How to Rule the World

How to Rule the WorldKindlesmallMy brand new world-building book is out now! Pop over to Amazon to check it out. The Kindle version is available to pre-order and will be released on 1 October.

It’s my guide to creating a believable world for your stories, no matter what medium you use to tell them or how fantastical (or even mundane) your setting. There are worksheets, writing exercises and illustrations to help you out. There is also a checklist of things you might not have considered (but probably ought to know).

Hopefully, this book will help some of you out, especially considering that it is time to start planning for NaNoWriMo. November will be here before you know it!

It’s Coming Soon… I Promise

I posted a while back about the Worldbuilding book I planned to release. It still hasn’t happened yet as things came up that made me delay (and I was so close!), but I’m hoping to have it out before November. The current release date is October 15 and I’m hoping to get the pre-orders up at the beginning of October. Why November? NaNoWriMo, of course! I’m writing this book with you guys in mind and I’m hoping it will give you a bit of inspiration for your advance planning.

Of course, the book isn’t aimed solely at novel writers. It’s for any writer who needs a world built from scratch. Fiction in all its guises – prose, script, screenplay, games – and in whatever genre you write. While people might think “worldbuilding” applies only to the sci-fi and fantasy worlds we create, the same principals can be relevant to other genres too. Have you ever read historical fiction where the author has got a fact spectacularly wrong (for example, mentioning their Tudor-era peasants raiding the fridge)? That’s bad worldbuilding (and poor research). It’s not just about the fantastical and the futuristic. It’s about making all the elements of your story stick together. Worldbuilding is the glue that binds. It’s the waterproofing that rejects the unbelievable. It’s the tiny details that give your story a soul.

How to NaNo

In the past, I’ve been the unofficial ML for the Portsmouth (UK) Region. This year, it’s official. There will be a series of tweets running through October to get you prepared for November (from @AngelLithium and @NaNoPortsmouth), but if you can’t wait to see them each day, here’s an outline. I’m mostly using my worksheets to get you planning, but there are some days when I leave you to your own devices. Good luck! Continue reading

Never forget this: What you write this month will not be published.

Not never, but certainly not in the form that it comes out on November 30. So with that in mind, go mad! Add in hundreds of characters to that party scene, name each of them and describe what they’re wearing, eating and drinking. And then move on and never look at them again. Or, if your scene lacks drama, snowstorm! (But my story is on a spaceship… Doesn’t matter. I said, SNOWSTORM!) You’re in control for this month. Let your inner child write your story with crayons! It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t make sense, or if it’s unnecessary, they are all words and they all count. Every single one.

Or, for those who find it hard to turn off their inner editors… Rewrite. Rewrite the same sentence ten times if you want to. But always start a new line, never delete. And type each word by hand if you want to avoid feeling like you’re cheating. All the words count. You wrote them.

And dream sequences are awesome when you’re stuck. Literally anything can happen without affecting your plot. And look at all the lovely words.

If you really want to publish your story, you will have to draft and redraft anyway, so don’t let the first attempt zap all the fun out of the experience. Don’t be afraid of writing the impossible or the improbable or the downright loony. Have fun.

Really. Do.