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10 Writing Resources: Fantasy

10 Writing Resources: Fantasy

10 Writing Resources: FantasyEven though my debut, The Eleventh Trade, will be a contemporary story, fantasy remains my true love. There’s so much room for exploration, creativity, and experimentation — and I can’t wait to get back back to it! But in the meanwhile, here are some resources I’ve found helpful that you might enjoy, too.

My first golden rule of fantasy: The more real you want it to be, the more solid details you should use. I don’t mean like “the blue door that was chipped around the handle except for where it wasn’t chipped, aka everywhere else, and…Continue Reading

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80 Questions for Worldbuilding (A New Subscription Perk!)

80 Questions for Worldbuilding (A New Subscription Perk!)

It will probably surprise no one that worldbuilding is my favorite part of writing fantasy. I love sitting down and asking questions about the cultures I’ve studied, places I’ve been, and stories I’ve heard. It’s always exciting to feel the new place take shape, and to discover my protagonist’s role in it.

So I’m thrilled to reveal that now when you subscribe to this blog, I’m able to offer you a cool perk: Creating Stunning Worlds. This is a short PDF that includes my worldbuilding tips, a questionnaire to help you brainstorm, prompts to help you focus your brainstorming, and recommendations to avoid infodumping.

Below, I’ve included a sampling of questions:

20 Questions for Worldbuilding

  1. What environment is the main story…Continue Reading
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25 Book Recommendations for Teen Fantasy/History Lovers

A friend recently contacted me with this query:

I need some book recommendations for my daughter. She is 15, an avid reader and enjoys historical fiction or fantasy books. She also loves classics like Pride and Prejudice and light humorous stories like Anne of Green Gables. Preferably long and in a series.

Little did she know what she was getting into! By the end of the evening, I had scoured my shelves and my Goodreads lists to come up with 25 books for her daughter.

Then I thought, “Hey, there are other teens out there who like fantasy and history and might appreciate this list. I should put it on the internet!”

And so I have.

25 Books for Young Fantasy/History Lovers, from One Nerd to…Continue Reading

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5 Ways to Avoid Infodumping

5 Ways to Avoid Infodumping

I primarily enjoy writing (and reading) fantasy. It’s wonderful when your head is full of another world, with all the culture and worldbuilding attached.

But getting necessary information about this crazy awesome world across to your reader can be hard. Really, really hard.

The best worldbuilding is done in a steady trickle, so soft the reader doesn’t really know how they know the information. I’m not there yet. Instead of a gently flowing, melodious stream, I often find myself taking a hammer to my readers’ brains and being like, “NOTICE THIS, IT’S IMPORTANT.”

This, my friends, is an infodump.

An infodump is when necessary information…Continue Reading

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How to Brainstorm with Word Art

How to Brainstorm with Word Art

I recently finished my first draft of Illuminate, which was very exciting! Don’t get me wrong—there is still a ton that needs to happen before it goes to agents in the spring. But there’s a thing that happens when you finish your draft: You have to start thinking about the next story.

The way I write is by focusing my creative energies on one story at a time (“time” can be exclusive, or “per day” if I am drafting and revising two different projects). This means I don’t usually have a pocketful of future-stories I’m eagerly waiting to work on.

As a result, whenever I finish a project, my confidence plummets. What if that was the best book I’ll ever write? What if…Continue Reading

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3 Tips for Designing a Flag

3 Tips for Designing a Flag

Tips for Designing a FlagWhen you dive into worldbuilding, it’s easy to get caught up in the whirl of landscape and custom and fashion. But don’t forget to build details like your, country’s flag’s colors or design!

Designing a flag can help you discover something new about your country’s history and myths. Just have a look at some of our real-life flags and all the history, stereotypes, and attitudes associated with them. (The Union Jack and the imperialism ingrained in its very design. The American flag, the very image of which seems to conjure eagles and liberty (or rednecks). Canada’s red…Continue Reading

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The Role of Mythology in Fiction

wales
So some people asked me to share my symposium presentation about building myth in creative writing. Your wish is my command! Here’s my abstract:

The world is not constructed simply of fact, but also of myth. The interplay between mythology, geography, culture and history is a relationship which fiction provides a perfect platform for exploring. This presentation will focus specifically on Welsh and Celtic mythology, a relatively unknown genre of myth, before exploring the ways studying the influences of myth can help create worlds in fiction. Welsh mythology is closely tied to its geographic roots, with many…Continue Reading

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