Tag Archives | World Building

Dead Languages

Dead languages! Ones like Ancient Greek, Old English, Old Norse, Old Occitan, Old Church Slavonic… It’s no accident that these examples all have “old” or “ancient” in their name. They can still be understood and read and studied today, but the key is that nobody is really fluent, and they’re nobody’s native tongue. Using a dead language to spice up a manuscript isn’t a new concept, and it’s not just in books that you see […]


Sketchy Maps

A big part of world building for me is the actual land and geography of where the story takes place, which I’m sure goes for most people. So some problems arise when the world my story takes place in doesn’t exist. I’ve just recently started writing my first real, alternate-world fantasy, which includes having to come up with a totally new land. And to be honest, I floundered. I had ideas of where I wanted […]


Details in Setting: 3 Steps to Write Somewhere You’ve Never Been

“Write what you know” is one thing, but if we all stuck to place we’ve been, we’d miss out on some awesome stories. Today I’m talking about how to make places you’ve never been zip and zing off the page. Step One: Is your place real or imaginary? If it’s real, you’re good to go. If it’s imaginary, where’s it like? What place on earth could it be? It certainly doesn’t have to be identical, […]


Backwards World-Building

I’m still making the slow and sometimes rather painful transition from a full-on pantser to an outliner. At heart, I  like to let stories come together on their own over time, unfolding as they will, but now that I have deadlines to meet, having an outline—even one I know I might deviate from—saves me a lot of stress. The changes aren’t just about the outline, though. I used to be on a very need-to-know basis […]