layla: grass at sunset (Default)

The final post in the Worldbuilding Blogfest – full list of participants here – is an excerpt from the work in progress. This obviously poses a bit of a problem for me because I went and changed everything. I tried writing some snippets from the new version, but I don’t really have a good enough handle on it to write it yet; I’m not sure who the characters are, or how closely it’s going to resemble the previous plot. So here’s an excerpt from the original story, “Angelcutters”, in which Franza, the protagonist, is investigating a murder that she’s really not supposed to be looking into.

Read the rest of this entry )
Crossposted to Wordpress, Livejournal and Dreamwidth. Comment wherever you like.
layla: grass at sunset (Default)

As noted in the last post, we’re now on Karamanda 2.0, The Re-Karamanding. *g*

Earlier posts from Karamanda v1.0 (much of which is now invalid):
Day 1: Geography & Climateon WordPress | on Livejournal | on Dreamwidth
Day 2: History & Politicson WordPress | on Livejournal | on Dreamwidth
Day 3: Religion & Magicon WordPress | on Livejournal | on Dreamwidth

And the full list of blogfest participants, for your reading pleasure!

So, at this point, I’ve moved them from the mountains to the middle of a Mediterranean-like sea, and done away with most of my plot. *facepalm* One side effect of doing this is that most of the cultural stuff I’d come up with is no longer valid. A great deal of their material culture has changed tremendously — food and clothing, for example.

Read the rest of this entry )
Crossposted to Wordpress, Livejournal and Dreamwidth. Comment wherever you like.
layla: grass at sunset (Default)

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.)

Karamandan-early-design

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 & Climateon WordPress | on Livejournal | on Dreamwidth
Day 2: History & Politicson WordPress | on Livejournal | on Dreamwidth
Day 3: Religion & Magicon WordPress | on Livejournal | on Dreamwidth

Then yesterday, I wrote this:

Read the rest of this entry )
Crossposted to Wordpress, Livejournal and Dreamwidth. Comment wherever you like.
layla: grass at sunset (Default)

Day 1: Geography & Climateon WordPress | on Livejournal | on Dreamwidth
Day 2: History & Politicson WordPress | on Livejournal | on Dreamwidth
Day 3: Religion & Magicon WordPress | on Livejournal | on Dreamwidth

There is some really interesting discussion going on in the Dreamwidth comments to the earlier entries: here and here. I love this kind of worldbuilding brainstorming. And I’ve more-or-less decided to shift them from mountains to islands now — not because I feel like I’m being pressured at all (Schneefink, I definitely don’t want you to think that!) but because this is how my creative process WORKS. See, this is why it’s so hard for me to finish a novel. I am a complete flailbot when it comes to constantly changing my mind and being carried away by a shiny new idea. *g* And one of the reasons why I wanted to worldbuild Karamanda is because I have very little strongly established canon for them yet, and lots of things that could still change, or haven’t been developed at all.

Anyway, moving on to today’s topic!

Karamanda: Religion

Karamanda does not have actual, literal magic, in the fantasy-world sense. (Though it’s possible you could argue for some low-level magic being necessary to enable a being that’s roughly human-sized and human-shaped to fly. My kludge is that their gravity is a bit lighter than ours, but when it comes right down to it, they probably shouldn’t be capable of flying as easily as they can. The world doesn’t have magic in the traditional sense, but I reserve the right to claim magic for their flight if necessary!)

Traditional religion in the city takes two forms: the old religion (of which the Angels are the ceremonial leaders) and a somewhat debased form of it that is centered around the worship of particular kinds of birds — so there’s a pigeon cult, a sparrow cult, etc. There are also small groups of worshippers who follow various alternate religions introduced from outside.

The ceremonial life of the city is centered around a deity that is personified as a peregrine falcon, of which the Angels are its priests. This is the state religion, and all the official holidays and citywide public functions take place under this deity’s patronage. Falcons are sacred birds and may not be harmed. Angels keep them as pets (only Angels are allowed to) and hunt with them.

The different bird cults each have their own traditions and ceremonies. They are tolerated and mostly ignored; most of them include falcon reverence and follow state rituals/ceremonies while adding their own embellishments. Plenty of people are officially part of the falcon religion while privately following the teachings of one bird cult or another.

(If I do put them on islands, seagulls would be a major local bird; I should probably account for that …)


Crossposted to Wordpress, Livejournal and Dreamwidth. Comment wherever you like.
layla: grass at sunset (Default)

Still no Internet at home … aargh. Obviously this is going to make it slow to reply to comments. Bear with me. :)

Also, for anyone coming in via links from elsewhere, I have anonymous commenting turned off on the WordPress blog because of the spampocalypse. However, all these posts are crossposted to my Livejournal account, where I do have anon commenting turned on! Anyway, on to Day 2.

Day 1: Geography & Climateon WordPress | on Livejournal | on Dreamwidth
Day 2: History & Politicson WordPress | on Livejournal | on Dreamwidth

Karamanda: Political Overview

The city has an interesting, uneasy push-pull between the elected government who run its day-to-day workings, and the Angels who are the ceremonial and religious leaders.

Continued under cut )


Crossposted to Wordpress, Livejournal and Dreamwidth. Comment wherever you like.

layla: grass at sunset (Default)

It’s going to be interesting trying to get these posted daily, because we haven’t had Internet at home since last Monday, and the nearest coffee shop is a 12-mile drive. Still, the Worldbuilding Blogfest starts on Monday, and I have my posts all roughed out. I’m posting this one a bit early, due to the aforementioned connection issues. Technically it’s due to go up Monday, but, uh, it’s Monday in some parts of the world? Ahem.

