Author secrets—from world-building to a writers’ residence exchange—ALWAYS

Our November 2014 tips from established writers attending the
Alliance of Literary Writers, Authors and Yabbering Scribes (ALWAYS) gathering.
Read ’em and reap.

I was asked by one of the ALWAYS authors to share some world-building tips with our tribe, on the heels of publishing my new fantasy adventure Song of the Ocarina.

For a copy of my handout, visit the Files link on the ALWAYS Facebook page. Here are the high-level points from my wee presentation*:

1. Pick a unique idea or set of ideas to frame the world.
Mine centered around:

  • Noel Stone, newly Noble Fae, musician, and sometime sheep shearer. Image by John Taylor. ©2013 VUPublishing

    Noel Stone, newly Noble Fae, musician, and sometime sheep shearer. Image by John Taylor. ©2013 VUPublishing

    Noel, a 6-1/2′ tall character who came to me in a dream

  • A New Zealand-type realm influenced by the Maori culture
  • Fae names:
    • Noble Fae all natural (Lark, Glenn, B’rook)
    • Dark Fae based on burned-out rock stars (Mikk, Kert, Axyl)

2. Rules – establish logical rules for your world (especially putting limitations around magic, or developing cultural activities)

3. Rituals – structure a set of set activities in the world’s culture (greetings, birthdays, weddings/funerals, art/music, sports)

4. Power – develop a series of hierarchies (government, education, communities)

5. Place – more than setting, describe the place from a character’s perspective

* Malinda Lo’s blog provided world-building inspiration for my comments.

Additional tips from our authors:

  • Support indie authors by buying their books rather than sharing or free downloads. Your support means they can continue creating the stories you love.
  • Looking for a place to write? Check out Poets & Writerswriter’s residency exchange. I am SO excited about learning more about this!
  • The 3-Day Novel Contest. This writing challenge  has happened every Labor Day weekend since 1977. “Entrants pre-register, grit their teeth, lock their doors and try to produce a literary masterwork in 72 short hours. A panel of experienced judges reads the results and the winning novel is published.
  • To see what readers like about a genre, look at Amazon reviews about similar books.
  • Write a series rather than a one-off. Consider making the first book in the series Perma-free (permanently free ) on Amazon to allow readers to sample your writing and get hooked on the series.
  • Read Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them, by Francine Prose
  • Write more than you read about writing. Ah, the temptation!

…………………..

Write on!
Ann Narcisian Videan
Write • Edit • Self-publish • Word-of-mouth
avidean@videanunlimited.com

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Find your Noble Fae name

Noel Stone, newly Noble Fae, musician, and sometime sheep shearer. Image by John Taylor. ©2013 VUPublishing

Noel Stone, newly Noble Fae, musician, and sometime sheep shearer. Image by John Taylor. ©2013 VUPublishing

The Noble Fae, or “Goodies,” in my pending Song of the Ocarina novel, are based on geographical features and natural elements. If you were a character in my book, what name might you have? Use the chart below to select your good faerie name.

Use the first letter of your first name, for either a guy or a gal, then use the first letter of your last name. Example: As a gal with a first name starting  with A, my Noble Fae first name is Raindrop. My last name starts with V, so my so my Noble Fae surname is Islander. Hello, Raindrop Islander!

If you haven’t already, from my recent post, you can also select your Dark Fae name, based on “bad boy” and “tough chick” rock stars.

Can you come up with a better Noble Fae name yourself? Please share.

GUYS GALS SURNAME

A  Baye
B  Forrest

C  Layke

D  O’Sean

E  River

F  Cliff

G  Dune

H  Guyser

I  Reefe

J  Volc

K  Sonny

L  Leif

M Arc

N  Branch

O  Steele

P  Bronze

Q  Eddy

R  Rock

S  Bridge

T  Sleet

U  Knyt

V  Legend

W Glenn

X  Stoney

Y  Noel

Z  Tundra

A  Raindrop
B  Val’ey

C  Dhay

D  B’rook

E  Lark

F  Delta

G  Fern

H  Mesa

I   Gaea

J  Summer

K  Meridian

L  Onyx

M Rayne

N  Tweet

O  Marigold

P  Penny

Q  Silver

R  Trea

S  Faye

T  Rosie

U  Daisy

V  Creeke

W  Twigette

X  Lillie

Y  Obsidiana

Z  Pehtala

A  Derrickson
B  Wattyr

C  Seasonaire

D  Vale

E  Moonegrove

F  Plantfrond

G  Rhodium

H  Hurricane

I  Ironspring

J  Tigerseye

K  Whirlwind

L  Woodside

M Rockforest

N  Broadgulf

O  Dewcove

P  Meadow

Q  Waterfall

R  Streamgurgle

S  Pondeglow

T  Windish

U  Pond

V  Islander

W Sandhill

X  Desertside

Y  Glowcave

Z  Beacher

Noel Stone, Final Reveal (#5)

Delfaerune Rhapsody series’
full character profile of hero
Noel Stone.

