For this I’ll be focusing on two websites you can use to help you build your world. There are many more out there, and there are even more cellphone apps with the sole purpose of helping you build your worlds. Search world building in your app store to find some of these. I actually used one in the past and it worked pretty well, it was just on my phone which I didn’t like much. You can also just google world building apps.
The first website I’ll be writing about is Inkarnate. You can use this website to make maps for your world. It is really easy to use though if you want a realistic looking world you will need some practise. The maps made on Inkarnate look really good and there is now a commercial license you can get if you want to use inkarnate maps in books and games. Just a quick warning, don’t make a map and leave it without finishing it. There are occasionally changes which can make it so you can never finish your maps. These changes are related to the format of maps.
The other website is Notebook.ai. This is a website you can use to organize all your worldbuilding. It gives you a bunch of things you can add to your world such as characters, locations, items, magic, and religion. You can make a universe and connect all these things to that universe. When you click on a universe it brings you to a page with everything you have created for that universe. It’s really easy to use and you can use it’s Premium version for free all through October, but it’s online so you may not want to keep all your world building on it. Also I wish you could change the pictures used to differentiate between each category.
Today I finished writing the second plot summary for A Faerie Alone. To be honest I didn’t finish the character sheets before I started, but the thing is that I was at an airport alone on Saturday without a cellphone because mine had died and I decided to change my plans to make it less awkward to write in a public place. You see when I come up with a character’s name for a fantasy story I tend to go to Google Translate and type in words with a meaning I want this character to represent then when I find a word that is “name-like” I change the word into another word which will be the name of that character. I didn’t want to do that where other people could see my screen. At least with the plot summary I could zoom the Microsoft Word window out and still understand what I was writing.
Anyways by writing this plot summary I saw how much the plot had been developed just by creating sheets for those two characters. I was also able to point out a few areas of the plot where it seems like basically nothing is going on. I could ignore the fact that nothing is going on, but I can’t because of both the fact that these areas are filled with travel scenes and I don’t want the characters to get to their destination within a short scene, and also because I want to focus on the friendship between two of the characters which is something that will require a lot of character development that should go in these areas. Oh well I still have a lot of planning to do before November so maybe things will start happening in those areas soon.
I would count faeries, angels, demons, yokai, and any other spiritual creature as otherworldly creatures. Otherworldly creatures tend to not understand a lot of things that go on in human society because in their own worlds those things either didn’t happen at all or were done in a completely different way. An example of this is the exchange of this is money. An otherworldly creature may not know what it is at first and will probably continue not understanding it even after they’ve learned what it is because there was no such thing in their own world.
They don’t have to literally be from an entirely different world, they can be otherworldly in a more metaphorical sense. For instance a moose with human intelligence could technically be classified as otherworldly because it would understand nothing about human society.
One thing to remember when writing otherworldly creatures into your world is that you should be respectful of the cultures of other people while you do it. Also do your research if you’re using creatures that already exist because it may give you inspiration.
I have completed the character sheets for a total of two characters so far. One of these characters is my protagonist Nyfo I like her so far and I feel her experiences in the human world will be fun to write. The other character I have created is Nyfo’s mother, Chineo who is your typical overprotective mother. It will be fun writing about her past since she is not one of the focal characters.
Anyways before I created these two characters I decided to also create and develop the history of their home village, Clachefiode. The place a character lives and the experiences this character had growing up play a big part in making these characters who they are. Normally the villages and towns I create are barely developed and most of the descriptions I write for them are superficial. This is an interesting change of pace and it will be great practice for me as a writer.
A word processor is anything that you can use on an electronic device to write. The one I use is Microsoft Word. Word is perfect for what I need it for, plus I have yet to have any problems with it that aren’t caused by me being stupid (like having an entire assignment written on Word being corrupted because I saved it only on my flashdrive, remember always save your work in more than one place and always use the safe remove option). There is also a similar word processor on Apple products which I’m pretty sure does pretty much the same thing, though I don’t know much about it because I’ve never used a Mac in my life.
Word is a good word processor to use and is fairly easy to get. However there are many more that you can choose from. There is also Google Docs which is like Microsoft Word only online and free with any Google account. It works pretty well and allows you to easily collaborate with other writers, but its online which is something I don’t like much. Another word processor which I’ve heard writers talk about before is Scrivener. I’ve never used it before but after some research I have discovered that it allows you to keep everything you need for writing in the same program, so basically your outline, background material, characters, and settings. It is useful for writing longer works and though you do need a subscription to use it after your free trial, there is a 30 non consecutive day free trial which basically means that you can use it for 30 days worth of actual work time without a subscription if you want to try it out. You can download Scrivener for the free trial here.
There are other word processors of course, but they tend to not be as good as the ones I just wrote about. There are some which can be very motivating in the fact that if you stop writing for too long it will start deleting words. There are others which make writing a literal game. You don’t really need much in a word processor, but if you want to you can search Google for word processors. You may find something that suits you better than Microsoft Word or Scrivener.
Undead are any creatures created after a living creature has died. This group includes ghosts, zombies, liches, and more. Spirits don’t really fit in this group because quite often they were never alive to begin with, or they are connected to living creatures. Undead creatures are important in world building because they can be used to explain what happens after people die in your world, and how magic works if the magic in your world is connected to life. How are ghosts created? What turns people into zombies? What exactly is a liche? You can either answer these questions or not. It’s your choice. You don’t need to explain anything about undead creatures because usually when they are used in a story they are otherworldly and creepy. To explain how they function or how they were created may take away from this.
Of course you could also have undead in your world just to add a horror aspect. Ghosts don’t always have to be scary. It’s possible to write a story where a ghost is warm and comforting rather than cold and scary. You can use them to write a heartwarming story where a character overcomes grief. You can do the same with zombies which have been proven to work in comedies. Liches however will always be creepy, but I’m sure you can make them less creepy if you really try. Don’t restrict yourself with one perspective if you are going to put the undead in your world.
If you have been paying attention you would know that starting yesterday you are now able to announce your novel on the website. I highly recommend you make an account and announce your novel through the official website because come November you will be able to not only update your wordcount but also find other participants in your area, talk to other writers on the forums, and also give you the chance to get cool banners and avatars to use online in order to show off the fact that you wrote 50,000 words in one month. You can announce your novel any day this month, but I recommend that you do it as soon as possible. The website is NaNoWriMo.org and my name on the website is Pieplate if you want to add me as a writing buddy.
Now October is also known as NaNo prep month. This is the month where preppers prep, pantsers don’t do anything, and everyone gets ready to write 50,000 words in one month. Here is a list of things you can do to prepare.
- Announce your novel
- Outline your novel
- Read ahead and catch up on assignments if you’re a student
- If you’re a blogger you may consider writing all of your posts for November ahead of time, even if you want to write NaNoWriMo update posts throughout the month
- Stock up on food and motivators
I hope anyone who is participating this year has a great time. NaNoWriMo is a really good thing to experience if you enjoy writing.