|Layla (layla) wrote,|
@ 2013-01-31 03:16 pm UTC
|Entry tags:||bloghopping/guestblogging, karamanda, worldbuilding, writing|
Something I keep forgetting to include: The full list of Worldbuilding Blogfest participants is here, so you can check out everyone else’s posts, too! There’s some good stuff.
Anyway, what’s currently happening to Karamanda is an excellent example of my creative process in action! I’ve been discussing it with Schneefink in the Dreamwidth comments (and also here) and, after running into some major worldbuilding dead ends on the structure of their city and why it’s located in the mountains, I became completely taken with the idea of “fixing” my problems (like the climate) by putting it on a Mediterranean island. A lot of the cultural stuff was originally drawn from the Greeks and Romans, after all. So worldbuilding that (and sketching the new, improved, island-dwelling Karamandans) is basically what I did yesterday. It’s now a lot less hard-boiled PI and a lot more … uh … I don’t know what, exactly. Epic fantasy? YA? Something a lot less gritty and dark, certainly — more light, adventuresome, and suited to their newly sundrenched world. (And now my plot no longer works. Fugnuts.)
Yesterday’s initial attempt at designing my island-dwelling Karamandans. (Click for bigger.) I was going for something that was sort of Greece + South Pacific, and accidentally ended up with more of a Native American look instead. (Not that there’s an inherent problem with that, but it’s not what I was aiming for.)
Anyway, all those posts you just read? It kinda … no longer works that way. The basics are still fundamentally the same: two separate groups of winged people, bird-worship religion, no magic, etc.
Here are the older posts, for the sake of completeness and comparison:
Day 1: Geography & Climate – on WordPress | on Livejournal | on Dreamwidth
Day 2: History & Politics – on WordPress | on Livejournal | on Dreamwidth
Day 3: Religion & Magic – on WordPress | on Livejournal | on Dreamwidth
Then yesterday, I wrote this:
The Fishers have lived in the islands for thousands of years.
They are basically human-shaped, with two arms and two legs, but they also have great, feathered wings, correspondingly large chests to anchor their flight muscles, and feet that can be used for walking or perching. They have third eyelids that can be closed when they dive underwater. Every major island’s population are a little different, with wings of different colors and patterns, brown and gray and bold black and white — seabird colors.
The islands are green and white and gold. They resemble the islands of Greece, such as Santorini and Corfu, with limestone cliffs and white sand beaches above crystalline blue and green waters.
The Fishers adorned themselves with shells and bird feathers and made fabric of linen from flax they grew along the shore. They used spears and nets to fish and to hunt the birds, ibexes, and other creatures that lived on the island. They hollowed out caves in the cliffs of limestone and volcanic rock (depends on the island; some are volcanic, others aren’t), grew crops on the shore, and began to build elaborate houses and towers of stone plastered with lime. They worshipped bird-headed gods and built shrines and high altars. Their buildings were richly painted with scenery, birds and animals, and solid colors: ochre-red and gold, white and cream, green and blue. (Similar to Minoan and Mycenaean decorations and paintings.) There were gorgeous mosaics and tiled floors. The idea of writing was adopted by trading, and they quickly became literate. Since food was relatively abundant, they were a society with a fair amount of leisure time. They liked books (which were in the form of scrolls rather than codexes) and loved importing them.
Although they had small boats, they were not typically sailors, except as passengers on others’ vessels. Other peoples plied the water between the islands. Their primary trading partners were the dolphin people who lived in the water, and the feathered lizard clan whose small, swift sailing ships glided across the sunstruck waves.
In time the dolphin cities pierced the surface of the waves, gleaming towers of coral and stone. The caravels of the lizard people grew more elaborate, and in their homes on the much colder mainland far to the north, which they shared with several intelligent mammalian species, a technologically complex civilization arose with trains and factories. Some of the islands went to war over religion or trade. They traded with the people to the south of them, another race of winged beings, similar but separate. Their wings were brilliant green, red and gold (like parrots or lorikeets), and their skin was patterned with rich, complex swirls, which they augmented with paint.
A volcanic eruption devastated the archipelagos to the south, displacing the brilliant-winged Wayfarers, who came north to the Fishers’ islands. There was not enough room for two.
… and this is where the plot happens.
Or maybe it happens fifty years later, once they’ve settled into living together on the Fishers’ islands. I’m still figuring that part out.
This is a little hunting cat that lives on the islands. I figured that in addition to regular birds and mammals, there must be other animals around that are of the same class as the Karamandans, and exhibit similar traits. I figured it had to be a whole separate class, though perhaps it’s a subclass. Even though they are mammalian in general nature, they have a whole extra set of limbs! Clearly this does not work in terms of real-world genetics. I choose to ignore that, and figure that this world has a number of six-limbed mammals. In some of them, the third set of limbs are wings; others use them for pinching, grabbing, stabbing or slashing purposes. In some, they are merely decorative. It’s possible that all of the mammals on this world used to have six limbs, and they have become vestigial or vanished completely in most of them.
Crossposted to Wordpress, Livejournal and Dreamwidth. Comment wherever you like.