invitation to world building month

This is the official invitation!

August is going to be dedicated to world-building, here, and on any other blog or site that wishes to participate. We’re going to be exploring everything; history, art, politics, geography, map-making, town-building, magic, science, rumor mills, everything that provides a setting for writing. Any medium of exploring these topic is welcome, from essays to writing samples to artwork. This is an open project. As with Villain Month, I’ll be showcasing people’s work every week.

Interested in participating? Just leave a comment, and be sure to include the URL where you’ll be posting your own projects.

June’s Villain Month was a great success; here’s hoping that World Building Month can do the same!

showcase of villainy, part ii

This wraps up week two (this post is two days late– small children terrorized our house this weekend) of Villain Month. 🙂

I had hoped to do more for my villain Tarren Kanichende, but didn’t quite manage it.


Saint Know-All finished her study on Richard Khiro, and has just started on her second villain, Darren Hare.


Karma Girl posted a profile for her next villain, Dinah Renoir.


Seanchaí posted some thoughts about the Underutilization of Villains.


Aldersgatecycle spent the week working on her second villain, Sir Gregory Ander.


Nymeria wrote about her villain, Sirius Nymeron, and discussed what she liked to see in an antagonist.


Rachel Russell posted a character sheet for her villain Keledreth.


Ashley Mill writes a bit about what she’s going to be doing for her villain, B.M. Lamora.


Olivia posted a character sheet for her villain Roseanne Baker.


Asustadizo drew a picture of his villain’s hands.


And that wraps up this week! I’ll do the third update next weekend!

showcase of villainy, part i

Villain Month

A week has passed since we started Villain Month! I’m really impressed by what people have come up with so far, so this is the first of four weekly showcases. Participants are listed in the order they signed up, then entries from oldest to newest.

I spent the week working on Lord Kione Remerdii, from my novel ‘Blue Crystal’.


Saint Know-All spent the last week developing Archduke Richard Khiro.


LeLoOr has been working on Leonard Geier.


Karma Girl spent the week developing Veruca Marinme’.


Nilah spent the week contemplating her villain Redtooth, and came up with an idea for his motivation: envy.


Aldersgatecycle made a very in-depth post on Queen Maelys I, covering a bit of plot, a bit of quotes, personality, and basic facts.


Dory made a post titled ‘The Sorrowful Mind of a Villain‘ on Deviantart.com– unnamed to make the thoughts easier to relate to.


Nymeria examined Arturiel Valyr on her journal.


Amber (Terrorcookie) decided to develop her villain by haiku— she has two of them now, and a journal post serving as her central page.


And finally, Oliva wrote a long, very detailed character sheet for her villain Charles de Paul.


… Wow. Great job, you guys! I’m really impressed by what everyone has come up with so far!

A full list of participants can be found here, with links to their various websites. I’ll be posting another full showcase next Saturday, so stay turned!

Looking forward to next week’s projects!

procrastination

It's the cats' fault.

I promised myself that I’d write a thousand words before sleeping. And then the cats were being so cute, sleeping on my black sweater.

I really do know better than this. It’s 11:30 at night, and I haven’t broken 52k. Bad kitties…

Quick photoshop sketch– took about an hour total, and would have been less if my cats had stayed asleep. Don’t let overwhelmingly cute cats happen to you. … Or blogging about them, for that matter…

villian: kione remerdii: introduction

Kione Remerdii, lord of blue crystal

“Those that protested, ‘I had no choice,’ obviously lacked an imagination.”

Kione Remerdii

Kione’s family are not noble; the Remerdiis are what is known as ‘Landed Gentleman’, which means that they get a surname, but are barred from officially naming their territories or taking on slaves bound in gold. For services to the king, Kione was promoted to the rank of pseudo-nobility, given the title of ‘Lord’… but his home and lands were not given an official name. Instead, after a bit of social fumbling he was nicknamed ‘Lord Kione Remerdii, of blue crystal’ after his new crest, a piece of celestite shining in the dark. This combined the gentleman and lordly titles, and aside from some prestige bestowed very little special privilege. Given the service he was performed in exchange, some might even think that he was robbed. Kione accepted graciously instead.

The hierarchy, to be clear: Royalty > High Nobility > Nobility > Landed Gentleman > Gentleman > common men.


