This is not going to be a full book review of Korean History in Maps, edited by Michael D. Shin, because I just got it and have started flipping through it to read. It is going to be some gleeing instead. Because this is an example of a good worldbuilding source, with the kind of information you want to build a basic structure for your story setting. Continue reading
Worldbuilding: It’s Not Easy Being Green
Especially in Ming Dynasty China….
Whenever possible, do some research on fashions of the place and time you’re setting your story in. Continue reading
Worldbuilding: The Quest for Pizza
No matter where in time and space you are, foods that taste like home make life so much better. There are a lot of American comfort foods that might be replicable in 1600s Northeast Asia, if you knew what you were doing. Off the top of my head, some classics include: apple pie, mac and cheese, jambalaya, spaghetti, hamburgers and French fries, and pizza. Continue reading
Worldbuilding: Brush Talk
Here’s an interesting bit that doesn’t seem to occur to a lot of writers: just because two characters don’t share the same spoken language, doesn’t mean they can’t talk. Historically, a lot of communication can be done by people writing at each other. In large areas of Medieval and Early Modern Europe, this was done in Latin and Greek. In Northeast Asia, if you knew Chinese characters, you could make yourself understood to educated people in China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and much of Manchuria. Paper, ink, and pen or writing brush, and you could talk to each other. Continue reading
Worldbuilding: Down the Hold
In case anyone’s interested, the Serenity is physically larger than but has a bit less cargo capacity than a fair-sized junk from the Yuan Dynasty.
…Yes, this is important. Especially for writers. Continue reading
Worldbuilding: A Matter of Timing
One problem we have with handling history in our heads is how it’s taught. I grant you, there is so much history out there, we have to find ways to divide it up or we couldn’t learn any of it.
The problem is, most people don’t teach you anything about how to put it back together. Continue reading
Movie Review: The Great Battle (2018)
Ooooh boy this one is stunning. Five out of five stars; caveat that this is a war movie, never mind the PG-13 rating. This is a fictionalized version of the Battle of Ansi, Gorguryeo (ancient Korea) against the Tang Empire in 645, and there’s more than enough blood and death to leave you rattled. But it is a very good story. Continue reading
A Few Stray Worldbuilding Thoughts
Tired last night, so… some stray bits I hope to expand on later.
First, cultures of walled cities versus cultures with castles. Discuss. Continue reading
Isekai Anime Dreams
Author’s note: This may be a Bad Idea. But… when your usually non-visual brain hits you with visuals, what the heck. I’m open to other music suggestions but currently the “placeholder” music in my head for this is I Want My Tears Back, by Nightwish.
Open with: A passenger airplane flying through a thunderstorm. Continue reading
Worldbuilding: A Problem Like Nurhaci
In retrospect I should have known the guy renowned as the founding ancestor of the Qing/Manchu Dynasty wouldn’t be put off by a few measly demon tigers. Further research (A Dragon’s Head and a Serpent’s Tail, by Kenneth M. Swope) dug up the fact that Nurhaci started raiding into Korea as early as 1609, which would have made him a preexisting problem for our heroes. Urgh. Gah. Snarl. Continue reading