More on Sojourn Volume Two

The second volume is coming along wonderfully! The response has been overwhelmingly positive, and quite a few authors are ahead of schedule with their submissions and edits. Oklahoma State Cowboys and Cowgirls Jerseys In fact, I’d like to congratulate Michael Budd on being the first author to complete the entire process, from submission to editing to contract signing. Adidas Ultra Boost Homme So what’s on tap for our second outing? Laura just teased some of the content in her prior post, so I’ll talk about the authors. nike air huarache femme pas cher Obviously things are subject to change, but as it stands now, it looks like Volume Two may be twice the size of Volume One. Oklahoma Sooners So far we’ve got…

  1. Every single author for Volume One coming back.
  2. Ken Hite and Eddy Webb joining us from the industry pro side.
  3. A significant number of new, up-and-coming authors.

As for my own contribution, I sent several pitches to the editors and asked them to pick the one that would add the most variety to the stories they’ve already received. Tom Brady Michigan Jersey They both picked Gnarl Saves Christmas, so I’m working on a comedy adventure, written in the form of a chintzy, holiday poem. nike My favorite gnoll will do what Elmo, Tim Allen, Ernest P. Los Angeles Clippers Worrell, and countless stop-motion characters have done before him, though he’s got his own way of handling the task. Air Jordan 11 Retro

This man had a smile and gifts in his sack, But Gnarl was hungry and just grabbed his ax. Now, fat men are not healthy for you or for me, But what cardiologist would gnollish folk see? So they clawed and they fought and they chopped him to bits, Then put what was left on their wrought iron spits. Herschel Walker Jerseys Gnarl and Sharpa hardly could speak, For they’d never fought a wizard so stupidly weak.

A little teaser

When we put out the call for stories, I had no idea that so many of our authors would respond immediately. cheap asics shoes With a little more than three months left in the submission window, we’ve already had ten stories come in. Women Air Jordan Nike Roshe Run Femme Pas Cher
I wanted to give you a little taste of some of what we’ve had so far. air max pas cher nike buty damskie Please bear in mind that these are early drafts, so there may be some changes when we actually publish these stories, but they’re definitely representative of what we’re getting. new balance 1500 Nike Free Rn Flyknit Dames

But I do hope they get you excited! From “The Winter Hungers” by Adam Gottfried: Academically, 20 below zero is cold and wind-chill makes it colder, bottoming out at around 40 below zero. Cliff Pennington Baseball Jersey You can comprehend this, even to some degree prepare for it, but to actually experience it…to feel your skin recoil, even under layers of protection, to see your breathy exhalation of 98.6 degrees freeze to microscopic ice crystals the moment it ceases to be a part of you, to have your nose hairs freeze solid inside of ten seconds and to feel the tears well to keep your eyes from freezing open…. It is a kind of madness, being outside when it is this cold. New Balance ct suede gum Baskets New Balance 574 femme Your mind reels as your external senses beg for mercy—trying to think of anything and everything that isn’t how cold it is and invariably returning to: Why the Hell do I live here? From “Que Deja Deja” by Michael Budd: A much older man, with just a scraggly horseshoe of silver hair left on his head. Mens Air Jordan 5 He walked with a limp as he entered, probably from a war wound. air jordan women As old as he was, it might have been received in one of the many wars the old regime waged B.R. ugg kids lancel pas cher That same feeling crept up Warren’s brain stem again as he watched the senior take a seat across from him and rub his left knee through faded jeans. new balance store buenos aires He was about tell Warren not to ever– “Don’t ever get old, boy,” the old man ordered Warren. jordan super.fly 2 asics gel stratus hombre “It’s just the same shit on a different day, with more aches, pains, and required medications.” Warren wasn’t sure whether to laugh or panic. From “New Year, New Trouble” by Dawn Wattler: “Mind if I turn on the TV?” she asked, peeking into the cockpit, which was decorated with a combination of grinning family portraits, live plants under a purplish light—including a tiny rose bush—and religious paraphernalia; statues of Jesus and Mary and even a tiny plastic manger set covered her dash; there were even fake candles. air jordan 2012 She didn’t know much about the religion, but she imagined that like the little garden, it must have some use for Marie when she spent weeks on end in space alone. “Go ahead. nike internationalist louboutin pas cher femme I’ll want to watch the SSBC at 2300 hours though.

