AROW80 Check-In: April 27, 2014

Quick update time! Because it is late and I am tired — y’know, typical Sunday morning ’round these parts!

I finished a fictional species template checklisty thing tonight; I cobbled it together from a few different ones — namely How to Create Fantasy Races or Species, Part 1Sentient Life Forms and Template for Creating and Building a New Fantasy Race for your Fictional World or Story with some additions from Lee Killough’s Checking on Culture

World Building Goals:

  • Noodle a bit more; I found an Extreme Culture Checklist that I’m going to mine for things to work on. Since I’ve decided to continue working on world building/character development next month, there’s not quite the urgency to get things wrapped up that there was but I’d still like to fill the notebook I’m working on by Wednesday night. Just as a goal/stopping point.

Other Goals:

  • Get ready for the Month of Typing (i.e. May) — which will begin with the Reading of the Manuscript. And the Gnashing of the Teeth and the Wailing of the “WHAT THE WHAT?!”
  • Check in with folks since I’ve slacked off lately. Grr.




2 thoughts on “AROW80 Check-In: April 27, 2014

  1. Those templates look cool, daunting and… dare I say, kind of superfluous(?). I mean, a unique alien culture is neat (and really hard to do well), but readers need to be able to relate to the creatures/beings/people on a human level. It’s one of the reasons that superheroes, no matter how inhuman in appearance have so many human flaws and needs. Because, at least as the present societal trend seems to suggest, people want to know their heroes are human too.*

    Still, the work in thinking about thee character races will definitely be helpful in the creation of a cool final product.

    (*something I heard via Brad Meltzer’s “Meet the Writers” interview on Barnes & Noble podcasts)

    • I’ll definitely grant you the first two points, particularly the daunting part! As for them being superfluous — yes and no? I agree that any character, no matter how alien/different their culture/species is, has to be someone the reader can relate to. Not necessarily likeable or admirable, but the reader has to be able to understand WHY a character does what they do or is who they are – and for that, the easiest way to establish sympathy is to show the similarities that the character has with the reader.
      For me, the checklists make it easier to figure out where those similarities might lie and what differences might need more explanation so that they don’t cause the reader to stumble over them and set my story aside because the characters are un-relatable. They also force me to figure out how I’m going to explain the ideas that make so much sense inside my head to other people – and make sure that the ideas actually make sense!

      Hope you’re having a great week.

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