kayqy: Teito peruses the stacks... with INTENT. (greeneyes)
Today I'm supposed to pick one area (history, economics/politics, language) and spend a little time expanding it. Okay. I'm gonna do it right today. I might even do two areas if I get really ambitious. But I'll start with language. Fifteen minutes, go!

Read more... )

Whew, that was even more than I expected. Awesome. :) I think I will still do economics/politics, though, if only because it's the first time that churches have been mentioned in the exercises, and I know that religion has to play a bigger part than one little hermitage-turned-temple.

Read more... )

Whoo, two for two! Booyah!
kayqy: In the depths of the earth... the fires of creation (volcano)
Remember that annoying teacher in middle school that made you turn in your outline and research notecards and such as separate grades from your final draft so you couldn't put the whole paper off until the night before, like any sensible student? =.= Yyyyyyeah. Meet today's assignment:

Get out your timeline, your economic/political groups, and your list of syllables.


Because I totally made nice long, comprehensive lists of these, and not just some vague ideas to use in future planning. *nods*

As I look at what I do have, though, I don't see much that really doesn't fit the mood. Mood's been one of the strongest parts of this story almost from the beginning, and been key in most of my choices regarding characters and names and such. (In fact, I'd be more worried that this strong mood sense has kept me from trying more interesting elements that don't seem to fit at first.) And a lot of the mood has to do with execution, too: a cave full of magic crystals sounds epic and mysterious and awe-inspiring.... until you think of Rainbow Brite.

Anyway, in case I haven't spelled it out, or it's changed since I started this, let me reiterate my mood:

-blue and grey and muted purple and forest green
-a wooden flute lilting an elegy from a cliff by the sea
-the occasional epic symphonic choir
-a small yet warm fire holding back a blizzard (...maybe?)
-moonlight on snow
-tiny, everyday things coming together for a purpose greater than one can imagine (is this mood or theme?)

Basically, I want something awesome and stunning, in the original senses of the words, something clear and pure that takes your breath away, not only in the manner of a mountain's distant majesty, but also in the nearness of a hummingbird on your finger.

(....and now I have to come down off that mountaintop and go back to naming merchants. *rolls eyes and reminds self that the tiny things being meaningful is kind of her point*) Anyhoo, things to keep in mind:

-definitely will not really call the other continents Urbania and Suburbia. Really. >.>
-should possibly figure out what Paori's people call their continent.
-see if anyone else thinks it seems jarring/contradictory to have people names be random-sounding syllables, while place names are "translated" to English. (opinions, anyone?)
-One of the keys to making all the mundane things like mercantilism relevant to the mood and epicness will be the demons. Which means I need to figure out what they're doing and why, dangit.
-STOP WAITING UNTIL IT'S SO LATE TO DO THIS. *headdesk*
kayqy: Teito peruses the stacks... with INTENT. (greeneyes)
Languages! My favorite! *will try to restrain herself for the sake of the post, at least* >.>

I make no promises. )

Not sure how far to take this post— I could go on all week, most likely. But I think I have a few more ideas of where to take it, at least.
kayqy: Teito peruses the stacks... with INTENT. (greeneyes)
Today's challenge is about recent history in my 'verse. Like the last hundred years or so. Once again, did not quite follow directions (and may have accidentally done tomorrow's assignment, too), but I came up with most of this while digesting my aunt's tasty Chocolate Dessert in her porch swing. And I'm happy with where it's leading me, which is what counts.

My first hang-up came when she said to list dates like death of a king, major wars and so on. I have a strong sense of this continent not having kings or kingdoms, possibly not since the ancient cataclysm that shall henceforth be known as the Division. (If it wasn't already; I'm not going to go back and check my old posts right now. Onward!) If you've ever read Bujold's The Sharing Knife series, I think it's kind of like that setting: a destroyed empire in the barely-remembered past, but now just farms and villages and independent towns, growing into a new civilization. And I couldn't really come up with any wars or other major conflicts; none really connected with my characters' stories, and it didn't really seem right to just randomly tack a war onto a year— OH HEY THAT'S WHY THIS ASSIGNMENT GAVE ME SO MUCH TROUBLE. *lightbulb*

Well, that's something to consider later on, I guess. At any rate, even without consciously realizing the source of my hangup, I managed to figure out a few things by connecting them to something I already knew I had: magic crystals.

