background preloader

10 Questions to Ask When You Create a Fictional Culture

10 Questions to Ask When You Create a Fictional Culture
The way I build worlds is by collecting cool stuff from the history, myth and people around me. I blend these details with my own imagination, and create my own cultures. Culture is a vital part to realistic worldbuilding. Normally there are a few particular cultures that interest me at a given time. I read whatever I can find about them, their environment, their traditions and their myths. The interesting details filter into the new world I’m creating (example: at one time, Venetian widows could only remarry on the stroke of midnight). In the long term, there is nothing more inspiring and challenging than visiting foreign cultures yourself (especially if you can get far beyond your comfort zone to do it). But reading (non-fiction, myth/legend/fairytales, as well as the classics like Dune and Lord of the Rings) and watching documentaries/films can get you a long way toward filling up on your inspiration tank. What is the most important ideal to this culture as a whole? Like this:

http://alyssahollingsworth.com/2014/11/02/10-questions-when-you-create-a-fictional-culture/

Related:  Writing: Resourcesdianemarycowan2dianemarycowan4How ToSetting

30 Different Ways To Tie A Tie That Every Man Should Know  The following blog is an excerpt from a feature originally published on ShirtsMyWay. Here is a list of many different ways to tie a tie, for every and any occasion, many of which you probably never knew existed. We've gathered 30 of the best tie knots ever created by mankind to give you just the edge you need to look your best at all times. Each tie knot has been judged on four different factors: aesthetics, symmetry, difficulty, and knot size. You can make a statement with these knots any day of the week or simply use them to look elegant and stylish during those special events where you really need to stand out. Either way, you'll practically be a forefather of men's fashion no matter which style you choose.

How to Write a Great Novel: Junot Diaz, Anne Rice, Margaret Atwood and Other Authors Tell (See Corrections & Amplifications item below) Richard Powers lounges in bed all day and speaks his novels aloud to a laptop computer with voice-recognition software. Junot Diaz, author of the Pulitzer-prize winning novel "The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao," shuts himself in the bathroom and perches on the edge of the tub with his notebook when he's tackling a knotty passage.

21 Writing Prompts for Setting a Scene in Your Novel When you’re writing (or rewriting) a scene, do you ever get the feeling you just don’t have enough to say? Sure, there’s the action–but what about all the extra bits meant to flesh out your story? While I don’t encourage overwriting for the sake of word count, meaningful details can help you establish setting and atmosphere. Last week, I sat down with John Banville’s Booker Prize winning novel, The Sea–a book that features prose I admire–and took careful notes about how the author managed to effectively set certain scenes. Truths About Fiction The following essay was previewed in the class that Stephen Graham Jones taught for LitReactor, Your Life Story Is Five Pages Long. 1. The reader should never have to work to figure out the basics of your story. Who’s whose wife or husband, what the time period is if that matters, why these people have broken into this house, and on and on, just the basic, ground-level facts about your story.

Al's Writing Block: Writing: How to Describe a Room I've noticed lately in the stats that people have been actively searching for "how to describe a room." Even though I had done a writing prompt that called for using the description of a room, I never did go over the particulars of describing locations. So for anybody looking for some specific answers, here are my thoughts on describing interior settings, for fiction and prose.

Writability: On Writing Memorable (Minor) Characters Everyone is the center of their own universe. Really, think about that for a moment. Each of us have our own lives, families, friends, memories, dreams and fears. We all have regrets and joys, disappointments and celebrations. And your characters are no different, or at least, they shouldn't be. It seems like a no-brainer, especially when we're writing our main characters— most of are aware that we need to know their fears and dreams and all the little intricacies that bring them to life.

Top 10 first lines in children's and teen books The boy and the old man arrived at the port at night. That's the first line in my debut novel, Close to the Wind, and I'm rather proud of it. The line doesn't shout out at you, but it does a lot of work establishing the tone of the book and giving you the setting and characters without any fuss.

The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations is a descriptive list which was created by Georges Polti to categorize every dramatic situation that might occur in a story or performance. To do this Polti analyzed classical Greek texts, plus classical and contemporaneous French works. He also analyzed a handful of non-French authors. In his introduction, Polti claims to be continuing the work of Carlo Gozzi, who also identified 36 situations.

Related: