Friday, August 27, 2021

Smash Writer's Block.

To my dearest friends and followers,

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Writing The Death of Jack has been going really well!! I am still in the world building phase of it (check out last week's post if you missed it, as I talk about some of the things I've learned about my novel through working on The Essential Worldbuilding Blueprint and Workbook book by Scribe Forge).

This week I am working on building the magic system in my book (where does the magic come from, how does it work, who practices it, etc). It's a lot of fun and I feel like this section from the Worldbuilding book is really valuable for my own book because this is helping me to really understand the differences between how the fairies live vs. how the humans live and their respective perspectives on life based on the magic (or lack thereof) used. 

I've been really happy with some additional questions for me to answer about my book/characters as well. Before I continue, let me go back...

So, I have been in contact with Scribe Forge via email (I've also tagged them on social media several times). Basically, I told them that I bought the Worldbuilding book and I've been using it to work on my novel. I also sent them the link to my blog for them to check out if they liked. I then asked multiple times (on my blog, through email, and on Twitter) if they would sponsor me. They basically said no. 😂

Buuuut, they did the next best thing, which is send me their Smash Writer's Block card deck for free!! Sooooooo, that's pretty cool.

**THIS IS NOT A SPONSORSHIP, I'm not being paid to say what I'm about to say.

Smash Writer's Block is a deck of 100 cards with writing prompts printed on both sides of the card. The cards have a gloss finish and are actually really sturdy, which I wasn't expecting, so that was a nice addition. XD

I think the idea behind the cards is that you use them while you're working on your story. When the muses have ceased to inspire you, you select a card from the stack, read the question printed on it, and then continue to write your story, riffing off the idea you got from the prompt on the card.

Really, they can be used any way you want. When I get tired of working on the Worldbuilding book, I've been selecting a random card from the stack, writing down the question or prompt in the notebook I made, and then thinking about my characters and answering the question with the thought that I just might incorporate some of my newly written material into my story.

To the team at Scribe Forge, you guys did an amazing job at asking probing questions (via the Writer's Block cards) to help build our characters and our stories.

Some of the questions are so simple, but they're things I never thought about before (and I think they REALLY help me understand my characters more), such as:

  • If your protagonist died tomorrow, what would they regret the most?
  • What traits do your main characters like in other people? Why?
  • What is one ethical line your protagonist won't cross? Tempt them to cross it.
  • Something your protagonist believes about himself/herself/themself is a lie. What is it?
  • How do those who can use magic treat those who cannot use magic?

Of course, that's just 5 examples of 199 questions and prompts!!
I'm in love with these cards, I'm so happy I have them and I will probably use them for not just the novel I am currently writing, but for future projects as well.

You know when you see an ad for a company and you're not sure if the company is legit so you Google them and you still can't find anything on them, but you really want the product they're selling so you take a chance and then you receive the item and it exceeds your expectations (which were pretty low, but still!) and you're so excited and now they're one of your new favorite companies??
Yeah, that's how Scribe Forge is to me haha.

To any of you who are writers or story tellers, I think you might like the Smash Writer's Block card deck from Scribe Forge. I know I do. Everything I've gotten from this company has been excellent quality and has proved to be very useful to me in writing my novel. I can't recommend them enough!!

Again, this is NOT a sponsorship, I'm just so happy with my experience with Scribe Forge so far.

Thank you so much for reading!!

Yours truly,
Me

Additional: 
Check out my first novel, The Story of Hollyhocks.
You should totally take a look at the Smash Writer's Block card deck from Scribe Forge because they're on sale right now for $5 off their original price!!

Friday, August 20, 2021

Worldbuilding Book Update.

To my dearest friends and followers,

This week has been pretty exciting for a multitude of reasons, one of those being that I started working through The Essential Worldbuilding Blueprint and Workbook by Scribe Forge and am building the best world I can for my second novel, The Death of Jack.

