Fantasy Worldbuilding Part 3: Links, Posts, and Resources

I realize that there are many worldbuilding concepts and approaches, as it is a complex art in and of itself. In Part 1, I talked about why worldbuilding is important and how it contributes to the story as a whole, and in Part 2 I brought up aspects of worldbuilding that I personally feel are important to include when developing one’s story world. But if I were to touch on all the possible ways to incorporate worldbuilding into a story, and all the elements you could possibly consider, my post series could be neverending. I am also no expert when it comes to writing, as writing is an art that is constantly being perfected; there’s no such thing as a perfect story. All that to say, I’m most certainly not a worldbuilding master, but there are plenty of other writers who have great tips and inspiration that I highly recommend. Part 3, the last post in the series, features only a few great posts with worldbuilding tips that focus on certain aspects. Also, this has been a great excuse to include links to some of my favorite authors and bloggers.

Fantasy Worldbuilding Part 3 - Links Posts and Resources - Tea with Tumnus

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Realism and Antirealism in Writing

As a writer, I draw upon realism to create antirealistic worlds. As a reader, I have to accept truth on different terms when I immerse myself in a book and believe in the fantastical world the story is about. Versimilitude is the appearance of being real or true. It’s important when it comes to both writing and filmmaking, and is an art that requires skill and technique to make your reader believe that what they are reading is actually true.

Realism and Antirealism in Writing - Tea with Tumnus

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In Which I Discuss the Best Weapons in the World

In case you don’t understand this blog post’s title:

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You’re welcome.

So, quite obviously, I’ll be talking about books today. I was recently tagged by the epic Aria Maher for the Writer’s Book Tag, and I couldn’t ever pass up an opportunity to talk about books, hence this post. To name a few, I’ll talk about a book I’ve never read, a book that has made me cry, and a favorite fantasy novel I recommend.

Let’s get to it, shall we?

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Book Review of Two Lives, Three Choices by K. L. Pierce

A little while ago, I interviewed indie published author K. L. Pierce and we got to talk about her writing—Two Lives, Three Choices in particular. She has just recently revised this story, the first in a faith-based science fiction series. Since I’d only read the first version, and since I didn’t yet own the book, I decided to get her revised version of Two Lives, Three Choices, and finally write a review.

BookReview Two Lives Three Choices - Tea with Tumnus

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Don’t Write What You Know

I’m sure a lot of you have heard the quote “Write what you know.” I believe Mark Twain originally said it.

Well, I hate to go against a well known saying by a prestigious author, but I don’t think it’s a quote writers should live by, even though I believe it does make sense to some extent.

Why?

Well, I just wrote this whole blog post explaining why, so keep your hair on.

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Let’s start with taking Twain’s little piece of advice seriously … and literally. Let’s say you, as a writer, decided to follow the tip, and started writing only what you knew. You came up with a pretty good story. Fantastic. Job well done. This means that this story is completely and wholly yours, it originated from your own thoughts and knowledge about the world. No one else influenced you besides what your mind already stored up. Great.

But this also means you didn’t do any research. You didn’t explore. You didn’t ask for help. And You most likely didn’t write a fantasy or science fiction novel.

Because writing a fantasy or science fiction novel or any kind of speculative fiction is basically writing what you don’t know. Writing in this genre means doing lots of research. It means using inspiration that you look for and find in books, movies, music, the news, other people, etc. You’re reading articles on diseases, basic econimcs, spaceship terminology and weapon diagrams. You’re writing about things that could never happen in real life like space, time travel, wizards, magic, whatever you usually find in a fantasy or sci-fi novel, and all of this goes completely against what you knew before. You’re learning things about reality as you incorporate them into your novel, but you’re also making up stuff. You’re delving into the world of the unknown to create different worlds, different creatures, different types of magic and powers. Did you know any of this? No. You’re writing what you don’t know. And it’s fun.

So, am I telling you to write speculative fiction? After all, the title of the post says “Don’t write what you know.”

Well, that isn’t the point. No matter what genre you’re working on, there’s plenty of room to write things you don’t know. And you could have a lot of fun with that, even writing realistic stories about real-ife people in the mundane world we live in. You’re going to have to do some research to add to your knowledge, but you’re also going to explore. You’re going to be writing about people you don’t know, things you didn’t know, you’ll be writing a whole story you didn’t know beforehand, even.

The point is to explore. Write outside the box. Try new things. Come up with your own ideas that no one has ever come up with and don’t be afraid to. If you’re used to doing it the other way, try writing a bunch of nonsense. Things that you wouldn’t believe could actually happen, and you’ll be writing things you never knew about. If you’ve never written that way, I suggest you try it. It’s a lot of fun and you’ll even discover things about real life along the way. Dig in. Write what you don’t know, and you won’t want to go back.(Guaranteed.)

Mark Twain wrote outside the box. He explored. He wrote books about traveling back into time: Heck, he wrote about a Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s court! So in the end, write what you know. But you’re also going to have to explore the unknown. Dive in. Just don’t keep your sanity in check because us writers. We just don’t do sane.

 

How do you write? Do you know everything you write? Or do you write of things you’ve never known about and take the time to explore while doing it? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic, even if you’re not a writer, and all your agreements or disagreements. In the meantime, thanks for reading. I owe you a spot of tea.

History Helps You Write: Religion and Government in Fantasy Fiction

Last semester I took a history class that covered all of history up to 1500 A. D. The textbook was hard to get through and I never really had much of an interest in history, ancient world history in particular. However, besides having an excellent professor and the best college learning experience yet, I learned something in this history class that I knew would take me far in my own writing, thus causing me to appreciate the subject more than I have before.

How?

History Helps You Write Religion and Government in Fantasy Fiction
Photo Credit: Michael Metzler Jr. 2015

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