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Worldbuilding Month Day 9: Building Worlds

March is Worldbuilding Month! Leave me a question about any of my worlds, and I will do my best to answer it! (I need more questions, guys)
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This ninth one is from [twitter.com profile] medicmsh3141: What’s your favorite part of mapmaking?

Oh, no, favorites!

…All of it?

Okay, so when I was working on my first-ever Nanowrimo novel, The Deep Inks, one of the flaws in that book is that I spent like… 3 chapters describing an entirely-useless-to-plot town that the antagonists had built… I don’t even remember why.

But I LOVED that town.

Forget killing my darling lines, when I worldbuild–>write, I have to kill my darling TOWNS.

Okay so.

Map-making.

First, I’m rubbish at visualization, so when I make a map, I can start to actually SEE a place come together.

Second, it’s arts-and-crafts, and I really, REALLY like arts-and-crafts. I get to pull out the lentils/split peas/other pulses and play like I’m finger painting, I get to draw shapes that aren’t going to look “wrong” because, let’s face it, it’s an imaginary world. I get to get out the watercolors and PAINT.

…there’s more than one reason I do all my mapmaking on actual paper with pencil. 🙂

Okay, so there’s the haptic side of it, there’s the visualization side. There’s getting to play with logistics, too: where would they put cities? Roads? Fords/bridges?

I’m gonna put floor-plan making in here too, ‘cause it fills many of the same urges. “How would they cram as many people as possible into this space, to both fill basic needs for shelter AND to encourage them to spread out and build proper houses?”

(That one’s Colonize Earth, which I never did get too far with).

Maps and diagrams are all about questions. How would they do that that is different from how I would do it?

I’m still not one hundred percent sure why Cya built Cloverleaf in a series of circles – but I love it. Might’ve been for the tower in the middle, everything pointing like arrows at the giant thing that, after all, is not actually the school.

Anke prompted me with “treehouse” the other day and I’m still playing with all the details of a post-apocalyptic scrounger’s tree house…

…I considered going into architecture, you know. Sometimes I really regret that I didn’t.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1285229.html. You can comment here or there. comment count unavailable

A Patreon Bonus Post: oro’cy’Sweetflower

This story is from March; I wrote it but couldn’t quote get it to work out quite the way I liked it, so I wrote something else.  But here it is: a glimpse at a test-Keeping in Doomsday Academy. 

🌸The collar was new and stiff-feeling, even though Enguerrand knew that there was supposed to be a Working on it to soften it.  He tugged on it anyway.  “Are you sure I’m going to be welcome?”

Faris draped an arm around Enguerrand’s shoulders.  “Certain.  For one, any plus-one is welcome at a cy’Sweetflower party, and for another, you’re mine, remember?  Anywhere I can go, you can go.”

“I’m new to this,” Enguerrand reminded his Keeper nervously.  “You did your own test-Keeping last year.  This is my first time.”
Continue reading

The Facility, a story of Doomsday Academy, available on Patreon for patrons

The Facility

“Almost… almost.”

Milana should not have been their entry specialist. Helji talked to machines. Signy broke things. But Milana had delicate, clever fingers, Helji was busy figuring out the archaic and terrifying building system, and Signy had both hands full of guards, rather literally.

So Milana was here, crouched in front of a nice door lock that seemed to be purely mechanical, muttering quiet Workings at it…

(read on…: Available to all patrons.

Pledge just $1 a month to gain access to all these stories; pledge $5 or more a month to prompt these tales!

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1091066.html. You can comment here or there.

Aging in Cloverleaf, a story of…well, of Cloverleaf… now available for Patreon patrons~

Aging in Cloverleaf

Fiana was getting old, and Edgar was not…

Years after they helped to build Cloverleaf, a plumber and his wife discuss their choice.

Now available on Patreon to all patrons!

Pledge just $1 a month to gain access to all these stories; pledge $5 or more a month to prompt these tales.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1086715.html. You can comment here or there.

Pick-up lines, a ficlet of Cya/Doomsday

When Cya went to one of the downtown bars with Leo, she knew that she could expect a certain amount of flirtation in varying degrees of heavy-handedness. Today was no different – some smooth pick-up lines and some sad, some who wanted to sleep with power and some who thought she looked cute, some who thought Leo looked cute and some who thought they were dangerous in an interesting way.

And then one drunken guy told her he could help her out. “I’m good friends with the Mayor, you know. If you need a job, I can help you.”