My sister and I have been working on it together a few times a week (the Worldbuilding book that is) and we are three chapters in so far.

Since the Worldbuilding book assumes I am beginning a new project, I decided to write down everything I know and understand about my world in The Death of Jack thus far (or at least everything I could think of at the time), down to the mundane. Here are some of the details I wrote, so you, my dear reader, might understand better what my book will contain:
  • The Death of Jack is the sequel to The Story of Hollyhocks and takes place in a time Hollyhocks's world refers to as the "Ancient World". Possibly 100 years (or more) before Hollyhocks is born.
  • The separation between the fairy world and the human world has not happened yet.
  • The setting is primarily in the forest (lower case "f" intentional here, as the forest is not yet named). The forest is primarily flat land. The mountain range is to the north and the human village is to the east.
  • The Earth Mother (Rhea) is the supreme being, the creator of the world and the earth itself. The god, Cernunnos, is the nature god who is the father to the dryads, though all of the fairies (sprites, pixies, pillywiggins, hobgoblins, dryads, etc.) are considered Goddess Children and are referred to as her children and she their mother. The Great White Stag was the Earth's protector before the god, Hypnosis, put the other gods to sleep.
  • A prophecy says that with the falling of the stars, a new protector/champion would emerge.
  • The forest only experiences spring and autumn (the dryads and the sprites keep the colder elements from entering into their home).
  • Each of the fairies has magic (sun magic, moon magic, and star magic).
  • The grove is not connected to the forest.
I feel like there's a lot more mythology and magic in this book than there was in Hollyhocks's story. I think that's because Hollyhocks went into the human world and experienced what that was like, whereas in the Jack's story, we (the readers) are going to experience what his world is like.

In the Worldbuilding book, the first chapter covers the stars and planets your world takes place in. It was a pretty easy section for me to get through, since my world does take place on Earth, in the known galaxy, and the same stars we know of. The second chapter covers the location aspect, including geography, climate, and ecology.

A few things I learned about my world (in addition to some things I already knew, but forgot to write in my list) from this chapter are:
  • Geographically, the story takes place in mythological Wales.
  • The beings who live in the location are the various kinds of fairies and animals, and humans, though the humans are not native to the land.
  • They don't have electricity yet, but rely on fire (for candles or cooking), moonlight and fireflies.
  • Food is foraged in the forest and surrounding land (meat is not eaten by anyone, as that would be disrespectful to the Earth Mother and her creations).
  • Water is found in the river for drinking and irrigating crops (only the humans have crops).
  • There are little "natural resources" in the land, though the humans and fairies do trade in herbs, food, and the like.
The third chapter covers fictional beings created by the author (me in this case) and what they're like. Here are some things I've written about them in my notebook (for the sake of length, the types of creatures I'll be covering in this blog post will be the sprites, pixies, and pillywiggins):
  • The environment the fairies have evolved in is the forest, as they have been there for a very long time and were created by the Earth Mother. They have great respect for nature and all living things and for one another.
  • The type of shelter they live in varies between the different fairy species. The sprites live in trees - quite literally in trees, such as preexisting hollowed out trees or holes in trees. They are also not confined to living near each other, but are spread out throughout the forest (the central areas of the forest). The pixies live on the ground, in their own little community, with houses made out of mud or clay, dried grass and sticks, and small rocks. The pillywiggins don't live in the forest, but just outside it, in a single massive willow tree. They don't really have individual houses, but treat the willow tree as one big house and each fairy sleeps on a branch or twig with a bed made of dried flowers, herbs, and other plants, such as heather.
  • The fairies eat wild berries (dried or fresh), tiny mushrooms, and honey. They drink nectar for a similar effect to that of wine, and drink dew drops for water. They also like sweet treats provided by humans, such as bread, lemon treats, and cream.
  • The fairies are very small, ranging from 3-4 inches at full height. 4 inches is the maximum height and any fairy over 4 inches would be quite tall.
I haven't finished going through the questions for my fictional beings I created, but I'm really excited to finish and learn more about my characters.
I love Scribe Forge's Worldbuilding book so far, as it has provided me with not only a reason for my sister and I to work together, but its also asked some very interesting questions about my world that are really making me think. One thing I will say is that it asks a lot of questions that might not seem relevant to my current WIP (work in progress), but that's ok because those questions might prompt aspects of my world that I hadn't previously thought about and then I'll go ahead and answer those questions and maybe, just maybe, I'll end up using this new element in my story. At the very least, I won't use it on my story at all, but I'll still gain something by better understanding the world I am building.
If you are a creator of any kind, I highly suggest checking out a copy from Scribe Forge for yourself, so you can better understand the story you want to tell and the world it takes place in.

