Back to Basics: World-Building in an Established Universe

Creativity Sessions writing process. Evening Satellite Publishing.

I’m late! I intended to finish this post on Tuesday night, but that obviously didn’t work out. I’ve gotten away with writing entire posts the night before for a while, but it finally caught up to me. Anyway…

As you all may know, I’ve been working on two short stories this year together called “The Herb Witch Tales”. While these take place in the same fantasy universe as my first novel, I’m working with completely new characters, in a different time, and in a different region. I’m in new world-building territory for the first time in years.

This has raised some intriguing questions as I try to develop a story with the same richness of setting as the first. Continue reading “Back to Basics: World-Building in an Established Universe”

How Do You Organize Your World-Building Canon?

As I write “Survivor”, my not-officially-titled duology, I keep thinking about how I might be able to organize my world-building canon better.

Most of what I’ve written in my fantasy universe has been in The Warden of Everfeld stories, of which I have one novel published and one in draft. “Survivor” is the first story that does not overlap WoEM, but shares some of its history and geography with those novels. And I want to make sure that what I write in one doesn’t contradict the other.

So, how do you organize your world-building canon? Continue reading “How Do You Organize Your World-Building Canon?”

Writing a Novel vs. Writing a Short Story

For the first time in my authorly endeavors, I have two major works in progress… in progress.

I’m 60k words into The Warden of Everfeld: Legacy, a sequel-ish novel of 180-200k words that I know I’m not finishing this year.

Simultaneously, I’m 6k words into a duology/novella of about 60k words that I damn well better finish this year.

And after much deliberation and introspection, I can confirm: writing a short story is different from writing a novel. Continue reading “Writing a Novel vs. Writing a Short Story”

#Review: THE ENCIRCLING SEA Continues to Intrigue in Roman Britannia

36350564. sy475 The Encircling Sea is the second book in Adrian Goldsworthy’s historical fiction epic about the Roman presence in Northern Britannia.

I listened to the first book in the seriesVindolanda, on Audible last month, and it was not a difficult decision for me to jump right into the second.

The Encircling Sea is an excellent sequel that establishes its own narrative while clearly connecting its characters and its plot lines to the first story. Continue reading “#Review: THE ENCIRCLING SEA Continues to Intrigue in Roman Britannia”

The Finale: “The Grand Mythos” Chapter 12

I’m really stoked to finally release the final chapter of “The Grand Mythos of Úr’Dan, Volume One”. Somehow it doesn’t feel like that long ago that I started publishing this story on Wattpad, but it’s been almost a year.

I intend to write a full retrospective post both on this story and my Wattpad experience this year, but just know that I’m really proud of this story, and I want you to read it.

Wattpad is free, which means you can read my story and a ton of other great stories just by creating an account and downloading the app (or just reading on your computer).

There is no Volume Two yet, but I’m already forming ideas around what that might entail. For now, I have other things to work on.

Genre: fantasy, high fantasy, mythic fantasy

Chapter Blurb: The First Life fulfill its true purpose, but to what end?

Series Blurb:

Every world has its origin story.

The vibrant world of Úr’Dan and the powerful beings who created it are eager to find life in the cosmos. But their untested powers will clash as they each strive to bring their vision of the universe to fruition–and control the wondrous creatures who live there. Witness the creation of a vibrant new world.

Based on the unique fantasy universe of the novel, The Warden of Everfeld: Memento.

As always, this story is free to read on Wattpad:

https://www.wattpad.com/story/163684352-the-grand-mythos-of-%C3%BAr%27dan-volume-one

Thank you for reading if you have been, and even if you haven’t, thanks for following my progress.

Steve D

The Penultimate Chapter! “The Grand Mythos” part 11 has Arrived

I’m really excited to post this chapter. It leads really well into the final chapter of this volume of my mythology, but I promise it’s not a ridiculous cliffhanger.

Genre: fantasy, high fantasy, mythic fantasy

Chapter Blurb: The First Life must understand and fulfill its true purpose

Series Blurb:

Every world has its origin story.

The vibrant world of Úr’Dan and the powerful beings who created it are eager to find life in the cosmos. But their untested powers will clash as they each strive to bring their vision of the universe to fruition–and control the wondrous creatures who live there. Witness the creation of a vibrant new world.

Based on the unique fantasy universe of the novel, The Warden of Everfeld: Memento.

As always, this story is free to read on Wattpad:

https://www.wattpad.com/story/163684352-the-grand-mythos-of-%C3%BAr%27dan-volume-one

Steve D

“The Grand Mythos of Úr’Dan” Chapter 10 is Up… and other things I forgot to post

I definitely neglected to schedule anything to post this morning, so to make up for it, I’ve posted the next chapter in my mythic fantasy series, “The Grand Mythos of Úr’Dan”!

This chapter presents a more understated but poignant side of this fantasy universe.

Genre: fantasy, high fantasy, mythic fantasy

Chapter Blurb: The First Life learns what it means to create a life of its own.

Series Blurb:

Every world has its origin story.

The vibrant world of Úr’Dan and the powerful beings who created it are eager to find life in the cosmos. But their untested powers will clash as they each strive to bring their vision of the universe to fruition–and control the wondrous creatures who live there. Witness the creation of a vibrant new world.

Based on the unique fantasy universe of the novel, The Warden of Everfeld: Memento.

As always, this story is free to read on Wattpad:

https://www.wattpad.com/story/163684352-the-grand-mythos-of-%C3%BAr%27dan-volume-one

Steve D

Switching Characters to Spice Up the Storytelling

I’ve had an exceedingly tiresome week, capped off by an exceedingly long commute home today — like, an hour and a half or more. And because I’m writing this on Thursday evening, the week isn’t quite over yet. So let’s listen to some soothing Appalachian-inspired folk.

Writing has also been slow for me, which has been due in part to laziness, but also because I keep spending more time thinking about my short story idea than actually writing WoEL.

Continue reading “Switching Characters to Spice Up the Storytelling”

How to Defeat the Second-Act Drafting Slog

I’m currently knee-deep in the second-act slog of my first draft of The Warden of Everfeld: Legacy.

The most important characters have been established. A couple of key side-characters and plots have been introduced, or at least teased. I have solid ideas for the ending.

I’m just having trouble getting there. Continue reading “How to Defeat the Second-Act Drafting Slog”

The One Question Required to Write Speculative Fiction

I don’t talk a whole lot about genre in this space, mostly because I think it’s difficult — and not altogether necessary — to fit stories into neat little boxes.

Genres cross and overlap all over the place, and the water gets even murkier when you throw in the hundreds of hyper-specific sub-genres readers can find now.

So, as with any other theoretical discussion, if I’m going to talk about Genre, I’m going to start at the top. Continue reading “The One Question Required to Write Speculative Fiction”