Elements of World Building – People

Photo credit: Rufino at Wikimedia Commons

I read once that, unless described, a fictional character is often visualized as having the same features as the person imagining him.

That means that if you’re white, you see the character as being white, and similarly for if you’re coloured.

It’s strange because, even though I am of African decent, whenever I start a new fantasy novel I always imagine all the characters as being white. This is probably due to growing up watching fantasy movies that have been dominated by white Hollywood actors. Conan the Barbarian (the 1982 version), Red Sonja, Clash of the Titans (again, the 1981 version) were all full of white characters.

And then there were the fairy tales that my young impressionable mind absorbed: Jack and the Bean Stalk, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast. You see where I’m going here.

Single-Race Fantasy

Because fantasy is based on […]

2017 Writing Resolutions

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So long, 2016.

It feels like it flew by in just a couple months. I know I say this every year, but this is the year I’m going to publish that debut novel.

Now something like that is easy to say. So in order to get things going, here’s a little recap and how I plan on accomplishing my goal.

Writing Progress

If you’ve been following along for a while, then you know that I’ve been working on two ebooks: the short story collection Chronicles of the Cursed Crown, and the main novel Guardian of the Cursed Crown.

Progress has been slow, but I did hit a milestone.

Last year I sent the short story collection to my editor Jesse, and he already responded with his comments. Then I started revising the main novel.

This year I plan to pick up my revising pace […]

5 Great 2016 Christmas Gifts for that Geek in Your Life

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So you’ve got a geek in your life. Maybe it’s your spouse, maybe a brother or sister, or maybe your child. You know they like science fiction fantasy, but what kind of Christmas present does that translate into exactly?

Well you’re in luck. Fortunately, being an expert geek myself, I’ve got some ideas for you.

Here are 5 great 2016 Christmas gifts for that geek in your life.

Logitech Harmony All-in-One Remote

Logitech Harmony All-in-One Remote ($141.41)

At any point in time, I’m juggling at least four remotes. There’s a remote to control the tv, a remote to control the cable box, a remote to control the laptop, a remote to control the wife.

Ok, maybe not the wife, but the point is that it gets old pretty fast. And just one misplaced remote makes you […]

Elements of World Building – the Map

The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion: Map

As a child playing jrpg’s like Final Fantasy or adventure games like Zelda, I’d always spend several minutes with the included map, gaping at the large continent and the smaller islands scattered over some imaginary ocean.

I loved looking at the mountains and rivers and villages, ancient ruins and mysterious caves, anxious to start my adventure as a character dropped off at some random point with nothing but a sword and a sack.

Even today, when I start reading a new fantasy novel, I obsess over that first page with the map of the world, trying to remember the locations of roads and cities that I’m certain the protagonist would visit.

So seeing that I have this passion, it surprises me that one of the mistakes I made when I first started writing fantasy was not truly mapping out the world my […]

Writing like Usain Bolt Running a 200m Olympic Final

Usain Bolt in Olympics 2016

The journey has been made. The torch has been lit. Now it’s time for the world’s best athletes to compete in the greatest show of skill known to mankind.

The Olympics is always a thrill to watch, and while I respect champions like Michael Phelps, Andy Murray and Simone Biles, I don’t hold every sport equally exciting.

The one discipline that’s always caught my attention and I always look out for above all others is the 200m sprint.

It blows me away to witness human beings barrelling down a track at seemingly impossible speeds to a finish line in under 20 seconds. Of course, the world record and fastest man to date is none other than Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt.

Once again he’s proved to the world that there is no one faster, and seeing him win the 100m and 200m events made me […]

Writing Update May 2016

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Unbelievable that it’s May already.

It feels like the year just started and in a couple of days, months sped by.

This post is an update I plan to do every four months, not only to keep you guys informed on the progress of my writing, but also to give myself a report on how things are going, see where I’ve placed too much focus, and where I need to pick up the slack.

Writing Progress

Unfortunately I haven’t switched back to my main novel Guardian of the Cursed Crown yet. Things have picked up so much in my life that writing has really taken a step back, the major change being the birth of my son Demarion.

Yes, I’m now a father, and it’s a great milestone. But that doesn’t mean I’ve given up writing. I just need to juggle it.

Currently I’m […]

Review of 2015 and The Way Forward

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2015 is over and we’re in a new year.

And after all the fireworks and champagne and resolutions, it’s time to get back to work, and get back to writing.

But before I start, it’s good to take a moment to reflect on last year’s accomplishments, plan the way forward, and give readers an idea of what I’m working on.

Here’s how my 2015 writing went and what I have set to achieve for the new year.

Writing Progress

My main project is my novel Guardian of the Cursed Crown.

In April, I hired editor Jesse Rebock to look it over. I worked with him before and I was happy with the results so I’m confident he can really push the story forward.

In May, I started a collection of short stories which I’m calling Chronicles of the Cursed Crown. These short stories […]

5 Ultimate Fantasy Weapons They Actually Made

Men-at-Arms

Admit it!

You love fantasy swords so massive they seem impossible to wield, and so mystical they have their own life story.

But these swords are pure fantasy, right? Any real version is just a disappointing mockup of cheap plastic, right?

Well that’s what I thought until I came across Men-at-Arms, a reality show about awesome guys creating the awesome swords we love – out of actual reinforced steel.

So Which ones are the greatest?

Here’s my list of the top five ultimate fantasy weapons they actually made.

Sword of Omens: Thundercats

Men-at-Arms: Sword of Omens

In the Thundercats series, the Sword of Omens is a legendary blade that can only be used by the Thundercat Lord. Being indestructible, razor-sharp, able to shoot blasts of energy, and giving Sight Beyond Sight are all just samples of what this sword is capable of.

While this real version […]

5 Fantasy Creatures You Probably Never Heard Of

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Where would fantasy be without mystical creatures and fearsome monsters?

Even though the average logical adult dismisses them as unrealistic, there was a time people swore they exist.

And sure, we’ve all heard about dragons and unicorns and sparkling vampires, but what about the creatures that people use to talk about that for some reason never made it to this century. They deserve some credit too, right?

If you agree, then here are five interesting fantasy creatures you probably never heard of.

The Parandrus

the Parandrus

The Parandrus grew to the size of an ox, had the head of a stag, the branching horns of an ibex, the shaggy coat of a bear, and the legs of a deer.

Originating in Ethiopia, this creature was admired for its ability to adapt to every challenge. Like a chameleon, […]

5 Real Chambers of Bones and Human Remains

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I’ve seen them in movies like Indiana Jones. I’ve seen them in novels like Gotrek and Felix. I’ve seen them in games like Dark Souls.

And every time characters come across a chamber full of them, it’s meant to be so horrific that the weak-hearted screams while dramatic music plays.

What am I talking about?

Human skulls, bones, and corpses decayed beyond recognition.

You would think that a room or cave filled to the brim with this stuff would be too horrific to keep close to society, right?

Well they’re not. In fact, they’re actually considered great tourist attractions.

Where are these places?

Here are 5 real chambers of bones and human remains.

Capuchin Crypt, Rome

When Capuchin monks arrived at the church of Santa Maria […]