She looked him over for a minute while the gathered crowd around them fell silent. He was earnest and pleased with himself – and she’d never met him before.

“Would someone please tell him?” She raised her voice so it carried.

One of the off-duty city guards, sounding as if he was trying not to laugh, cleared his throat. “What would you like us to tell him, Madam Mayor?”

The man frowned, but he clearly hadn’t gotten it yet. Cya sighed. “Well, my name would be a good start.”

“Well, I hear,” Apollo offered, “that the bandits to the west call you the Red Death.”

Actually, they called her the Red-handed wielder of the Lightning Death, but since neither she nor Leo actually killed anyone, she supposed that was a moot point.

“Up north, they call you the Savior of Adamtown,” a guard offered. Cya winced. That had been a bad one – but she had, technically, saved Adamtown.

“In school,” offered a third, who had been a student of Doomsday until just a year ago, “mostly they call you Prince Red.”

That one, she hadn’t known. And now her would-be suitor was beginning to get the point. He was turning pale. “Madame Mayor?” He glared at her. “No, you’re way too young. The mayor’s been here for fifty years!”

“The mayor is fae, you idiot.” The bartender looked far from impressed. “And you’re bothering her.”

“Well, how was I supposed to know?” he whined.

“Easy,” Cya offered. “Don’t claim friendships you don’t have. Promise that, and we won’t have a problem.”

“I.. I promise,” he stammered. From the way the air didn’t twist and the way he was willing to make a promise that quickly, Cya could tell he wasn’t fae. It didn’t matter. She smiled so all her sharp mink teeth showed.

“Good boy. Now go leave the Mayor alone. I want to flirt with someone less unwise.”

AS he hurried off, she began to wonder if it was time for a new city.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1081439.html. You can comment here or there.

Job Interview: a tiny-fic of the Apiary

(The Apiary is – or will be – the companion university and surrounding town to Cloverleaf and Doomsday Academy)

The chair was singularly uncomfortable. Augustinus did his best not to shift and squirm.

The woman in front of him was lush, far too lush, and something about her scent just made her beauty even more uncomfortable. And she was smiling at him with a wide grin that looked a little too predatory.

She glanced down at her notes. “Now,” she purred, “why don’t you tell me about your experience with chemistry?”

Augustinus cleared his throat, not for the first time, and tried not to make an absolute fool of himself.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1078210.html. You can comment here or there.

Second Thoughts, Third Thoughts – A Patreon Story

A story of going-to-Doomsday-Academy

“Here we are.” Adelaide looked at her three children, then looked back at the gate in front of them. She stole another glance at her kids and sighed.

Ameera had gone to Addergoole two years ago. This would be her third year there, and she looked both worried and eager. Lorccán was going this year. He looked eager. He didn’t really know what he was getting into.

But first, they were going to Doomsday. She wasn’t sure if she was going to tell Addergoole about her third child – and Doomsday started years earlier than Addergoole, anyway. Continue reading

Soft Target, a drabble of Cloverleaf

When the boss told him Cloverleaf was a soft target, Coty should’ve known better.

When the boss said the walls would come down easy with this new earth-caster, Cody really should’ve known better.

When the boss said that the guards at Cloverleaf were glorified paper-checkers and errand-runners and there was no military to speak of, Coty should’ve walked away, whatever the contract said.

When the boss screamed onward instead of retreat, Coty should’ve grabbed the boss and ran.

When the woman asked Coty if he wanted a ten-year jail sentence or a five-year collar…

Maybe he should’ve picked jail time.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1074251.html. You can comment here or there.

Building The Apiary, a ficlet of Cya/Doomsday

This time, she didn’t do it by herself.

When she’d built Cloverleaf, she hadn’t been alone, not all the time. Her daughter Mai had “helped”, but Mai had been five years old, and there was only so much help even the most enthusiastic five-year-old could be. She’d brought in specialists, she’d called in favors, and she’d had company.

This time, she started by having cy’Underground survey and archive the area, pulling out anything that might possibly be of use to future generations and documenting the rest. She called in a team of people to break down the remaining bits of buildings, and another team to sort all of the bits into usable pieces.

She levelled the ground and raised the hill herself.

“The Apiary”, Leo had said, and a beehive it would be. But this was Cloverleaf’s project, not Doomsday’s, and that meant she wasn’t working alone.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1051605.html. You can comment here or there.