The 3 Rules of World Building

So you want to build a world, well, like anything, there are rules you have to follow. A world cannot function any which way you want, there are certain elements and mechanics that you have to understand first in order for your intelligent readers to accept what you have made.

When you think of the world you live in it is easy to see all that is around you as a series of random events, but in reality, everything that exists and occurs is the result of something else (cause and effect). Mountains do not simply appear out of nowhere, an Earth-shaking event had to occur in order for the mountains to sprout: tectonic plates. In every event or with every existence, there is a cause.

Nothing happened by accident. Everything follows a rule, and so does world building. In today’s episode, I’m going to talk about 3 rules you must be aware of when you start building your world.

The 3 Rules of World Building:

  1. The environment – landscape, plants, climate, animals
  2. The intelligent life – race, culture, language, religion
  3. The impending change – climate change, approaching war, a death of a family member

These are elements you will have to follow in order to have an interesting and believable place for your characters to inhabit. Hell, even thinking about these aspects will be enough to launch you in many ideas for your world. That’s the magic of world building. So much of it, you haven’t even thought about yet.

Interested in learning more about writing, editing, and the art of world building? Follow my vlog and join me as I write an epic story.

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Can Society Exist Without a Government?

World building is hard.

You don’t realize how little you know about the world you live in until you start writing about it. In my story, I wrote a sentence stating that a town has no government. What does that even mean?

Can a society exist without government? Or will leadership form from those with the highest influence?

In this video, I explore this question, diving as deep as I can into the topic without getting too political. Staying at the very surface of what government means to me, I decide whether that sentence still fits in my story or will I have to rephrase that to better interpret what I meant when I wrote “no government.”

Verdict: Government is hard to define, but to me, the government means leadership. Think of yourself and your friends, is there a member that makes decisions?

“Hey, let’s go to Portland this weekend, I’ll drive, just chip in for gas money.” Is there someone in the group who creates plans for everyone? That guy or gal is the leader, like it or not. It might even be yourself, you high achiever, you.

The point I’m trying to make is that government will form as long as there are plans and decisions needed to be made. If something is broken in the house, who decides to buy a new one? Probably dad. He is the leader. He is the king. He decides.

If we can live in a society where there are no crimes, no deterioration of infrastructure, and no plans for the future… then yes, we can find a society without a government. But we can’t.

There might be a brief moment in history where a definitive government might not be clear, but eventually, the person or group with the most influence will take over and fill the void.

 

Interested in learning more about writing, editing, and the art of world building? Follow my vlog and join me as I write an epic story.

How to Describe a Setting: 3 Tips

Settings can be a powerful way of exploring culture, nature, and history — it can also be a way to show the internal joy and pain of your characters who reside within the setting.

Think about the setting you are in: are you enjoying it or are you wanting to leave? How the setting affects us says a lot about who we are. Keep this in mind the next time you write your character into a setting.

Do they want to leave or have they finally made it?

If you want to create a realistic setting for your characters to interact with, consider these 3 aspects when writing:

1. What are the physical elements?

Can you point out where this place is on a map? Are you able to describe the floor plan? Knowing where your setting is located will help you determine how far your character needs to travel to get from one spot to another or where they need to go to retrieve an item or find someone to talk to.

2. What does the place look like?

The appearance of a setting can help the reader learn a lot about it. Does the setting have well-paved roads or are the infrastructures in ruins? Has there been a recent war or is this place prospering? Is the kitchen clean or is it gross and messy? A setting can tell the reader a lot about the history and those that reside there.

3. How do the characters feel?

Does the character want to be there? Does it bring back wonderful memories or has it been a prison for him? What your characters do within that setting will give more details into the relationship between the person and the place. In the end, you can describe the setting all you want, but if the character is not responding to those details appropriately, you will lose your readers.

 

Interested in learning more about writing and editing? Follow my vlog and join me as I write an epic story.

I Drive A $160 Million Ride

jet plane for war

I get it, it sounds like bragging, but It’s not like I get to ride it wherever I want.

I’m like a glorified bus driver. Taking orders and executing it to perfection. That’s what I love about bus drivers, they are the heartbeat of a community. Think about it, how do you get your broke-ass around the city? You take that awful cramped smelly bus. Someone has to drive that awful mortuary on wheels, and that person is called a bus driver.

Earning trust isn’t easy. Earning so much trust that someone will let you drive something that expensive is unprecedented. Think of the last time you let a friend drive your car. No car? Okay, think of the last time you let a friend ride your bike. No bike? Think of the last time you let your friend borrow your Pulp Fiction DVD. A part of you knew you would never see that DVD again.  

