn’t resist a Trump joke. The truth is any President on a bad day, could technically start a war with any country for some stupid reason. Thankfully, for an actual declaration of war, you need Congress. Yes, we would need more than an insult for that, but look throughout history and see how some wars started, they’re some stupid ones.

Example, Captain Jenkins losing his ear. If you want to know more Google it.

Let’s bring this into your world. You can have any reason you want to start a war. It can be something so far out there and dumb, but it can be the reason. Just know people will probably think it is stupid. If you have a bad reason for war but want people to think it is a great reason, better sell the hell out of it. The best plan is present the reason you have and just let your readers react how they react. While having someone assassinated works better, but sometimes wars break out over small issues. Look at the Revolutionary War. We just wanted to not be taxed without representation in Parliament. The King refused to listen and war came about it.

Reasons for war mean little, in the end. It is the person or persons who have the reason to declare war that matter. Oh my, characters make the difference. For example, at a conference between seven nations two neighboring kingdoms who are at peace, but have building tension where something could start a war. These two leaders meet and one leader has a spot on their suit and their neighbor leader points it out in the hall. It just so happens that this it is right before an important meeting where the leader won’t be able to go change, and two other nations leaders were walking by at the time.

Now the leader who pointed it out the stain was just to make the other leader aware. However, the Leader with the spot sees it as them trying to embarrass him. Especially since he did so as two other leaders were passing by. War ensues.

That’s is a stupid reason to go to war, however, it isn’t for the leader who felt insulted and embarrassed. To that leader, it is a very good reason to go to war, especially with other issues with that leader’s country. When word gets around to the other kingdoms and leaders about the real reason was over being embarrassed, they may say what a stupid reason. People in his own kingdom may agree, while other’s may see it as an insult. Why didn’t the leader of the neighboring country pull the leader aside and tell him/her?

The motives of the people involved with the decision and order given to declare war is more important than the actual reason. If you have a reason for war, that people tell you isn’t that good and a war would never get started over that. Do these two things. First, thank for their thoughts, but to the characters involved, it isn’t stupid. Then when you write the novel, just make sure you get it through that the character(s) see this as a good reason. If you do that, people may still think it is dumb, but will believe it isn’t to this character(s). Second, tell/remind them how the Battle of Troy was started over a woman.

That’s all I got for this post, check back on Friday for the last post of three this week. The topic, Warfare.


Welcome to the first of three craft posts this week. Yes, that’s right you read that correctly. There will be three. I never posted the last two weeks due to trying to get the 2nd draft of Seeing Through the Veil completed. Now that it is, I must come through on what I promised. This post will focus on Ranks of a Military but can be used to help create ranks for your Law Enforcement. Let’s dive in.

The first thing you need to know about ranks is that currently rank is directly tied to a soldier’s pay grade. To give you an example of this, if you are Major (Officer) your pay grade is O-4. You make what an O-4 is structured to make. Sure there are many other things that go into that, like deployment pay, combat pay, special skills pay, special units, etc. Some apply to all pay grades while others apply only to specific jobs. Depending on your world and what you want to do, you may want to link rank to pay.

Tim, why did you start with telling us about ranks being linked to pay? Good question. It’s simple, a King or President has to pay their armies. You might think well if they don’t fight I will kill them. You can do that unless your emperor has god-like power and can put the fear into them, what do you do when the most or all of your army refuse to fight? It’s something I never really even thought about until recently. Mostly, thanks to Game of Thrones and other fantasy series that have brought it up. Soldiers get paid.

What is a Commander?

What? Isn’t that a rank? I thought so for a very long time. I was wrong. It can be a rank, but when you look up the word you get this definition:

Commander is also a generic term for an officer commanding any armed forces unit, for example, “platoon commander”, “brigade commander” and “squadron commander”. In the police, terms such as “borough commander” and “incident commander” are used. Wikipedia

They are the boss, but they too have a commander above them. The commander of the base is an example. If you want you could use this as a rank, but it is more of a title depending on the job you’re doing.

Next is how is your Military structured?

I though that is what you were going to go over in this post? Nope, I am going to ranks. How the military is structured is different. I guess I need to cover this some. Does your military have one branch or ten? Do they work together or separate depending on their purpose. Right now, most countries have three branches. Army, Navy, and Air Force. Special recognition to the Coast Gaurd and the Marines that seen as branches but technically are under the Navy. Except during times of peace, which the Coast Guard is under Homeland Security. These two could easily be made into full branches, but aren’t.

Depending on your branches and how many determine how each one works. Each branch can have its own Chain of Command be different but in the end all answer to the King or President. While our military has three branches, an E-3 (Enlisted) is the same level across all three branches, though the name may be different. If you have multi branches crossovers and have different chains of command and ranking systems, you need to know who has the highest rank. Also, to add more to it, that highest rank may not be the one in command of that unit. That’s there if you want to cause conflict.

If you haven’t gotten it, yet, ranks like Captain, Colonel, etc. mean nothing. It’s your pay-grade. You can have a high ranking officer who got that job due to his battle experience and is a great warrior but also have, a young nonbattle experienced Lieutenant who is a genius at the same time. This Lieutenant could be making more money, put in command due to his intelligence over the much more experienced warrior due to the times (times of peace). Or it could be reversed. It’s all how you want to structure your military.

If you want ranks to mean something and have power and no one with a rank below can order someone above them around than structure it that way. Tie ranks into fighting levels and only if you can meet these high standards (which all branches like to say they have, which they do. They train and push you to meet them) but you have to get there on your own. That’s fine. There is no wrong way to come up with your ranks and structure for your military. It just needs to seem like it works. Or doesn’t work if that is what you’re going for.

The way you structure your military doesn’t have to work in reality. In many ways, the way our Military is structure, it doesn’t work. Sure it’s not like it doesn’t work to the point that it costs us wars, it could be better and run more fluently. Everything can. As for names of the ranks, that’s up to you. It is easy for people to know what level someone is if you use the names and titles we are all familiar with, but part of developing your own military is making it unique. More importantly, resemble the people you use it.

That’s all I got for this post. I thought for sure this was going to be more about rankings and names for them. Nope. Names for ranks is just the base of it. It all comes down to structure and the chain of command. Tomorrow, we will move on to the Causes of War. Check back tomorrow and then Friday for the next two Craft Posts.