How does the mail work in your world?
Granted, this doesn’t seem to come up as a big thing in most fantastic fiction. The thrill of, “will our heroes make it in time?” is totally lost if the bad guys win because of a minion’s email. Continue reading
As the saying goes, the best time to prepare for a disaster was last year. The next best time is now. How do your characters plan to deal with problems before they happen? And how well do their plans match reality? Continue reading
Long hours at work. Hopefully it’ll make up bills for the time I was out sick, but it’s very inconvenient for writing. Continue reading
Okay, I now need to research maritime trade in Northeast Asia and beyond in the Little Ice Age period, because our heroes are going to have a lot to do with the water. Yes, land adventures are a go, but they’re also going to have to deal with mermaids, water monsters, and inevitable sea trips to go rescue people. (Not what I expected from the original idea, but… yeah.) Continue reading
All right, Russia. For the sake of a good alternate history, your Empire is going down.
Er. Let me explain. Continue reading
How do you prove to skeptical strangers that you’re not under vampiric mind control? Continue reading
Everyone loves fire in fantasy and superhero fiction. It’s bright, it’s flashy, it’s explosive. It’s also a nightmare if Reality Ensues, because burns in Real Life are horrific. Meaning fiction that edges toward the harder scale of physics tends to play up the horror, or avoid having good characters use fire at all.
Which means the full potential of fire is vastly underused. Continue reading
The trouble with trying to find a quiet spot in history is, if you look closely, there are no really quiet spots in history.
Let me elucidate. I’m doing research to dump one hapless modern character in a fantasy AU of 1600s, specifically near Korea in 1618, beginning of the Little Ice Age. (Poor guy.) Two main reasons. First, because that’s early enough in Everything Going Horribly Wrong that he has an idea of what’s coming down the pike, and that he might be able to do something about it to help the people around him not die horrible deaths from famine, plague, war, and monsters. (What, he’s not sure yet. But something.) Continue reading
When you worldbuild, research to get the details as close to accurate as you can. At the very least, if you decide to toss in some random statement of fact, consider running a quick web search to see if anything immediately, blatantly contradicts what you’re saying to the reader.
For example, say you’re writing a book on sport bow-hunting, and decide to toss in, “1588 is the last recorded instance of the bow being used in warfare.” Continue reading
Who do your characters like to hang out with, and why?
In some stories this is more critical than others. In a James Bond-type spy thriller or a fantasy adventure or space opera bent on stopping the Evil Overlord from taking over the world, Continue reading