Tag Archive | marcreate

Worldbuilding Month Day 12 – What’s in a Name?

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 twelfth one is from B: have you figured out the naming rules for that one world?

So “that world” is Portal Bound, which there is a map of here. The basic premise is that it was originally discovered – i.e., this continent at least had no human life on it – by a family who found a portal in their back yard. They were handwave-Scandinavian at the moment.

BUT this land has several portals! Many portals! And the portals are not so regular about where they lead or where they come from. So this land has had immigrants throughout the course of time from many different worlds, and from many places over the world. Most are human, or humanoid, but they speak many different languages and having many different ideas about names.

“When in Rome, shoot Roman candles.” The naming thus ends up being an interesting combination.

Usually, children are given names of the parents’ culture, if the parents happen to have a culture in common. Children from mixed-cultural-heritage families sometimes alternate, so you might end up with Lars and Yuki, for instance, as brother and sister. Ancestors’ names are common, although not normally parents’ names.

If the parents are themselves very mixed-heritage or feel no particular connection to the heritage or world they came from, then the children are often named Scandinavian names, as those are still the most common in this world – often they are then named after historical figures, Princes or Kings, Queens or Princesses or Governors from times past. It is considered ill luck to name a child after a living person.

(In a family where there are many siblings having children, this can lead to battles about who gets to name their daughter after Grandma Yuki or Grandpa Lars.)

As for family names, most people use a patronym or matronym – sons follow the father’s line, normally, and daughters the mother’s line, although a fatherless or motherless child will go with the extant parent. So Larssen or Yukidar, or Larsdar or Yukisen.

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Worldbuilding Month Day 11 – The end of the World, as I know it…

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 eleventh one is from [personal profile] lilfluff: just what was the nature of the apocalypse in The Planners?

You know, I have been doing a Very Good Job of leaving that completely unsaid.

The things I know are: It was not nuclear, it was not alien, and it was not zombie. It was not climactic – I.e. Giant Flood, that thing in 2000 or whatever the movie was with a giant freeze everywhere and the book-burning, and it probably didn’t involve Mad Max. It was probably not an asteroid strike.

It destroyed a large portion of the infastructure and it was probably that destruction that killed off a large portion of the population.

It was a worldwide apocalypse, not centered on any one nation.

It may have had a lot in common appearance-wise with the apocalypse in the TV show Revolution, although it was not cause by Plot Nanotech. Basically: the power all went out. Cars stopped working. Going anywhere became a challenge.

I think it involved several EMPs or a world-wide EMP. Either a backfiring test strike that ended up with several large nations making a mess of the world, or something like solar flares that made a mess all on its own.

As far as apocalypses go, it left the landscape mostly untouched, the people devastated, and technology a mess.

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Worldbuilding Month Day 10: Worlds of Difference

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 tenth one is from [twitter.com profile] ladyRowyn: Do you have any worlds that aren’t Earth-like in general shape/climate/vegetation? why/why not?

Okay, I have to think about that one!

Okay, so something like 9/10 of my worlds are immediately out of the running because they’re “in a world much like our own;” i.e., urban fantasy, for the most part, the sort of thing where it’s very familiar to readers because it’s Earth (and usually America), just with magic: Aunt Family, Stranded World, Fae Apoc, Planners, Facets, Shadow Rebellion, Tír na Cali, Bug Invasion, Fairy Town, Cracks, Science! (okay, Science! is Earth, just with Science!), Inner Circle.

Then there’s settings where we never really see the world – Dragons Next Door, Unicorn/Factory…

Okay, things actually set on a different world: Reiassan, which is goats and linen and rice and parsnips, just after a little ice age. That’s pretty earth-like. I mean, the continents are different…

Things Unspoken is a giant sprawling Empire in something that is pseudo-European in many ways. I haven’t really looked at the climate, but I haven’t explored much of the World, although there is at least a map.

Space Accountant is on a ship in space. Foedus Planatarum is in space – but starts with Earth, if you look far enough back. Jahnan’s planet would be a lot different from Earth, but we’ve never seen it.

I’m thinking the closest I get here is enclosed environments – asteroids, that sort of thing. Maybe something on Colonies, but they don’t get a whole lot of attention.

Now that I’ve looked at this, I think the “why not” is that, while I enjoy worldbuilding, I’ve never really gotten a kick out of “how do things turn out if the environment is completely different?” and that’s really what those stories seem to be, to me. But now I might feel the need to try something like that, because challenges.

