Part 1 – crucial & tedious work, on definitions
Part 2 – “X” marks the starting point, or identifying procedures
Part 3 – Genius loci & fabulae, or finding the spirit in the story
We all consume stories as an organic part of growing up. It is food for the mind, equally important as food for the body. So we should be equally carefully picked and checked for quality like actual food.
Dear reader, dear writer, do you remember what kind of stories you were fed?
What is the blueprint of your world? What do you believe about morals? What is right? What unwritten rules are valid in the world you live in or makeup? How do you cope with the allies/villains of your world? How do you expect them to behave? Remember the goodnight stories your parents, grandparents, or siblings told you? What kind of stories did you imagine, when you were scared at night, when the darkness seemed to move, to breathe?
I’m convinced that stories are our first language to perceive and understand the world around us. We extrapolate meaning and rules from them. Of course, I can only speak for myself, but I know that I used the blueprints of stories, fairytales, history, and family anecdotes to find my place and way in this world. My family knows this hunger and made me the story keeper. Well, I made myself the keeper and collector of the family tales, tree, trauma, beliefs and traditions.
Continue reading “a frame to weave a story, on worldbuilding (3)”
Part 1 – crucial & tedious work, definitions
Part 2 – “X” marks the starting point, or identifying procedures
Before we begin, I want to share some good articles on worldbuilding that I found helpful. What you will find, are individual attempts to tackle world building. Here are some resources: Chuck Wendig, Tad Williams, Jerry Jenkins, the writing practice, vantange point, the write life, masterclass, world building school, now novel, writer’s digest, reddit.
I’m allergic to info dumps. Period.
I, as a reader, will chuck a book through the room and never open it again for spoon-feeding me information, for shoving my face into data-dumps. That’s a no-no. I don’t like it, and that’s an understatement. There is a stack of books in the shame corner, for precisely this reason. They sit in book-jail, modestly, unassuming, setting on a coat of dust, awaiting my most bottomless boredom to put up with them again.
Continue reading “a frame to weave a story, on world building (2)”
I want the necessary details to be slipped by me effortlessly. I want subtext, secrets, hints, a literary heist happening around me, and be clueless about it. So please, dear writers, bamboozle me! That is your mission. I like your stories to immesh me, to trap me, to take me hostage.
This is such a can of worms I’m about to open.
Every time world-buildings comes up, I’m perplexed. Where does one start? Do I have to pave the story’s road with cold hard matter, or do I start with (made-up) facts? Is it appropriate to leave it out and start with the smoke and mirror games right off the bat? Do I make up everything, do I invent the wheel? Do I use maps? Do I? Do you?
How much is too much?
How much is too little?
Continue reading “a frame to weave a story, on world building (1)”
part 1 eyes in the dark
part 2 alien delights
“You’re a man, dancing on the edge of a blade,” I said, nudging his nose with mine. This creature wasn’t used to be figured out, but I had an inkling of the desires he hid.”You talk like you’re saying your goodbye before you even say your hello.” The look on Terran’s face was cocky.
“You think so?” He felt on top of his game, for now. And I was here to challenge and support that feeling compellingly. Simultaneously. The smug grin betrayed him.
Continue reading “thrill of fringe flirts”
I knew his individuals of his kind. I seemed to attract them myself…
writing exercise, perfectly normal & mediocre
Morning coffee swapped for morning tea. I blinked.
First, it didn’t even register much. Blistering hot liquid was just the next best blistering hot liquid, the aftertaste made me do a double take.
I couldn’t have foreseen that turn of events. Really. One sip perfectly fine dark roasted wakey-wakey, and the next mouthfull it was peppermint tea. This was less than ideal. I needed my coffee. I wanted my coffee. The people around me needed me to have that morning coffee.
Continue reading “30st March”
Chapter 1: (Part 1/ Part 2) Chapter 2: (Part 3 / Part 4) Chapter 3: (Part 5 / Part 6 / Part 7) Chapter 4: Part 8 / Part 9
If there were any crucial lessons the instructors managed to drill into my head when I was a wee private, it’d be these three evergreens:
Never lose your weapon. Duh, obviously. Forming a finger-gun and screaming pew-pew at the enemy was a lot less fun than one might imagine.
