WORLD BUILDING: Eating Utensils

Roman Eating Utensils

in which I take a quick look at what my characters could possibly use as eating utensils.


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Every day items: eating

Some things may not be thought of before writing a story, but in the end you just might need that tiny detail. After all, when your hero arrives in a tavern and she doesn’t have any eating utensils with her and is served soup with bread, how is she going to eat it if everyone else assumes she brought her own utensils? So, today I answered this question for my own fantasy story:

How do your characters eat?

Nowadays we’ve got forks, knives, spoons, sporks (spoon + fork), knorks (knife + fork; or is there another word for it?), chopsticks and possible some other utensils I haven’t mentioned. But how was that several centuries ago? What did the medieval men and women use to eat. Well, from the old ages there were the knives and spoons. At some point the picker made it’s way into the household (the top utensil in the above photo). It was quite a while later that forks were introduced and made common.

In Fantasy

Even though The Infinity Saga is a fantasy story, any utensils I introduce have to fit in the setting. I decided not to have forks as common items yet. Which means my characters will have a knife and spoon and probably a picker, like in the above photo. But forks is a whole other story. Forks are more of a status symbol. You may find these strange devices in some courts, but many people don’t see the use of a double toothpick claiming it doesn’t work.

eating utensils
eating utensils

Dragon Riders & Forks

Some of the #dragonriders may be at least familiar with forks since they may have visited various courts. At the #Dragon City court, though, forks are to be thought amusing toys to play with, but not ideal eating utensils. Why use a complicated thing when you already have the ideal tools for the job?

Mages & Forks

Some #mages see forks as tools for their craft, but certainly not something to use for eating. Most of them laugh when they someone trying to eat with such a weird thing.

Common people & Forks

Common people don’t use forks. They think it’s for those uptight noblemen and -women and as one of them said:

“To be ‘onest wi’ ya, it ain’t easy at all, no missy! Be careful, or yo’ll get tha’ pointy end in ya tongue!”

Photo credits

Instagram embedded photo ©: History Answers
Featured photo ©: National Education Network
Other: Unknown photographer

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What do your characters use as eating utensils? Why those items? Share it in the comments below!

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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!