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Worldbuilding Month Day 9: Building Worlds

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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.

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Worldbuilding Month Day 8: Tell Me a Story

March is Worldbuilding Month! Leave me a question about any of my worlds, and I will do my best to answer it!
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This eighth one is from [personal profile] sauergeek: You have storytellers in at least three universes: Autumn in Stranded, Tanakae in Calepurn, and Rosaria in Aunt Family. Am I missing others? How do their styles overlap, and how do they differ? What are their goals in storytelling? (Lotsa questions!)

Ooh! I probably do have other storytellers, because I like the trope of the storyteller. I like telling stories within the confines of the story, for one – some day I hope to do an at-least-triple-nested story, like Arabian Nights. Maybe for Camp Nano in July~

Autumn tells stories for two reasons: One, because she is a small-change artist, and engaging your audience by telling stories is a very good way to get their attention and interest them in buying. As a Neil Gaiman story I just read says, people don’t buy the art, they buy the story. (Paraphrase). Two, because she is a dancer on the strands of life, and she has found that sometimes a story is the best way to engage someone, to get them to heal their own strand damage, to create their own connections.

Tanakae tells stories because it’s her career. She started out doing her world’s version of rap battles, and evolved from there into high art – think like Shakespeare having a patron. She likes political satire best, because if you put something into a catchy phrase, it makes people – if not think, let’s be honest – at least remember the phrase. She’s her time’s equivalent of a Facebook meme on a bad day, and on a good day she’s Mark Twain. She likes the way words flow together, and making them fit properly is like a really good puzzle for her.

(Okay, I probably write a lot of storytellers too because I am, by chosen trade, a storyteller.)

Rosaria tells stories because it’s how she sees the future, the past, and the present – it’s a type of divination. It’s also how she engages her family – some too young to be interested in the truth behind the stories, some too involved in their own world, their own lives. It also gives her a chance to talk to her grandchildren and grand-nieces and -nephews and keep an eye on them.

In terms of style, Tanakae’s style is far more elaborate and ornate than either of the others. Tanakae is much more interested in the wordcraft and in showing off her skills. Rosaria’s stories are the most likely to sound like fairy tales, where Autumn’s are the closest to “no shit, there I was…”

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Worldbuilding Month Day 7: Strands and more Strands

March is Worldbuilding Month! Leave me a question about any of my worlds, and I will do my best to answer it!
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This seventh one is from [personal profile] inventrix:
Does everyone who does magic work with Strands? Corollary: if there are people who think they don’t, is it just like how Autumn uses ink – it’s their approach, not the fact that it’s different magic?

Also, what ARE Strands, anyway.

Okay!

So, in Stranded World, everyone who works magic is working with the Strands. Like Autumn and sometimes Summer, they don’t always directly manipulate the strands, and some of them don’t realize what they’re doing at all, but all magic involves manipulating or reading (or cutting, although I guess that’s a manipulation) the Strands.

So, yes, a psychic might be using tea leaves or a palm-reading, but what they are actually seeing is the way the Strands seem likely to move in the near future.

And the Strands are… the world.

Autumn sees primarily the Strands that are connections between people, because that’s her strong suit. She visualizes them as lines, and there are indeed Strands connecting people – love, hate, co-workers, family – everything that makes people touch and make a connection, even eyes meeting across a subway, causes some sort of strand.

They are the actions of people, too, past, current, and potential, streams of movement running through the world; they are the connections people make with things and things make with things.

Some philosophers haves suggested the whole world is just composed of Strands upon Strands. They may be right.

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Worldbuilding Month Day 6: More Roots of the Aunt Tree

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This third one is from [personal profile] kelkyag:
where did the American branch of the family, Carrie and Sarah, come from?

Okay, so I’d originally thought that the immigrated from Away, but I probably shouldn’t have named aunts I was thinking of as German Carrie and Sarah if that were the case.

Also, that doesn’t quite match with what I said to Rix.

So, let’s see.

Wikipedia says:

In the 1670s the first significant groups of German immigrants arrived in the British colonies, settling primarily in New York and Pennsylvania… Between 1820 and 1870 over seven and a half million German immigrants came to the United States

Since that story takes place in 1802, let’s say that the branch that thought of itself as the root branch came over to downstate NY in the late 1670’s.

That means there was an established branch downstate when Carrie and Sarah decided to come up north.