I thought about which world to develop for this — it’s not like I don’t have enough of ‘em — but I decided to work on Karamanda, because it really does need a lot of developing, so this will be a good opportunity to work on it. Karamanda is the setting of a short story that some of you beta-read for me in an earlier draft, titled “The Angel Killers” at the time. (It’s now called “Angelcutters” and I’ve tried shopping the finished version around, but can’t sell it. I’ve thought about trying Karamanda as an experiment in crowdfunding, since I would like to write more stories in the world, but other projects keep taking priority.)

Anyway, feel free to comment on any of these entries, critique what I’ve posted, or ask more questions. This is mostly brainstorming to figure things out, so input is welcome! Even if I take awhile to respond to things until we get reliable Internet again.

The Karamanda stories are, basically, hard-boiled P.I. stories set in a city in which everyone has wings. Here’s what’s coming up:

Day 1: Geography & Climate
Day 2: History & Politics
Day 3: Religion and/or Magic
Day 4: Food, Drink, Holidays & Culture
Day 5: Worldbuilding Excerpt

You can also see a list of participants and visit their blogs at the Worldbuilding Blogfest site and more details on each day’s topic here.

Karamanda: Geography & Climate (plus a brief Karamanda overview)

Continued under cut )


Crossposted to Wordpress, Livejournal and Dreamwidth. Comment wherever you like.

layla: grass at sunset (Default)

In the last four days, I’ve revised 90,000 words of (unfinished) novel and rewritten chunks of it in the hopes of figuring out how it ends.

Spoiler: I still don’t know how it ends.

Aargh.

In the meantime, an interesting link: The Worldbuilding Blogfest – this looks like immense fun! I think I’m going to sign up. I’m not sure if I want to use it as a platform to explore one of my existing worlds (Kismet, maybe?) or if it would be better to develop something entirely new. But anyway … fun! I thought some of you might enjoy it too.


Crossposted to Wordpress, Livejournal and Dreamwidth. Comment wherever you like.
layla: grass at sunset (Default)

Aargh, I’m the worst blog-hop participant ever! (I’m currently traveling and visiting with family, with very limited Internet access, so I do have some excuse. But I still completely forgot for over a week. *facepalm*)

Anyway, SL Huang has posted about her sci-fi novel-in-progress Zero Sum GameIf you could do math, any kind of math, and do it really, really fast—well, what couldn’t you do? It sounds wonderful – go to the link to read all about it!


Crossposted to Wordpress, Livejournal and Dreamwidth. Comment wherever you like.
layla: grass at sunset (Default)

As mentioned last week, I’m participating in the Next Big Thing blog hop, having been recruited/tagged in by Aundrea Singer, author of Black Hawk Tattoo. Next week, SL Huang will be answering these questions about her novel-in-progress.

What is the working title of your book?

The book is called Freebird. (Or, on the copyright page, Freebird: The Complete Collection. But the other is easier to type.) The protagonist is Karen Bird, nicknamed Freebird, hence the title!

Read the rest of this entry )

I hope you’ve enjoyed this mini interview! Come back next week to check out SL Huang‘s answers to these questions, and don’t forget to follow the blog chain back to Aundrea Singer’s blog to check out some more authors’ responses.

Originally published at Layla's Wordpress blog. You can comment here or there.

layla: grass at sunset (Default)

The winner of the book drawing (via my oh-so-scientific method involving a list of participants and a set of RPG dice) is [personal profile] schneefink. Congratulations! And thank you to everyone else for your webcomic recommendations; I’ve been horrendously busy the last couple of weeks, but I am really looking forward to poking through these!

In other news, I was recently recruited to participate in a blog hop by Aundrea Singer, who was fishing for willing victims on her blog. *g* Typically, blog hops are a way for authors to introduce themselves to new readers by guest-blogging and/or linking to each other’s blogs. It’s really just a way of expanding your circle of possible readers beyond your own blog. The different ones I’ve seen have different rules: in some cases, authors will guest-blog at each other’s blogs; in other cases, everyone links to a big central list of participants.

In this case, it’s operating chain-letter style. Aundrea put up a post looking for other authors on her friendslist who would like to answer a set of questions (it’s the same questions for everyone). She answered the questions here, for her upcoming novel Black Hawk Tattoo from Dreamspinner Press. I will be writing up my own answers for my current/upcoming project (Freebird, naturally!). For you creative people out there, would any of you like to play too? It can be for a book or short story or webcomic, in any genre — whatever you have that’s new and current. Just leave me a comment saying that you would like to participate, and agree to post your answers on Dec. 12 if possible (I will be posting mine on the 5th — it’s supposed to be a week apart) and seek other participants via your blog, as I’m doing here. Ideally the “rule” is that you’re supposed to find five other people to play, but less than five (or none!) is okay too. And I’ll link to you, and you’ll link back to me.

… I have to admit that I kinda feel weird about the slightly chain-letter-esque aspect of all of this, but it’s really just in the interests of spreading the word to new readers, and we authors can never resist doing that! This can be for any project in any genre — whatever you have that’s current, upcoming, or an unpublished work in progress. (If you write all-ages material, it’s probably good for you to know that many of the early & current participants in this blog hop are writers of sexually explicit romance who may have NSFW content on their websites.)

Hopefully I’ve explained that well enough; it took a couple times of Aundrea explaining it to me before I felt like I got it. (And hopefully I’m doing this right!) Sarah Madison has a probably much more lucid explanation posted here.

Originally published at Layla's Wordpress blog. You can comment here or there.

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