Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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More worldbuilding, and beyond

It’s now ten days that I’m working on my 30 Days of Worldbuilding Challenge on Patreon, and it looks like the world is conspiring to make me spend more money and more time on books and software.
Which is good. Sorta.
I mean, it’s almost a sign I finally managed to surf the flow of the Tao.
Or something.

First there was the Maps Bonanza bundle on Humble Bundle, and I ended up getting a ton of mapping software – and I formulated the new year’s proposition (in November, because I like to get ahead with the work) of learning to use the Campaign Cartographer 3+ software and start producing my own gaming and fiction maps.
Who knows, might even turn into a collateral source of income…

Then a second Humble Bundle came up, about game-design – and it is quite interesting, but as it is chiefly focused on video games, I spent only one buck, and got the minimum offer of three game-design books that look like all I will need for quite a while.

… and considering I had already splurged for a massive Numenera RPG bundle, and for a selection of Eastern philosophy ebooks by Shambhala, it seemed to me this month the Bundle had more than earned its keep.
And really, buying these bundles is a way for me to keep true to another of my new year’s propositions, from 2020 – if I find myself with enough money in my pockets, I will spend some for charities. And Humble Bundle is a good way for doing so while at the same time getting a load of books.

But this month, I decided, enough.

But then Bundle of Holding popped up in my mailbox with – you guessed it, a selection of stuff for worldbuilding, specifically aimed at games.
And the basic tier was about 8 bucks, and included a 15 bucks book I’ve had on my wishlist for two years. And so I went and got that too. So now I have more stuff to read.

The excuse I used with myself to gift me yet another bundle of books is that I’ve passed the 15.000 words mark on my current novel – while at the same time hitting 5000 words on the RPG campaign I have hereon my desk (I’m slacking on this one) and 15.000 words again on my Worldbuilding Challenge.
Not bad, considering I’ve wasted over a month because I was typing with one hand short of a pair.

And here’s the fun thing: the daily chapter of my 30 Days challenge is what helped me get back in gear with my serious work. Not only I am slowly recovering as much functionality as I can for my left hand, but I’ve also connected back with the fun of writing.
Which is good, because writing is what’s paying the bills.

And I have more things to come – I’d love to give the podcasting thing another spin, for instance, and create something different than Paura & Delirio, which I am co-hosting and is a great source of fun and learning.
I’d love to do something on writing, or fantasy, or both.
But there are a lot of things to take into account, most important of all I’d hate to do one of those “Who’s this Nyarlathotep chap anyway” things that seem to be popular with the nerdz these days.
I’d like to invent something unique, and different.
Right now I’ve a copybook, in which I am jotting down ideas.

So, things are rather good.
Now I’ve only to keep going.

(and incidentally, I’ve put links in this post to both Humble Bundle and Bundle of Holding. I’m not making a single cent out of this, but maybe some one of you guys is interested)


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Trying a different approach

I’m trying something different for my next story, and I thought I’d tell you about it because… ah, because as usual, doing these things in public forces me to go through with them, can’t make any excuse and waste my time watching Youtube videos and stuff.

So, I am about to write a fantasy story set in a world without gods, in which magic is devastatingly dangerous, and in which life conditions are harsh.
Really harsh.
Blunder-and-you’re-dead kind of harsh.

Continue reading


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Nuts & Bolts on Worldbuilding

My Patrons just received the second issue of Nuts & Bolts, an irregular series of pieces about writing – focusing on practicalities rather than theory. This is the second post of this kind I do this month – the first was successful enough to convince me it was a good idea to go on.

The topic of today’s post is world-building, and was inspired by a very stupid argument fueled by this image.

It is good, they say, being my Patrons.


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Why?

This week I made the students of my worldbuilding course happy because I announced one extra lesson, free.
The need to add a lesson became apparent to me when I realized there is one essential worldbuilding question we had not asked ourselves, and we had not explored – that question being WHY.

Which is of course very philosophical and all that, but more simply, it is

Why do we decide to set our story in a specific world?
Why that world and not another, that time and not another, that city and not another?

And no, “Because” is not a good answer. Continue reading


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Worldbuilding resources

I have updated my Pinterest pinboard on the subject of Worldbuilding.
I recently noticed that many articles linked on Pinterest have been deleted, moved or anyway are no longer available, so I am trying to keep the collection up to date and as free of dead links as possible.

Fact is, I am designing an online course in Worldbuilding, I’ll be offering early next year. Continue reading


Worldbuilding, in fantasy long and short

This is going to be long.
As readers of this blog might have noticed, I have sort of a personal interest in worldbuilding – both for professional reasons (building worlds pays mt bills) and as a sort of hobby of mine. I like imaginary worlds, which probably explains why I read and write imaginative fiction, or the other way around.

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Now, as I was browsing the web in search for some documentation, I chanced upon an old article from The Guardian, whose title caused me to pause and take some time reading.
The article, that was published in May 2015 and you will find here, is called Fantasy cannot build its imaginary worlds in short fiction.
To which my basic reaction is, really? Continue reading


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A new feature: Worldbuilding

As a spinoff of the massive work I’m doing on the Hope & Glory project, I’ve rebooted my old collection of Worldbuilding Resources as a new feature page here on Karavansara.
You find the relevant link on the top bar, under Features.

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The page collects articles, books and software for writers interested in worldbuilding – that is not only the Tolkien-esque chore of spending thirty years drawing maps and noting down Elvish irregular verbs, but also quite simply the task of providing vivid and active detail to your story.
Or game.
Or whatever.

Check the page out.
If you have any suggestions, if there’s anything you think I left out, please use the comments on that page to give me a pointer.

I’ll post updates to this Feature occasionally.