The debut of Noel Stone, by John Taylor.

The debut of Noel Stone, by John Taylor.

Age: 20

Stature: 6’7” tall

Race:
A former Dark Fae—the tall, wingless, magical people sometimes called “Rotters” by their Noble Fae cousins.

Residence:
Noel lives on a plane parallel to Queenstown, New Zealand, in the fae land of Delfaerune.  There, in Queens’tyn, extinct and mythical creatures thrive, sentient foliage energize the Noble Fae, and speaking animals lend magical glamour to the Dark Fae.

Family:
Born to a well-known Dark Fae family, Noel decided to abandon his family for a more noble life teaching music to Lark, the future Delfaerune “Maestra.” His brother Mikk leads a scheme to take over the human realm.

Job:
Noel took a job as a cowboy/sheep shearer in Queenstown, NZ, while guarding Lark in the human world. In Delfaerune, he could have been the realm’s “Maestro,” but saw more potential in Lark, so chose to become her teacher and Delfaerune’s Music Director.

Strengths: Musical skill and mentor, goodness despite all appearances

Flaw: Dark Fae lineage

Quirk: Plays harmonica and hums constantly

Animal familiar: “Shadow,”a young ostrich-like moa (extinct in the human realm).

Love interest: Lark Tūrehu, the one Noble Fae with the musical prowess and a powerful enough magical Earth connection to save their worlds.

………………………………………………….

Noel Stone is the young Dark Fae-turned-Noble hero in the Delfaerune Rhapsody series—my young-adult, fantasy-adventure trilogy-in-progress. His story begins in Song of the Ocarina, the first book in the series, due out in late 2013.

Watch in the coming days for more character information about Noel’s Dark Fae brother, the evil Mikk Stone. Also watch Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Back to Reveal #4                                To Mikk Stone Reveal #1

Noel Stone, Reveal #4

Is he good or bad? Love John Taylor's interpretation of Noel.

I love how John Taylor captured the two sides to Noel in just his eyes.

Reveal #4: Noel could have been Delfaerune’s Dark “Maestro,” but he chose to use his musical skills and Earth-magic connection for good, instead.

Noel is a hero, but on which side? Does he stay on the side of the Noble Fae, or help his brother Mikk Stone take over the humans with dark glamour (magic)?

You’ll find out in Song of the Ocarina, the first book in my Delfaerune Rhapsody young-adult, fantasy-adventure series-in-progress, due out in late 2013.

Watch for Noel’s final character image — plus, image reveals of Mikk coming up. Also watch Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Back to Reveal #3                                To Final Reveal (#5)

Noel Stone, Reveal #3

Don't you love the textures created for these illustrations of Noel by John Taylor?

Don’t you love the textures created for these illustrations of Noel by John Taylor?

Reveal #3: Noel Stone is 20-years old, stands 6’7″ tall, flies without wings, sports a bright aura, and hums constantly.

This image just gives you a glimpse of Noel’s aura, which factors into both Noble and Dark Fae emotions throughout my Delfaerune Rhapsody series-in-progress. If you stood next to this musically gifted teacher, you might hear him humming.

You’ll meet Noel, the hero, in Song of the Ocarina, the first book in my young-adult, fantasy-adventure series, due out in late 2013.

Watch for more clues in the coming days to reveal Noel’s whole character image — plus, image reveals of his Dark Fae brother Mikk Stone. Also watch Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Back to Reveal #2                                To Reveal #4

Noel Stone, Reveal #2

Another peek at Noel, thanks to graphic artist John Taylor.

Another peek at Noel, thanks to graphic artist John Taylor.

Reveal #2. Noel worked as a sheep shearer while he watched over Lark in the human realm.

This image reveals a hint of the earthy aspect of Noel Stone, the hero in my Delfaerune Rhapsody series-in-progress. His Dark Fae upbringing included a serious musical background, and he might have been talented enough to become the realm’s “Maestro.” But he abandoned his roots to join the Noble Fae and train Lark instead.

His story unfolds, starting in Song of the Ocarina, the first book in my young-adult, fantasy-adventure series, due out in late 2013.

Watch for more clues in the coming days to reveal Noel’s whole character image — plus, image reveals of Noel’s brother Mikk Stone. Also watch Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Back to Reveal #1                        To Reveal #3

Noel Stone, Reveal #1

First glimpse of Noel (pronounced "knoll) as interpreted by my young artist friend John Taylor.

First glimpse of Noel  Stone as interpreted by my young artist friend John Taylor.

Reveal #1: Noel comes from a Dark Fae family, but chose to leave them behind to teach music to Lark (Delfaerune’s musical prodigy and potential savior).

I characterize Noel (pronounced “knoll”) as the hero in my Delfaerune Rhapsody series-in-progress. He is introduced in Song of the Ocarina, the first book in the young-adult, fantasy-adventure trilogy, due out in late 2013.

Watch for more clues in the coming days to reveal Noel’s whole character image — plus, image reveals of his menacing Dark Fae brother Mikk. Also, watch Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

To Reveal #2