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…
Part 1: Eyes in the Dark
Thousand forbidden delights was a room strictly for a paying customer’s pleasure. Being one of the better spaces, it held many unique features, including a hot sand bath, exquisite restraints for the body and the mind. The release came in many forms and shapes.
I was the master of many of them.
Upon entering the room, my customized settings activated. Walls turned opaque, displaying a dark, elegant and soothing design. My favorite was the large campfire under the night sky. The spectral light dimmed to mimic the warmth and the erratic movement of the fire. It reminded me of home, my brothers’ and sisters’ mating dances. The frenzy of interlocked bodies, moving like one massive heaving and staggering knot of biting, holding each other up or down- at that point, it was hard to tell- and mating until exhaustion made us pass out.
Continue reading “alien delights”
Besides, the golden light made my eyes glow with energy.
Chapter 1: Part 1 / Part 2 Chapter 2: Part 3 / Part 4 Chapter 3: Part 5
The day started out to be a boring one. I was tempted to search for entertainment, but the mind-numbing duties on deck yanked my chain. I had my clipboard, paper, and a crayon. Yes, they gave me a green crayon to do the work I was allowed to. I never liked green. My crewmates lacked trust. I’d never sabotage the ship, or harm myself, at least not with a pencil.
I had to tick off a bogus checklist. Shepherd had me check the tanks on board, not just the oxygen and nitrogen tanks, but also the algae tanks, the pressure control, preparation plant tanks, and finally updating the star charts. Dull! Duller, dullest. I could try to program all screens to broadcast one of my favorite songs from Earth simultaneously. The Surfin’ Bird was destined for greatness!
Continue reading “Chapter 3: eh, some plans”
(Part 1 / Part 2 ) Chapter 1; (Part 3 / Part 4) Chapter 2
I despised the med bay by now. Nobody could blame me for that. A month in quarantine coma had been enough to resent every hint of that particular shade of green. Mother and I were back to engage in another excruciating hour of exams. Scanning, fidgeting, neurological and psychological testing, drawing blood, and other unpleasant procedures, I endured them all. Who else was the guinea-pig on board? At least he took down the images of my eye, my brain, and that parasite inside my head, so I didn’t have to look at it.
Cricket’s appearance made Mother suspicious and quite worried. He wasn’t expecting it to appear so fast, he told me during tomography. The parasite had taken over one of my eyes and the connected neurological tissue all the way to my visual cortex. So, it could make me see things, among other inconveniences. Like taking over the rest of me, for real, kill my personality, maybe even my body.
Parasites didn’t kill their hosts, did they? I imagined myself as a puppet, moving through the ship, vacant look on my dumb face, drooling like a proper zombie. Couldn’t hide the shivers. Mother stopped what he was doing and asked if I felt fine. “A bad thought, buddy. Just a bad thought.”
Continue reading “Chapter 3: Cricket”
Chapter 1: (Part 1/ Part 2) Chapter 2: Part 3
“Big K, you look like shit,” Shepherd put my coffee mug filled with hot steaming caffeinated bliss on the table in front of me. This was my first breakfast with the whole crew since I was allowed to leave the med bay. Of course, I had met everyone while navigating my way through the ship one eyed. Well, not really one-eyed, but my bandaged one didn’t technically belong to me anymore, so… Yeah.
Continue reading “Chapter 2: K- Black”
Trigger warning (eye injury, body horror, grief, strong language, dissociative behavior)
Chapter 1: Part 1 / Part 2
“UV-irradiation in progress.”
My body felt absolutely whacked. Had I lost a boxing match against a grizzly? Somebody said something. I swear, I won’t accept any more bets from Shepherd. No way I’d ever keep up with her chemical implants. I was the one doomed in this drinking match, felt like death already. My head hurt, my eyelids were glued together, and it felt as if I licked the ashtray. Worst hangover ever.
Continue reading “Chapter 2: K Black”
“Let’s deal with one catastrophe at a time, shall we?” I had the feeling Mother Goose rubbed his forehead after a face-palm I didn’t hear. “Is the sample secured?”
“Uh-huh.” I answered the best I could.
Distant typing came over the comms. “Poe is fifty yards to your left, pacing up and down a corridor. And… I see, darling.” I felt his annoyance ooze out of my ear piece. “Shep, it’s a Kong Green. I owe you fifty. You stay put, I’m sending Shepherd to collect you.” Great! One-woman-army was coming to save me, like a damsel in distress.
Continue reading “Chapter 1: scenario green”