You have unreliable friends. I’m simply going to leave it at that. You’re no better. They say you become the people you surround yourself with.

I’m not saying it’s your fault. There really isn’t anything you can do. But listen, you can only carry so much in your life, and if you want good things, you’d need to drop some of the bad. If you want to have a $160M ride, you’d need to get some cooler, more reliable – or at least richer — friends.

That’s what I did.

Look, I’m not a motivational speaker or a life coach or anything like that. I’m simply one of the most successful jet fighters in the academy.

When something needs to get nuked — and get nuked fast. They call me. I tell them to give me a two-week notice, but they always call me last minute, and believe me, as I get into the plane, I’m a bit resentful, but heck, not everyone can do what you want. And that’s why I don’t think you will listen to me either. Who am I anyways… I’m just an employee.

But I think I have a pretty good job. I know this because, whenever I tell people what I do, they perk up and ask, “How do you become a warplane pilot?”

It makes me feel pretty good. I know that accountants don’t get that same type of fanfare. “How did you become a CPA?” We all know how to become an accountant: by killing yourself from the inside. JK accountants are cool. Crunching numbers and all that good stuff.

I always wonder what it would be like to have a simple job and a simple life. You know, wake up, brew coffee, play with my children and teach them the importance about following their dreams but not doing so myself, go to a job where I sit at a computer, talk about my fantasy team with my colleagues, meet my monthly quota (whatever that means, I hear it being said on the television sometimes), and then come home eat dinner and do it all over again.

Would I trade a day of my life with a paper pusher? Absolutely. I think I can sit at a desk and open and close browsers, and pretend to be working by emailing myself thoughtful musings. I would be the employee of the fucking month.

I’m what you would call an over-achiever. Whatever scenario you put me in, I am going to over excel. I remember when I was a little boy, playing doctor dodgeball. The objective of doctor dodgeball is simple — you remember the movie, Hacksaw Ridge? It’s like that but in dodgeball form. So, while war is raging and casualties are falling, the doctors will come and retrieve the fallen elementary school students.

Was I a doctor? Fuck no. I was the slayer of the enemy’s doctors. Kill the doctors. Win the war. That mentality has stayed with me into adulthood. That is how I overachieve. You don’t try to be the person who mends and heals and talk nicely to people. You need to be the person that destroys your enemy’s top resources. You can say that is how I got into this gig: I kind of fell into it.

After the dodgeball game, a talent scout came up to me and said, “Wow kid, I see a lot of potential in you.”

I told him I can give him an autograph but if he wants to negotiate a deal or discuss my future, he would have to contact my attorney and management team.

My manager, Travis, got back to me about a week later with a simple proposal. Flying jet planes. I said, “That sounds like fun.” And the rest is history.

Look, a lot of people are going to tell you that all you can amount to is someone who helps people who sit at computers for a living file taxes, but listen! That’s not true. If you have this secret desire to kill people and express it in a way that can attract the government, and be lucky enough to exhibit that skillset in an arena where federal officials are present, then you too can have an awesome ride and an awesome life like me.

I drive a $160 million jet plane to and from work every day. My office is in the skies over the Middle East. I love my life. Do you love yours?  

 

What you’ve just read is the sixth post in a series entitled “A Fan Fiction of My Life by My Number One Fan, Me.” Please check out the first five posts from the series:
Me, A Doctor
I Am A Controversial Artist, AMA
A Well-Respected Elderly Man, It’s Me
Bringer of Bad News, I’m the One
Yes, I Am Blind with a Broken Heart

 

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3 Tips for Introducing a Character in Your Novel

Introducing a character in your novel is a lot like introducing a friend at a party, you shouldn’t tell everybody everything, but rather, just the essential.

From there, you allow the character to engage with his or her surrounding, thus letting everyone else experience the character in action as opposed to you telling the audience everything up front.

When examining how you’ve introduced your character, ask yourself, is this detail relevant? Do the character’s actions show their personality? If so, avoid exposition. Trust that your readers can paint the picture of your character themselves, simply give them the colors they should use and set them off. This is especially important at the beginning of a story, as you don’t want to overload your readers.

How to introduce a character in a novel:

  1. Don’t over describe your characters
  2. Use actions to show traits
  3. Exhibit the character’s flaws

In this video, I’ll give some character introduction examples and gives some writing advice to improve your story.

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