Tag Archives: World-bulding

Short stories and Nursery rhymes…

World-building.

As a writer, no matter what sort of world you’re building, the chances are pretty high that your world has children in it. They may not become part of your story, but they almost certainly exist nonetheless. And so, part of the culture of your world will be devoted to those children, and that culture had better be part of your story, even if the children themselves never appear on the page.

That’s why I am about to write a nursery rhyme.

No, I’ve never done this before and I’m pretty sure I haven’t a clue what I’m getting myself into; but I’m about to dive in, nonetheless. I’m actually going to read nursery rhymes to get an idea of the feel of them: common uses of meter, typical metaphors used, that sort of thing. Then, I’m going to take the seed of an idea that sprang out of one of the character treatments I posted recently and attempt to write a nursery rhyme that could conceivably have been inspired by the event.

It’s very unlikely that any of this will end up as part of my story, of course. After all, I’m trying to write dark tales in a fantastic and gothic setting. Children might appear in the story, but I’ll be taking to care to keep them as part of the tragic background and a dim sense of hope for a brighter future. The nursery rhyme will serve to simply add to my understanding of the world I’m writing.

I posted this in the hope that it might serve to be helpful to others of you who might be struggling with some aspect of world-building. The answer, as it is in most cases, is to write.

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Wednesday’s “Letter from Chalandris”: Ernie – “The Great Ernesto”

Hey all,

Before I get into today’s “Letter from Chalandris” I want to thank everyone who took the time to respond to me about yesterday’s blog post. They say that pursuing a career in writing can be mentally and emotionally challenging, and I suppose there’s some truth to that. My present life circumstances are ideally suited to the purpose of making me feel like a piece of crap. My natural sense of hopeful optimism is usually more than sufficient to overcome that effect, but on occasion the heat gets turned up a bit and my defenses crumble. That happened to me Sunday evening and, with the help of a dear friend or two and your helpful encouragement, I am starting to feel somewhat better. I’m not 100% yet, and I may never be, but today I’m better enough to finish the writing I was working on, and that makes it good enough.

Speaking of which, today’s “Letter from Chalandris” is Ernie, and is posted. He’s an interesting guy and I think folks will like him.

New ‘Letter from Chalandris’: Landa

I’m a little late. Sorry.

Got in late last night, was too tired to write. Got up as early as I could and got right to work. I went ahead and wrote a little about Landa.

Now I need to get ready to go out of town a ways. I’m not likely to have internet where I’m going, so if I’m not posting that’ll be why. But I’ll still be writing, and I’ll have four more to post by noon Monday if I can’t post beforehand.

Enjoy the weekend, everyone!

New: Letters from Chalandris – and a plea for help

In my last post where I was questioning how to go about building my world, Sheryl Winters posted a great idea and I’m going to use it:

So, I will be introducing:

Letters from Chalandris

I’m not sure how to structure it yet, but I’m just going to write about Chalandris from the perspective of various characters, starting with minor characters first. I will create a new section on the website for these and post them for folks to read if they wish. They will be inconsistent for a couple of reasons. Some of the characters will be ‘unreliable narrators’, meaning that, for them, it will be more important to relate information in a way that benefits them personally than to tell the unvarnished truth. Think of how politicians act when they are fearful of being caught in a scandal and you’ll have a good idea of what that’s about. Another reason is that different characters will view the same people, places, and events differently, based upon their personal relationships, histories, prejudices, and other biases. Another thing that will create inconsistency will be that, as I continue this exercise, Chalandris itself will acquire greater breadth and depth as increasing levels of detail are fabricated, sometimes rendering previous installments obsolete. As this is a world-building exercise, it will rarely be productive to go back and edit previous installments to make them consistent on that basis. I will simply note the differences in my project notes and continue on.

To speed the process along, I’m going to do my best to write something every day and post the results on the following day. I’m going to treat each day as a firm deadline to try to develop some discipline that I have been lacking thus far. All writers go through periods when the words just don’t come. My reaction so far has been to whine to myself about it and focus on other things until the muse returns. This simply will not do. If I’m to make this a career I need to develop the discipline that will allow me to meet deadlines because, let’s face it: if some major publisher were to send me a contract today for a five-book deal providing say, five books in five to seven years, I’d be a fool to sign it. I just haven’t acquired the writing skills required to meet any reasonable deadlines and it’s just not fair to treat a publisher (or an agent, editor, etc.) in that fashion; very unprofessional. If I want this to be a career, then I must develop a professional-level skill set.

So, I’m going to ask you to hold me accountable. Keep my feet held hard against the fire. Pester the bejeezus out of me if I’m not posting on time every day (12:00 noon, US Eastern Daylight time {GMT -4}, weekends excluded). I absolutely need this. I know it, every one of you knows it, and I’m asking for help.

Thank you.