Authors start to build a world in a wide range of ways. Some consume media for inspiration - books, movies, TV shows, video games. Others spend hours going down Google rabbit holes, cobbling together a patchwork of advice from across the Internet. There are traditionalists, who begin with a pen and paper, and artists, who start with images and ideas.
I started with a map.
I've loved maps my whole life. Maps have always helped me visualize what a place might be like, even if I will never set foot there. I have a framed map of Christopher Paolini's Alagaësia in my living room, and taught 6th grade world geography for two years with more than 10 maps posted all over my classroom.
Religion is a sensitive subject for many - it's incredibly personal, very challenging, and often carries many stereotypes depending on the religious label you choose for yourself. However, religion is an integral part of life, and deserves a place in a fantasy world.
For Summer Twilight, I created an entire pantheon of gods for my characters. I've always loved Greek and Roman mythology, the idea that 1) there are many gods and 2) gods are really just super powerful people, with their own petty power struggles and aspirations. In a fantasy setting this works well; the gods become steeped in the mythology of the world. Fantasy also gave me the freedom to create a pantheon and religious system unconstrained by reality.
Last week, I wrote a blog post about making time to write even when you're very busy. That post has a lot of high-level advice about how to understand what your priorities are, and then to make time for those priorities. After thinking about it, however, I realized I wanted to do a second post with some more specific thoughts and ideas. Everyone responds to different types of insight and levels of advice differently.
Anyone who has ever met me knows that I'm constantly incredibly busy. I like to think of it more as a feature than a flaw, but it definitely has its challenges. I struggle to balance my personal, professional, and academic lives in a healthy way - and I know I'm not the only one who finds this hard.
It's not a new problem for me. I'm used to go-go-go, constantly moving as fast as possible, jumping from problem to problem, event to event, and then falling into bed at the end of the day, too tired to even wash my face. A consequence of this is struggling to relax and unwind.
Bridget is the author of Summer Twilight, available for purchase now!