Thursday, January 6, 2011

Designing Imaginary Places and Other Rambling

I was away from the blog yesterday to do a minor website redesign. Each of the novels now has its very own page with summary and various buy links.

I actually mimicked another author's website that I saw and liked. He had more content on his site like audio readings, reviews and a book trailer. It was a pretty awesome book page.

Anyway, here's a link to my site if you want to check out the minor makeover.

One of the other projects I worked on this week was a map of Fosters Branch. That's the town in the AnnaBeth series. Can you call it a series if it consists of 1.25 books? I didn't have a map of the town when I wrote the first book. I did see the various settings vividly in my mind but as far a a definitive street layout (aside from Havens Path in relation to Java Haus, Reau House, and Perpetual Gardens), well, there wasn't one.

I should have made the map before I wrote the first book. However, I think one could go even further than just creating a map.

Writers sometimes use character worksheets to line up all the traits and such for the people in the story before the writing starts. I've used them before. All the stats are there: height, weight, parents, education, beliefs, etc. The same principle could be applied to a setting.

Maybe like this:
Date or time period founded (for town or country or whatever)
Primary ethnicity
Primary religion
General mood (I believe a place can have a mood)
Local traditions
Points of interest - bars, museums, churches, meeting places, tourist attractions, restaurants, etc.
* Side note: Hmmm, I listed bars first. What does that say about me?
Prominent local figures and heroes
People who are the subject of gossip and/or scorn
Landscape: hills or flat, farmland or concrete jungle?
Law enforcement presence

I'm not sure what else to add to right now. You probably get the point, regardless.

In other news, I'm still reading American Gods, by Neil Gaiman. It may be one of my most favoritest (yes that was intentional) books ever.

I noticed that he uses imagery that is weirdly similar to mine. I'm not comparing my writing to that of an award-winning world famous author. If all goes as planned, my ego will never spin that far out of control.

But the level of the surrealism reminded me a lot of Babylon Dragon. It's almost like Gaiman is my long lost imagination brother or something. I hope people who read my work don't think I was attempting to emulate him, not that emulating him would be the worst thing in the world. I swear this is the first adult book of his that I've read. I promise.

I think I've gone on long enough, don't you?

Hey, want some free reading? Check out the fiction freebie page on this very blog!
There you shall find a download of three short stories (free ebook) and links to my novel excerpts on Scribd.

Other places to find me:

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