Tomorrow marks the first day of winter here in Australia. Though our winters are comparatively mild, they still get cold, wet and dark. In other words, it’s a good time for staying indoors, drinking Scotch (that reminds me, I need a new bottle) and being creative.
Naturally, I plan on writing a lot, and at 73 thousand words, the first draft of my current book is progressing nicely. As noted in my recent post about character templates, the rewrite of a novella into a full-length novel requires...more. One place where that deficiency is showing is in my world-building. My setting needs work, even if that means documenting what’s already rattling around in my head. With the two novellas I’ve published to date, the scope was relatively limited. Mistress of Skeinhold was set in just one location, and that’s easy to manage with a simple map and a few bullet points. In the fully-realised novel, that changes, and much more of the world is revealed.
Then there’s my long-standing goal of writing a world-building with Scrivener tutorial. In truth, there’s not much to world-building in Scrivener — it’s all down to organisation with the binder, creating some decent templates, and learning t use Scrivener Links. While I like my organisational taxonomy, it’s representative of how I think. So, perhaps instead of a tutorial, this topic is best delivered as a working demonstration.
So, throughout June, I will undertake 30 days of targeted world-building. Each day, I’ll dedicate about an hour to a discrete task, such as drawing maps, creating locations, writing lore, detailing organisations and factions, and so on. Along the way, I’ll refine my templates and make them available to my subscribers.
From the outset, I’ll note this is mostly an exercise for my own needs and enjoyment. However, if you are a reader of my stories, you might find this behind-the-scenes look into my world and my creative process to be an interesting diversion. For the authors who follow me, this process and my templates might offer you something too.
- Day 1: Mapping Ilza Kranneg
- Day 2: Creating Gods, Pantheons and religions
- Day 3: A review of world-building tools
- Day 4: Creating Dungeon Maps with Pixelmator Pro
- Day 5: Creating timelines with Markdown
Cover based on a photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash.
After breaking Scrivener for iOS with two massive project files, I vent my spleen about Scrivener’s biggest weakness.
On day 4 of my 30 days of world-building, I wrangle Pixelmator into a quick and dirty dungeon map creator for D&D or fantasy novel locales.
I review three open-source, random map generators aimed at fantasy authors, world-builders and table-top gamers.