Which changes something – they may BE the root family, but they moved with no family at all. Were they part of a split; i.e., did they have the power of the family but were, say, the only children of an only surviving child? That would explain the move, too; if the power split off between them and another Aunt, a cousin.

So: Carrie and Sarah came from Downstate. *nods firmly*

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Worldbuilding Month Day 5: Permanent Enchantments

March is Worldbuilding Month! Leave me a question about any of my worlds, and I will do my best to answer it!
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This Fourth one is from [personal profile] inventrix:
Faepoc: Are there any Workings or Words that can’t be used when creating a functionally permanent enchantment on an object?

i.e. the enchantment doesn’t have to be maintained consciously; having to be refreshed every decade or century would count as functionally permanent for this question.

Nope!

Okay, now I have to figure out how to get 200 words out of this answer.

Enchanting an object – or a person – requires that a) you have the Words required to cast the enchantment and b) you have access to the Word for the object. In a tongue-in-cheek example: Leo could easily enchant a strand of Cya’s hair to change color based on her mood, because he is very good with coloring hair (a Tlacatl Working) and very good at reading emotions (Hugr).

Likewise, if you were really good, you could enchant a stick to throw fireballs, or, say, enchant a collar to deliver a mild electric shock in a situation where the wearer said certain words or evidenced a certain emotional state.

The thing is, anything wherein you are putting your Workings in an object takes a lot of energy. A first-year student could manage to enchant something for maybe a couple minutes. later, for a year or two. And doing so takes considerably more energy than simply doing the Working.

That is why there aren’t more magic fireball-throwing swords around.

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Worldbuilding Month Day 4: Powers in the Stranded World

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This Fourth one is from [personal profile] inventrix:
Stranded: are there styles of strand-working that are not represented by the Seasonal Siblings?

Yes!

Next question?

Ahem.

Let’s see. Autumn is reading the connections, Winter is smoothing them, Spring is tangling things, and Summer does… little charms, which are really either smoothing, tangling, or making a connection.

In addition, we’ve seen a star mapper – who honestly is a combination of reading connections and interpreting potential connections. Like a life adviser with cheat codes.

There’s also Severers, snippers. Those are – well, they might not be bad people, but it’s a bad power. It eliminates connections, as the name would suggest, cutting them off.

There’s Binders. That’s different from what Autumn does; it’s the power to actually tie a connection where one wasn’t before. (Autumn can strengthen a connection with the right ritual). Tattercoats is a type of binder, knotting people to his will.

There are people who do many variations on the powers of the seasonal siblings as well – a psychic is a star mapper, a curse is what Summer does, and so on.

There are people who can bend the Strands to provide them with energy – not a good idea in the long run – to hide themselves from view by moving sight along other paths, to protect places or people by charming them with a smoother path or a firmer roof.

And there are people out there who can just grasp the edges of what the Strand-workers are doing, but can’t do any of it.

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Worldbuilding Month Day 3: The Roots of the Aunt Tree

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This third one is from [personal profile] rix_scaedu:
If the Family in the Aunt Family occasionally splits off anew Family with a new Aunt, where was the original Family? Is it still there? Is there some Family version of “the old country”?

That’s complicated!

Because sometimes branches die out. It requires at least two sisters, after all (or sometimes in rare occasions, brothers, but that’s, as said, rare, and very frowned on, and such), one of which (again, in most cases), remained unmarried, childless, and near her sister’s family. It requires that unmarried sister to at least have the strength to carry the power, and the family branch to have enough power to invest in her.

Sometimes branches are actually wiped out, but that is a rare occurrence in the modern day.

Let’s see.

The original Family came out of England and Germany, and for a long time (legends notwithstanding) was not nearly as formalized an arrangement as it is in the modern day. When the family that believed itself to be the root family moved to the US, they left behind no other sibling groups, but there were several members of the family who were related, carried the spark, and eventually had children of their own.

Note: Not everyone who has power is related to the Family, but they are a broad and deep family-grove with many scions over, by the point, most of the world.

The “original” family at this point would be considered the one that can trace its ancestry back in an unbroken line of Aunts to the first Aunt in America. That actually is Evangaline’s line. It was an aunt of her line who came up with the ritual that collects the power of an already-psychically-skilled family and concentrates the larger portion of it into one person, allowing the family as a whole to have more power than they would otherwise, and allowing the power to be used and directed for bigger and bigger uses.

That happened prior to coming to the U.S., but it was believed, when they moved, that they had brought their entire family and thus their entire power structure with them.

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