Thank you so much for reading!!

Yours truly,
Me

**Disclaimer: this is not a sponsorship

Additional:
Check out my shop on Ko-Fi to get a copy of my novel, The Story of Hollyhocks.

Friday, August 6, 2021

The Essential Worldbuilding Blueprint and Workbook

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To my dearest friends and followers,

A few weeks ago, I shared that I had purchased a book titled: The Essential Worldbuilding Blueprint and Workbook: Create a compelling world your readers will love by Scribe Forge. As you probably guessed, Scribe Forge is not a person's name. It's a print-on-demand publisher. If you go to their website, it looks like they offer several tips and tools for writing a story, including Smash Writer's Block prompt cards, notebooks, and more, though it appears that the Worldbuilding book is the most popular. Supposedly Scribe Forge collaborated with several authors to create this book, though I do find it a bit odd that they don't say who those authors are...
The book has only been published since 2020, but it has a lot of positive reviews, so I'm definitely here for it.

The first novel I wrote, The Story of Hollyhocks is a fantasy novel about a fairy who ventures into the human world. It was a lot of fun to write and it was easy. Not easy in the sense that I knew exactly what I wanted to say each time I sat down to write or even in the sense that I really knew where I wanted the story to go. It was easy in the sense that I was writing about a world I know - nevermind that the story is set in 1400's England, because that can be researched, but I understand what the human world is like and I understand the belief systems they had at the time that the story is set in.
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Now I am writing book 2, The Death of Jack. Let me tell you, it's very different. I'm not writing about a fairy who left home to be a part of the human world. I'm writing about a fairy whose home is inhabited by humans. Here's the thing that's drastically different from Hollyhocks and Jack: he never leaves the forest. That means I'm writing about the fairy world - a world which is different from ours, with pagan gods as ancient deities, with a multitude of different fairy types, and with star magic, prophecies, and spirituality. It's a world that I'm so excited about and I want to write about it, but in order to do so, I need to understand it.

That's why, when I saw an ad for a book on worldbuilding, I bought it. And it arrived!! As you can see from the picture, it's a spiral bound book which I think is so smart because it makes the book more easily accessible and easier to write in, etc.
I am so excited to begin working through it with the companion notebook I made (for the sake of being able to use the worldbuilding book for future stories I write) featuring my MC, Jack, on the cover. Also, my sister is going to be working on her own copy of the Worldbuilding book!! I'm really happy she's doing it too, I feel like it will help to keep me motivated. XD
If any of you are wanting a copy, definitely let me know, it would be fun to hear from you and learn what you're working on.

Thank you for reading!!

Yours truly,
Me

Additional:
Check out my fantasy novel, The Story of Hollyhocks.
I highly suggest taking a look at the Scribe Forge website and seeing what they offer. They're definitely one of my favorite go-to sites right now for writing. I've even downloaded their Free Novel Tracker and Course.
Take a look at The Essential Workdbuilding Blueprint and Workbook.
Check out my Ko-fi shop for my fairy journals that can be used as companion notebooks to the Worldbuilding book.

* Please sponsor me Scribe Forge 😂