There were no glory-holes worth the hustle! Trust me on this one. I won’t disclose what -uh- embarrassing mistake I made and why all rookies needed a medical check-up afterward. I planned to take that to my grave.
Never take off the fucking helmet of your spacesuit if the atmosphere wasn’t safe. And when did you know that the atmosphere was safe? When the Sergeant told you so.
Continue reading “Chapter 4: desperate”
Chapter 1: (Part 1 / Part 2) Chapter 2: (Part 3 / Part 4) Chapter 3: (Part 5 / Part 6 / Part 7 ) Chapter 4: Part 8
“Koda! Are you alright?” Hands grabbed me and turned me sideways. “Did you let the switch go?” Something smelled burnt. My ears rang. First thing, I thrust my left fist up the dead-man-switch securely in my hand, then I opened my eye. “Thank God, I thought I; you’re – here.” We locked eyes. Mother Goose kneeled in front of me, face pale, eyes shining as I’ve never seen before.
Huh, there were a lot of things I experienced for the first time today. Might be my newest hobby. I grabbed his arm, and he pulled me up and into a bear hug. Okay, unexpected, another first. Well, uh, I surprised myself by blushing hard, and you guessed it. Definitively a new hobby to show off. The heat in my chest and cheeks made my heart forget how to kick my head into gear. I drew a blank. “Attaboy,” Sam Spade waved from afar. I wasn’t sure he meant me or Mother. Awkward, but nothing to be ashamed of, just sayin’.
Continue reading “Chapter 4: not a helping hand”
Trigger warning (grief, mutilation, body horror, suicide)
Chapter 1: Part 1 / Part 2 (Scenario Green) Chapter 2: Part 3/ Part 4 (K-Black) Chapter 3: Part 5 / Part 6 / Part 7 (Cricket)
The little drone marched up the wall, dollar signs still running around its spherical body. We looked at its slow progress. Shepherd put her hand on my shoulder. I was about to compliment her, but she only wiped the goo off of her hand. ”Thank you, doll.”
A huge bang made us jump and crouch. The room shook, gave way a bit. The structure was unstable, or was it hit by floating debris? It was enough to persuade us to follow the spider-drone’s example and to leave the floor.
Continue reading “Chapter 4: Negotiation Tactics”
Chapter 1: Part 1/ part 2 Chapter 2: part 3/ part 4 Chapter 3: part 5/ part 6/
We went for a little walk on the scrap metal ball, aka the not-fancy mining satellite. The scans showed, there were nominal pressure and a thin atmosphere in several chambers, but not in the center. The heart of the structure was occupied by a heat source with strong magnetic fluctuations. Whatever was causing it, it could most likely produce a devastating explosion.
If Bayard was caught in it, the fuel onboard would start a chain reaction with all the methane and hydrogen clouds around that particular area. Even a fart could ignite it… So no farting on the job! It occurred to me, it could also be a high-energy weapon the size of a glider, or just scrap metal holding an unstable reactor together. Still no farts. Anyway, we shouldn’t stick around for longer than necessary. Holding in farts wasn’t healthy, so there was that.
Continue reading “Chapter 3: Mutiny Shuffle”
On my way from the barkeep to the patron hungry eyes clung to my hips and tail like leeches. The lighting dimmed so all the gold ornaments had a chance to glow with the warm spectral light. “Zeke’s Gate House” was famous for this special feature. Gold without alloy shined like bioluminescent creatures bursting into sparks. The upbeat music softened, changed rhythm and lowered in volume as soon as I approached the end of the curved counter. I flashed my best smile at the thin male Terran and brought him his 8th Old Fashioned. He kept the drinks coming, tipped more than generously. Patrons like him were my favorite. Hopefully, he had more on his mind than getting drunk. His hand connected with my lower back, before he even looked me in the face.
“Come, keep me company for the last one,” he smiled back. Oh, this went smoothly. Zeke, my owner, had plans for this man. By his gleeful look, the plans were deadly. “Your wish is my command.” He downed the drink I just brought him and signaled the bartender. “Tell me a sad story, gorgeous.” He took the ice sphere left in the glass and rubbed it to his temple. “Even if it comes with solace?” I purred. He smiled tiredly, took his hand from my lower back.
Continue reading “eyes in the dark”