Archive | October 31, 2013

Worldbuilding SFWA Style: Reiassan

From this link, from the
I. The World

B. Not Earth at All

  • How does this world differ physically from earth? Is it the same size (same density, same gravity), same ratio of land/water, same atmosphere, etc.? Does it have more than one sun or moon? Rings? Are there spectacular constellations/comets, etc. visible at night or by day?
The world is slightly smaller than Earth (just a few miles in diameter),  and a similar density and gravity, and is generally earthlike. 
It has two moons, one large and one small.  It also has brilliantly stars in a sky full of light.  
  • Are there non-human inhabitants of this planet (elves, dwarves, aliens)? If so, how numerous? How openly present? What areas do they occupy?
Nope, there are only humans. 
  • How are the continents laid out? If there is more than one moon/sun, how does this affect winds, tides, and weather generally?
Reiassan and (Homeland) are both in the Northern/Eastern Hemispheres. Reiassan is to the west of (Homeland) continent by about ¼ of the world; there is another large land mass on the Western hemisphere, and several smaller land masses in the southern hemisphere.
Reiassan is a continent about the size of South America; Homeland is a mass equivalent to Eurasia in size, as is the Western continent. 
  • How much land is there, and how much of it is habitable?
There’s approximately  50,000,000 square miles (129,499,000 sq. km).  About 35% of this is habitable (neither mountain nor desert).
  • Is the axial tilt and orbit the same — i.e., does the world have the same seasons and same length of year as Earth?
Seasons are similar to Earth’s, although they count them differently in Reiassan; they consider the rainy season, the warm season, and the cold season.

II. Physical and Historical Features
A. General
  • In which geographical areas will the story take place? How much ground will the story cover? What are the most striking features of landscape, climate, animals, etc. in this area? How will these features affect travel time, communication, etc.?
Both extant stories take place on the continent of Reiassan, a sort of comma-shaped continent the size (approx.) of South America.
Reiassan is a continent wrinkled and gouged by glacial activity; it looks like a wrinkled napkin.  This makes travel difficult and sometimes prohibitive.
Agriculture tends towards crops which can be grown on slopes – more root crops and less grain crops, for one.  There are fewer trees and much of what exist are scrublike and twisted; buildings are mostly stone-created, with wood being rare and generally used for accent, not for construction. 
The tip of the continent, the part that was formerly Bitrani, is warmer and flatter, although it has a great deal of swampland.  Trees similar to the mangrove are prevalent here, and rice is one of their main crops. 
The seas on either side of the continent are very good for fishing. 
Into Lanamer crosses most of the continent, heading from near the Bitrani city of Onikanin, less than 1/3 of the tail up from the Southern tip of Reiassan, up to the Calenyena city of Lanamer, at the point where the dot of the comma reaches the tail. 
Edally Academy takes place primarily in Edally Academy at Ileltedez, a coastal city South of Lanamer. 
  • If there are non-human inhabitants, are there any areas they particularly claim as their own (e.g., dwarves traditionally live underground, usually in mountains)?
Still no non-humans. 

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It’s October (still); that means there have been things I’ve been doing other that writing.

I’ve been raking leaves and cutting deadwood out of trees.

I’ve been sneaking in that last bit of painting when the rain stops.

I’ve been picking things out of my garden, peeling, cutting, cooking.

I’ve been picking apples.

I’ve been picking apples.

I’ve been picking apples.

We had, when we moved in, one super-productive apple tree that had been overgrown, so made a lot of tiny tart apples.

Over the last two years (last year was a horrid apple season in this corner of the world; we got a warm bunch of days in March, followed by a cold snap and a day of 6″ of snow), T has been trimming the tree, getting into proper apple shape. At the end of this year, it really looks properly like an orchard tree.

But then, when he was cleaning out the hedgerow (he’s been cutting grapevines out of everything for two years now; they choke out anything they touch), he looked up.

And realized that those green round leaves… were apples.

We’d known we had one apple tree in the hedgerow.

(note: this is what Wikipedia thinks a hedgerow is. Around here, it’s a lot more haphazard. Think of ten feet wide, length of your property long of planted trees allowed to go wild, underbrush, thorns, and trouble. But it slows the wind right down!)

And that apple tree turned out to be two, hung with so many small apples that it looks like an interior designer’s idea of “apple fronds” or something.

But it turns out we have FOUR.

We gave a 55-gallon barrel of apples to a friend for cider. We’ve been giving away copy-paper boxes of apples to anyone we can get to take them.

And we’ve been cutting, coring, cooking down, saucing, and canning apples.

And canning apples.

and canning apples.

Send help?

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Nano and Balance

As I step into my third Nanowrimo, I’ve been looking around and reading blog posts on “surviving nano,” “making it through/to 50K,” and so on, and I was struck that, if they mention your family at all, the general consensus is “your husband and children will not see you for the next thirty days.”

Combine this with advice to “remember to eat food, even if it’s Burger King and take-out pizza,” it occurred me that, not only is nano generally a younger person than mine’s game (oh, my, did I just say that? Hi, dad), but that it was sorely in need of a post on “balancing life, family, and nanowrimo.”

Then I wondered if I had done a sufficiently good job balancing those things in the past – my husband says no, but then he said I’d left him alone in the yard overnight and nobody had come to get him and he was so saaad, so I have to take it with a grain of salt (he’s also threatened to go feral).

So what I am going to do, gentle readers, is be mindful of balance over the next month of feverishly grinding out 2000 words a day in a setting I barely know. And I will report to you faithfully every Wednesday on my progress thereof. I might even get my husband to do a guest post (don’t hold your breath 😉

Stay tuned for the adventures of Balance and the Art of Nanoing.

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