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I've been writing since I could first hold a pencil, and by all accounts I didn't limit myself to paper. Walls, tablecloths and the occasional sibling were all fair game, and it shouldn't be surprising to learn that markers were banned in my home with all due haste. Although I now content myself with inconveniencing electrons, the desire to bring the stories in my mind to life hasn't waned. In my spare time, I read, putter in the kitchen, and relax on my terrace or at the lake, weather permitting, with my corgi who strives to be part muse, part food disposal. I'm also addicted to coffee and have a close relationship with my Keurig.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Worlds and world building...

If you've read Ghost's Sight, or if you've peeked ahead and checked out the excerpt from Ghost's Dilemma on the preorder page at Torquere, you may have noticed that their world is close to, but not quite Earth. World building is probably one of the most enjoyable and most frustrating parts of writing science fiction and fantasy.

In this instance, I didn't want the world to be unfamiliar, but I also didn't want to use the idea of Earth in the future. Not that it's a bad idea, mind you, but I like taking that step sideways and altering things subtly. In this case, it's a post-apocalyptic world where people have come to terms with the changes, and gone on to rebuild a society markedly different from before. In order to make this world come alive, I need to know all the niggling little details about it, even if I never actually explain it in so many words in the books.

The world has a year that lasts 320 days, divided into ten moons that are thirty-two days in length. Each moon consists of four quarter-moons of eight days each. A day has twenty hours, and they mark high sun (midday) and high moon (midnight) as we do.

Like we do, they name the days, in their case in honor of the Eight, their gods: Fatherday, Ladyday, Hunterday, Farmerday, Moonday, Seaday, Farday, and Lastday. Lastday is considered a very unlucky day to transact business, or to be joined as mates.

There are four major holidays marking the turn of the seasons, very important in a society that depends on farming and hunting. They celebrate Harvesttide, Deepwinter, Renewal, and Highsummer, usually with a communal feast.

So, it's close enough that most readers won't have trouble following without a lot of exposition, but still just that little bit different. I know I actually enjoy getting to learn a new society and culture, and I'd hope my readers enjoy that, too.

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