Tag Archives: worldbuilding

WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM A RANDOM SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL: PERRY RHODAN #1 ENTERPRISE STARDUST

This loose series of posts started out in response to my random science fiction (and fantasy and horror and now including other genres) paperback grab-bag box, but let’s expand that out to the series I’m collecting as well, which I talked about here … Continue reading

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NOT EVERYONE IS THE HERO OF THEIR OWN STORY

Sometimes villains know full well they’re being villainous, that they’re hurting people, that what they’re doing is wrong and so must be done in secret, and so live in fear of being caught. When they are caught, they might at … Continue reading

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I RANDOMLY GENERATED A RELIGION

…and here’s why, how, and what I ended up with… This is part of what at this point is just kind of a fun exercise, exploring the idea of writing a randomly generated fantasy novel as part of an effort to maybe write … Continue reading

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SHOULD WE STOP CONJURING THE APOCALYPSE?

Right from the start let me make sure you know that I in no way subscribe to any version of the “Satanic Panic” or its second incarnation, which was to blame “violent video games” for any and every real life … Continue reading

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THE GENUINELY POPULAR CULTURE OF YOUR WORLD IS…

Start with the most basic premise that a story is characters in conflict, and the best stories are those that present the most fully realized characters—characters who feel like real people, however unreal their circumstances—so that no matter how outlandish … Continue reading

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FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION AS INVENTED HISTORY

Are we all writing historical fiction, but the history is invented? When I was working as the Forgotten Realms novel line editor at Wizards of the Coast, this idea became something of a mantra to me. When it comes to … Continue reading

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IN A LANGUAGE FAR, FAR AWAY

Some more from the old online worldbuilding course… If we begin with the basic concept that no one literally speaks English in either Westeros or in the galaxy far, far away in which Star Wars takes place then we have to assume … Continue reading

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PRODUCE, PROTECT, OR DESTROY

This week, I’d like to mine some material from my now defunct online Worldbuilding course. This, on the subject of magic in fantasy, and to some extent, technology in science fiction… In both fantasy magic and science fiction technology, the … Continue reading

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CHARACTERS, CULTURES, AND GROUPS

I used to teach in-person then online courses, and one of the most popular was my worldbuilding course. Though it’s been a while since I’ve actually taught these courses, one of the exercises continues to stay lodged in my brain. … Continue reading

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NOTES ON CHARACTER-DRIVEN DIALOG

In Bird By Bird, Anne Lamott tells us that, “One line of dialogue that rings true reveals character in a way that pages of description can’t.” Absolutely true. Each of your characters, like each of the people you know in the real … Continue reading

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