Worldbuilding: Fantastic vs. Consistent

There are many reasons you can jam up while writing a story. One of the most frustrating ones is when you finally realize the idea you thought was rock-solid and hot iron ready to forge… might have a few holes in it. Bad enough if they’re “frivolous” details, like whether or not your general’s hats have gold braid, or rubies, or are as plain as possible to avoid sniper fire. Worse if you find a hole in the foundation of your idea. Or something that might lead you to tear up part of the foundation to make sure it gets done right. Like, say, the plumbing. Continue reading


Colors of Another Sky: Knit One, World Two

Research is critical in building any good world, and especially in an isekai. In part because you not only have to figure out the odd details of your fantastic world, you also have to make a good guess what the local characters find odd about their sudden transplant. A lot of isekai works around this with either the reincarnation gambit, or by dropping a lone character into an isolated spot so they have a chance to filch some local clothes and otherwise disguise themselves as just more ordinary kinds of strange. Continue reading

Worldbuilding: Soap, Taxes, Consequences

Way too many writers seem to create dirty, decrepit fantasy or historical settings, without giving much thought as to why things might be grimy. Or why not.

For example, Victorian England, specifically London, is infamous for being dark, with choking smogs and lower classes regarded as filthy. There is a fair amount of truth to this… but historically, we as writers should look deeper. There were a lot of factors involved in this grime, but three of the big ones were heating, the window tax, and the soap tax. Continue reading