No, really. )

*reserves the right to repeat some of this tomorrow, if applicable*
kayqy: Oyasumi~ (oyasumi)
Tried thinking about this at work again today, but this crazy "work every day" concept is taking its toll on me. I just could not brain enough to focus on it very long. Or anything, really. But I managed a couple of vague ideas, so I'll see if I can add to them before I lose consciousness...

Day 6:

I'm still not sure if they mean all sentient races, like elves and such, or just human races; and I can't seem to limit myself to where peoples evolved natively or whatever, but at this point, screw it, I'm just gonna roll and see where I end up. :P

So far I've gotten two main things:

1. Humans are the only humanoid sentient race on this planet. There are gods (or at least one god), and demons, and other sorts of creatures that happen to be sentient: I'm thinking something catlike, something birdlike, and perhaps something dolphin-like. There is interaction among these races, but not interbreeding, thankyouverymuch.

2. Paori's continent is either the lost cradle of civilization, where humans began, spread throughout the world, and then waned and was lost to disasters; or it started as an ancient colony, like a cross between the Pilgrims and 18th-century Japan, secluded from the rest of the world and largely forgotten. I suppose it could be both, but this seems unlikely.

3. (Okay, I said two, but this is basically derived from 1 and 2, so.) The non-human races did start on the other continents, but at one point some traveled and lived on Paori's continent, too. However, most of them died out soon after the seclusion of the continent— probably due to lack of breeding possibilities, or something more sinister— or did they? >.> So while they would still exist on the main continents, they're merely legends and superstitions to Paori's people— always be polite to a cat, don't tell secrets around birds....

4. (Attempting to actually answer the question...) What they look like? Well, Paori's pale, but that's mainly b/c he's underground so much. I want to say that those that settled in the east/central parts of the continent are darker-skinned.... OOH MAYBE I CAN HAVE A TRIBE WITH HEAT-SENSITIVE MELANIN-PRODUCING ENZYMES LIKE SIAMESE CATS. XD *bounces* Also, I think blondes might be even rarer than redheads around here. Not sure.

Okay, think that's about all I can manage for tonight. Still more than I thought I'd get when I started! \o/

*falls over ded*
kayqy: Oyasumi~ (oyasumi)
I knew the map was coming up today, so instead of waiting until bedtime, I looked at the instructions before work this morning and worked on it during my conference period. Yay for free time used productively!

Mutelight has been mostly a story focused on three boys, and while they will travel a lot, they won't be crossing every inch of the world, so first I focused on the main part of their continent:
http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e105/KayQy/mutelightmap1.png
The purple starburst in the northern mountains is Paori's temple/cavern/mining town where the story starts, with a few more towns along the rivers, some semi-nomadic settlements along that big northern lake (Vester and Sylver's home), a hopefully-not-random holy place on that island there... (and no, the cliffs are not really the Cliffs of Insanity. That's just a filler name. Really. >.> ) I had fun figuring out how the winds would blow from the NW to get rain to the northern central parts, but not the south, and so on, though I still haven't quite figured out what's on the east coast. "Here be dragons," maybe. It's not a very big continent, though. And I decided it's very seismically stable, aside from whatever created the canyon that diverted the southern river. That way all my crystal caverns are protected! XD

And though I don't plan on taking them off the continent (unless they have a sequel to the original plot that I don't even know yet), the rest of the planet might affect them somehow, so I sketched out some rough ideas:
http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e105/KayQy/mutelightmap2.png*
Paori's continent is the squashed music note in the top left corner, all by itself. The other three continents (no, I'm not really going to call them Urbania, Suburbia, and Trash Heap, it's filler, I swear. And I don't know why Suburbia looks like a doggy head. >.> ) are more or less one big empire; they either haven't discovered Paori's continent yet, or they're too busy quelling insurrections to deal with a puny insular continent so far from them. Or maybe they're afraid of crossing the Starfall Islands: apparently there's a local belief that the volcanic eruptions are stars growing out of the earth and shooting into the sky... hmmmm....

