Happy 2018 everyone!

Happy New Year 2018

in which I reflect a little bit on 2017 and where I’m looking forward to all that’s ahead of me in 2018.

Reflection

2017 was an interesting year for me. I started with My Peak Challenge, I continued working on my novel and I learned on a lot of new and interesting things.

It’s not always been an easy year, but that’s all part of life. I’ve made the decision for myself to look at the good that happened.

My Peak Challenge

My Peak Challenge is both a physical challenge as a mental/creative/anything you like challenge. I’ve worked on my physical challenge (Yay, I can now eat bananas and pears and my asthma has gotten better!) and will continue to work on that in 2018.

I’ve met an incredible group of peakers here in the Netherlands who are amazingly supportive. With them I’ve done fun things like Mermaid Swimming!

Mermaid Swimming
Mermaid Swimming with the Dutch Peakers, Courtesy Amfion Fotografie

We have done a lot together in 2017 and I’m very much looking forward to everything we do in 2018.

New & Interesting Things

I’ve learned several new things about history, rituals and about world building. There is so much to learn from history and from current events, plants, animals and such. It’s incredible! Did you know, for example, that we can now help wild animals who’ve lost a limb or part of a scale?

And that’s not all! What happens to spiders when fields and such are flooded? They search for higher grounds and make huge webs there:

And there is so much more to learn! Keep an eye for these amazing tidbits of information that just might rock your world!

My novel

I’ve worked a lot on my novel in 2017. It was mostly world building and that’s okay. I discovered I was sometimes stuck on a story line because I hadn’t worked out a few things good enough in my world building. I’ve developed my complete story line for book one. The story line for the other books is something I’m going to work on when the first draft of my first book is finished.
And I’ve been working on my map. I can show a small preview, but you’ll have to wait for the full version, cause I’ll show that later on!

Teaser of the map
Teaser of the map

This is just a small portion of the entire world. I will not tell you which part it is just yet. You’ll have to wait and see!

You will see more of my world building in later posts!

Looking forward

Like I said, you will see more later. There are two things I can reveal to you today:

  • The new book series title
  • My plans for 2018

I won’t do it in a normal blog post. Nope. I’ve decided to give you a video in which I reveal both. Have fun!

What are your writing or reading plans for 2018? Share them below in the comments!

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Interior cleaner by day, Author & Game Designer by afternoon and night. Fantasy is my poison and I’m loving it. Dragons and magic play an important role in my world and to give it all free reign, I design my own worlds.

Research & World building

In the past I’ve started just writing a story with or without a (rough) outline. I had some ideas of a world in my mind, but that was as far as it went. I wrote the stories, but I always felt they were missing something. It turned out they were actually missing a lot: World Building & Research

Why do I do World Building?

First of all, The Infinity Saga is a High Fantasy novel series. According to Wikipedia, High Fantasy is

defined as fantasy set in an alternative, fictional (“secondary”) world, rather than “the real”, or “primary” world.

And that is exactly what the world in The Infinity Saga is: a completely fictional world that has no relation with Earth. This means that although some things may seem similar to earth, they are not as they are on earth. In this case my novel is set in a pseudo-medieval world with hints of Roman, Persian  and Asian influences. To be able to write a believable novel I need to know what that world looks like, feels like, smells like. Only then can I show it to you.

In a movie or a TV series you are shown the environment, just like in video games. In a book however, there are no pictures to show you what everything looks like, besides the occasional map. As an author I have to be creative in using ONLY words to show what the world looks like.  I can tell you a building is made up of stone, but what kind of stone is it?

  

I can tell you a woman is wearing a dress, but what kind of dress is she wearing?

World Building - Dress 1

In addition to the above there are dozens if not thousands of little and big things to know about. It may not all be described in detail in my books, but to set the right mood and environment, world building is needed.

Why do I do Research?

From the moment I had the idea for this story I always felt the Dragon Riders would be more then Riders in a group. They would have a much stronger bond, stronger than a band of brothers even. But I also knew it wouldn’t be something like a Soulmate bond. But what was it? I couldn’t put my finger on it yet.

That was until I read Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices and Mortal Instruments series. There was one thing that intrigued me a lot: the Parabataì phenomenon. The only real historic thing that was mentioned, was that it was supposed to be a Greek thing. But what exactly was it? What made it so special?

The short description I did have was enough to convince me I might be onto something for my Dragon Riders.

And that’s why I started my research on Parabataì. I will tell you one thing already: there is precious little known about Parabataì. In a future article I will go into more depth about this bond, but for now I’ll leave you with a translated image from Plutarch.

Plutarch’s Lives

How to Research and Build a World?

I’m using a combination of different sources for World Building:

Even though I already have a rough outline and an idea of my characters, this process helps to define these better and to understand my world better. Only then will I be able to explain it to you.

As for research, Google is my friend. I’ve found lots of inspiration, resources and photos & drawings through Google. The image above this article is a nice example of this research. I was looking for an entrance to Dragon City that could give access to an underground city and remain hidden at the same time. But it also had to have the possibility to get there. Now, for Dragons it’s easy. But for those who are not on a dragon…… Well, you’ll need to read The Infinity Saga to see how you get access to the city.

What do you do?

Are you a Fantasy Writer? If so, how do you go about your world in your story? Do you make it up as you go? Or are you a full out world builder and research? Or perhaps something in between?

Or are you a Fantasy Reader? What do you like most about the worlds in your favorite fantasy books? Many details, or less? Thorough descriptions? Maps? Or do you perhaps prefer the “real world” with a hint of Fantasy?

Let me know in the comments!

Interior cleaner by day, Author & Game Designer by afternoon and night. Fantasy is my poison and I’m loving it. Dragons and magic play an important role in my world and to give it all free reign, I design my own worlds.