When Kione was eight years old, he was put in charge of his family’s dogs, to teach him to rule. Dogs, his father theorized, were the perfect way to raise his son: they would flock for food and favors, and were easily trained, easily led astray. This was much how the senior Remerdii saw his people, which he organized into strict routines and rigid groups, all heavily moderated. Kione adopted the same practices, training the animals, then using them for mundane labor.

Two years later, Kione was with his animals when a much younger boy– probably five or so, and noble-born on top of it– thought it would be fun to run among them and hit them with a heavy stick, normally used for chastising the dogs. Kione caught and held him, wrenching his stick away from him and demanded that the child desist and leave. The boy swore and refused, reaching back to take back his weapon as he struggled. Then the boy’s father came into view.

Immediately the child threw himself on the ground and began sobbing. The father shouted and scooped him up, asking his son what had happened and giving Kione a very unpleasant expression as the boy pointed a finger at the stick, but seemed too wrought to make out the words. Kione’s explanation seemed to be disregarded.

When Kione’s own father called on him later for an answer, Kione again tried to explain that he had not been in the wrong. His father cut him off, affirmed that he already knew what had really happened. Then he went on to explain that it was unimportant. Truth was, ultimately, less important than appearance. He was to find other ways, other options, but always must appear blameless, regardless of his intentions, the presence or lack of guilt. Then Kione was punished as if he had attacked the little noble, to the satisfaction of their guest.

Kione learned his lesson, and did not make that mistake again.

villain month: participants!

Eliza Wyatt presents Villain Month!

Welcome to Villain Month!

For the next thirty days, participants will be building up villains in whatever manner they see fit! Egors, overlords, serial killers, smothering mothers, mad scientists, gladiators, thugs, temptresses, poisoners, ambitious politicians, assassins, manipulative children, bullies; pick anything that appeals, and develop a villain!

The current participants:

Eliza Wyatt
Saint Know-All
MJ Cohen
Agarithia
Karma Girl
Seanchaí
Aolo
Sam
Poirotskull
Nilah
Aldersgatecycle
Dory
Shadow-of-ice
Nymeria
Evildex
Rachel Russell
Ashley
Amber
Olivia
Asustadizo
Bbirdmank

cover art preview!

Blue Crystal, proposed cover

This is the very rough sketch of the future cover, commissioned from the wonderful Nykolai. Go see her gallery. (Rough idea for) The back:

In a sunless ice-world where cities are built underground, Vastii is a corrupt, dirty metropolis ripe with gangs, mercenaries, rebellion, and scheming politicians. To suppress an uprising in the west, the king took his own niece, Lady Wyrren Jadis, as a political hostage. Officially, her presence will ensure her father’s loyalty to a king that he never cared for. The king never mentioned that he intends to use Wyrren to accuse her father of murder.

Forced into a strange city with only a few companions, the king’s niece is seen as an easy way to the king’s ear or a weapon against the monarchy. But Lady Wyrren loves freedom more than comfort, and is prepared to do whatever it takes to fight for it.

Anyone think this is noteworthy enough to pick up at a bookstore and flip through a few pages?

thin skin

So… the day before yesterday, I learned that someone whose art that I admire really didn’t care for my work. She phrased it nicely, and made it clear that she didn’t think it was badly written, but even so… I’ve been a little depressed and haven’t really written since Monday, especially since I’ll be backtracking when I do.

I don’t expect everyone to like Blue Crystal. I set out to write something desperate, realistic, gritty, and violent, and (I admit) I’ve drawn some of my inspiration from George R.R. Martin’s ‘Song of Ice and Fire’ series. I’m expecting some to be repulsed by what I’ve done. I’ve even already gotten that reaction from one reviewer, whom I surmise was shaken by the cannibalism; murder is commonplace in books, while eating the leftover meat because you’re a starving man is taboo.

Even so. Getting a negative reaction from someone you admire… I think perhaps I had hoped that since I admired her for her talents that perhaps she’d reciprocate. Things don’t seem to work that way.


Update: A few hours after posting this, I browsed the internet for fantasy covers that I liked, came up with a decent idea that would look beautiful painted in a classical style, and emailed the artist with my new ideas for a book cover. I feel better now, and I think it’s going to be beautiful.