What does it take to ensure a society survives and grows? What makes one region successful, while another struggles? Why do societies fall? Big questions – can they be included in a novel? Jared Diamond in his massive and erudite
Underground environments are both common work places for some, a place to explore, or a fragile ecosystem that can kill a human. A perfect place to set a story! In this category I include mining, natural cave systems and geysers.
Building a new world, or recreating a past one can be quite a lengthy process of research. Imagine, if you will, the ancient wizard pouring over dusty scrolls, the kindly librarian searching out a rare book, or a vat of
Woo who – lets have a party! Said every human in every culture since the dawn of time. There are more festivals and things to celebrate than there are days in the year, so the human race is definitely one
People have been making up ways to measure and define all the things for a very long time, perhaps longer than we can measure. So if in “real” life people make up stuff that becomes a standard, what shall we
If a smell can trigger a memory, then a touch can trigger an immediate reaction. Our vocabulary is rich in words that are repellent merely from their association with touch – moist slithers to mind. But the opposite is true
It was a dark and stormy night… Trite words yet they bring a sense of expectation – of a horror to come, with wild deeds afoot. Climate is so variable that it can almost be another character in a book.
Water is the universal solvent, enabling life on Earth, and dissolving the hardest rock to soil over time. It can be the lightest mist, a cloud scudding across a sky so blue it hurts your heart. A mighty torrent of
Often the favourite part of a fantasy book is the map. A land of the imagination, full of cities with strange names, mountain passes guarded by trolls or otherworldly creatures, deserts of unending pain, oceans teeming with mermaids and sea
Designing a new world with its own creatures and plants is a lot of fun. There are so many resources available online that research can be a bottomless pit. However, this depth of knowledge will shine through in your writing.