Well, guess that's enough map-babble for one day. *cookies to those who read through it all* I did come up with one last thing on the way home, though it's nothing to do with maps: I was thinking about how I felt this was kind of an apocalyptic tale, yet still close to home, and I wondered, "Are they going to be fighting for a new beginning, like Narnia, or to protect the status quo, like Good Omens? Are they saving bodies or souls?" And then, as if the God from my story spoke to me herself, I heard, "I am not a God of division." ^___^

*graaaaaah, don't know why the images themselves won't show, even though I'm supposedly using the right code, but oh well, the links work and I need sleep. *will stab technology tomorrow*
kayqy: In the depths of the earth... the fires of creation (volcano)
Apparently today's challenge is about cataclysms! Whee! (You'll have to excuse me, I'm still on a bit of an epic high from reading Riordan's The Lost Hero today. This may affect my desire for big things to go boom.)

For 15 minutes, jot down some of the Really Big Land Features you want in your story and just think "what if that were made by...."

~Well, there's the mountain range, of course. And the caverns riddling their insides, which are even more important. I kind of picture something like the Cave of Crystals in Mexico, though I wonder about the heat required to make something like that. Probably not as unlikely as I'd think, even in a northern clime, if it's heated geothermally. The mountains would have to be ancient, though, and seismically stable for ages to keep from destroying the caves and their crystals... though there could be some supernatural interference, I suppose....

~A canyon at the edge of a desert; something that may not come in to play in the story proper, but that Vester and Sylver have seen in their travels. And the locals have an old legend about the canyon, how the desert was once green and lush, but then demons or something split the earth open, and the chasm swallowed the river that was their lifestream. And now the land west of the divide is dry, save for the rare storm strong enough to pass beyond the lush coastland and over the canyon... (There are ruins in the desert that locals claim predate the canyon, but I'm not sure if that's true.)

I'm kind of running out of brain and time for the night, but I think I'll tuck away ideas like fires, floods, and meteorites to chew on later. I'd like to make sure they're not too cliche, but my demons do need to come from somewhere... And as a BBC article about the Cave of Crystals said, "We know more about the outer edges of the Solar System than we do about the first kilometre of the Earth's crust." I think under the earth will wind up being incredibly important in this world.
kayqy: The plot jackalope! (Default)
(*note: nothing to do with the band Third Day. Though I'm probably the only one who thinks of them when those words are capitalized.)

And the link works today! \o/

So, pull out your list of climates from Saturday and look them over. You should have a bunch of climates, maybe even places, and a word or two describing how you feel when you're there.

Well, it's time to make your first real decision about your novel. What kind of mood do you want it to have? See, we're going to set your novel in the kind of climate that contributes to its overall mood and theme.


Mood, huh? Well, when it comes to Mutelight, I've already got a mood more or less figured out. So far it's an epic, mystical tale, much more serious than most of my other bunnies. A few down-home cozy elements, keeping its focus on the few main characters rather than a cast of thousands, but also its fair share of existentialism and possibly-apocalyptic drama. And I almost feel like I'm cheating today, since I already know so much of it is set in the mountains and caverns, and some northern forests, but even so, here goes. *pulls out list* *puts back list, pulls out other list* Day 1, not day 2, right. >.<

*nods and hmms* I described mountains as 'exhilarating', so they definitely work. (Though now I realize I should possibly visualize a little greenery on these mountains, and not just stark rock. I mean, the starkness can be there, but I don't think there'd be that large of a human settlement above the treeline, you know? They have to get their food somewhere...) Mountains are epic; probably why so many epic fantasies include some. Though most fantasies simply see them as an obstacle to overcome, rather than home ground... I could play with that a bit. *suddenly has character development! Characters gain 25 XP! Characters reach level 2!*

Forests also work (though not rainforests), they really give me a sense of peace and calm, yet with something potentially lurking behind a tree, either for good or ill. You could hide anything in a forest....

And while I hadn't considered swamps before, the fact that I labeled them 'mysterious' seems promising. I guess I mainly think of Florida/the south when I think of swamps, but they can be in cooler climates too, right? And I also love the limitless mystery of the ocean; I don't think it'll be a major setting itself, but a good coastline, or very very large lake, so it can be along the edges, hinting at things unknown...

So yeah. Technically I've mainly restated stuff I already knew about this world, but some of the whys and hows are already clearer. Woo! \o/

*may need to give herself a pre-10PM deadline on these things, seriously*
kayqy: In the depths of the earth... the fires of creation (volcano)
And of course the challenge site goes down once I finally get around to today's challenge. >.< Fortunately, KD's a few days ahead of me!

"What role do you anticipate weather playing in your story? Do you have a lot of travel that you want to complicate with bad storms? Are you going to snow in your mighty heroes? Will there be a mighty battle, determined by sudden flooding? You actually don’t need to know right now. Your exerise for today is to jot down ten plot devices that relate to weather, and what you think they do to the story."


Huh. Guess that means I should pick a story to worldbuild? >.> I suppose today could still be generic, but tentatively, at least, I'm going to go with my Mutelight verse, since it's one of the few bunnies poking at me lately that isn't set in our own world or some equivalent.

1. They start in the mountains, so an avalanche or rockslide might be important. If they're trapped, their only option may be to go through the caverns a certain (more dangerous) way...
2. Blizzard/heavy snow. I get the feeling these boys will not be too prepared for inclement weather, so they're going to have a time of it finding shelter and staying warm...
3. Aurora borealis. I already know this is significant for Mystical Plot Reasons (TM) and history, but I think it may also be something for the boys to follow as they travel. It could lead them to a cozy yet mysterious cottage in the wilderness! ^.^
4. Drought. Could be tough travelling with little water, and locals might be suspicious and ill-tempered if they're worried about their crops. And also they lead to...
5. Wildfires. They're on my mind, anyway, what with the news, but that could be another danger to throw at them. Or use to destroy something they think they desperately need... >:D
6. Thunderstorms. (No, self, "Because they're awesome," is not actually a plot device.) Uh... maybe Paori tries to call rain to end the drought/fire, and goes a little overboard? (Note: not sure Paori can actually do this. It would be cool, though. I think he may.)
7. Wind gusts. Deus ex Poppins! *is shot* Uh... could blow away something important, I guess. Like the scarf covering Paori's scars. Though it also makes me want to include some sort of flying scene. *ponders*
8. Rainbow (full-on double). They could stare in awe and wonder, "What does it mean?" :P Seriously, though, it could be some sort of sign, or a moment for them to stop and remember that there are beautiful things worth protecting. *insert fuzzy moment here*
9. Tornado. I... really don't want to include a tornado. Not sure if I feel it's overdone, or too close to home (even though I've never actually seen/experienced one myself). I guess it could... be another sign of death, destruction, and the apocalypse? *shrugs* Or kill someone plot-conveniently.
10. Earthquake. Destroy the whole mountain cavern temple.... or perhaps open the way to an undiscovered cavern. o.o

Made it! *falls over*
kayqy: Aaaaaaaaaah! (aaah)
What do you mean, I haven't been on here in months, I don't know what you're talking— *cough* >.>

So, KD's doing this 30 Day Worldbuilding Challenge ( http://www.web-writer.net/fantasy/days/days/01.html ), and I decided to join in. So I'm about to have the busiest week so far this year. It's only fifteen minutes, right? And I could use the creativity exercise.

Ha. We shall see.

This would be faster if I weren't trying to be all fancy posting it and stuff. )

Lot longer than 15 minutes, but I was perpetually distracted.
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