Worldbuilding Series Part 3: The World Map

When writing this post up I am reminded of that Hollywood Producer’s cliche “you have three options: fast, cheap, and good–pick two.” So there is no perfect way of coming up with a map. Adidas Yeezy 550 Femme The process I use is pretty complicated and using both my computer and good old fashion pen and pencil. So here we go. The first question that has to answered is: can you draw and do you have patience? On the first question I would say that I am above doodling. I know how to draw but I would never describe myself as in artist. First off I always create a world map. The reason is because I love world maps and the second reason is that it is much easier to zoom out than it is to zoom in. If you were wondering I am definitely a macro to micro worldbuilder. Tennessee Volunteers Now the first thing that I must do is to decide on what I want in my map. Whenever you are at a loss in the creative process remind yourself of what your goals are. And if you discover that you don’t have any goals well go back and create some. Since this world is going to be vaguely Cold War like with East vs. new balance damskie West my main goal is that I want the geography to clearly show the east-west divide. Also as added detail I want the divide to be a water barrier like a sea or a great lake. So that rules out pangeas and archipelagos Now the program I use for my map-making is a software called Fractal Mapper 8.0. I first picked up the software about eight years ago. The software is good and as served me well over the years. But the problem is that I have worked with it so long that I have become used to its nuances and frustrated by its limitations. I find the main program too tedious for my map-making (I don’t want to waste precious time dragging and dropping the mountains for this mountain chain or having to fiddle with the layers). New Balance 446 femme But what is in the purchase of Fractal Mapper is this free add-on called Fractal World Explorer. What this program does is that it randomly generates a world map. Nike Lunartempo 3 homme This is the main lesson I have: use computer generated maps for inspiration but do the nitty gritty by hand. It will save you a lot of headache. So after cycling through a few dozen worlds I find one that is promising. preliminary map blank ….Yeah that’s the catch. Adidas NMD Homme Fractal World Explorer will spit out a complete and utter mess. This is just a catastrophe. Rashad Jennings But it does give you tools to fix it and the many years that I have been using this program I honed the use of these tools to do my bidding. And I can notice some promising areas that can work with my stated goal. preliminary map planningThe circled areas are the places that I find interesting and that I want to develop (the part with the black zigzags are the places that I am going to nuke completely). The image below is the result of my labors. Now for some stupid reason the software has this Mercator projection to the map so the areas near the poles are stretched so that massive area near the top is much smaller once put on a globe (a cool feature that is apart of Fractal World Explorer). I am going to pull up Fantasy Name Generator and pluck out a few names. Fjallraven Kanken Baratas I am done for now. Later I will develop a more extensive geography, but for that I like to use pen and pencil. Next time we will discuss the magic system of the world.

Sojourn Volume Two Book Release Party

On Saturday, Nike Air Max 90 Donna Nere

December 20th, adidas superstar 2 homme the authors of Sojourn Volume Two will be hosting a book release party on Facebook. nike internationalist damskie You can find the details here! We’ll be talking about the stories, Adidas NMD Femme answering your questions, Nike Marxman and giving away prizes. Asics Gel Nimbus 18 Femme At the end of the event, Nike SB Dunk we’ll also do a drawing for the grand prize of a Fire HD 7 or $150 in Amazon gift certificates (winner’s choice).

Worldbuilding Series Part 2: Conflict

Last time we discussed the origin of my world and my decision to have a romantic tone instead of a nihilistic tone. Now comes the fun (and crucial) part: deciding the central conflict. Chaussures louboutin Not all worlds need a central conflict, and likewise not all stories need a central conflict. Shannon Dickson’s story from Sojourn is a wonderful example of a story that does not have any conflict whatsoever. Canotta Washington Wizards But for most worlds it is important to have a clear and dynamic central conflict because down the road when you are writing stories or DMing games in your world you want to pull upon the central conflict of the world into your story. Here are some examples of conflicts from settings: Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Harry Potter (good vs. new balance gris evil). christian louboutin paris A Game of Thrones (ice vs. fire–at least I think, the series isn’t done yet), Mistborn (order vs. chaos), Firefly (freedom vs control). The most common central conflicts, at least to my mind, are good vs. evil and order vs. chaos. Let’s step back from the theoretical and start talking about my world. I was tempted to make the central conflict good vs. evil, but I hesitated. I am a huge fan of Tolkien’s work and I feel that pretty much he hit the nail on the head when it comes to good vs. ROSHE ONE

evil. For as much his work is unjustly panned as a brutish, simplistic story of goody-goods vs. mindless evil, I have found that his insights on good and evil to be extremely sophisticated (take for example, his insight that the very wise, such as Saruman or Gandalf, are the most susceptible to evil). I shy away from doing good vs. evil because every step that I take I will think “I am ripping off Tolkien.” And not just in a elves, dwarves, and magic ring sense but in a much deeper thematic sense. Indiana Hoosiers My hesitation stems not from any fear of being declared, either from myself or from others, a plagiarist or “ripping off Tolkien,” for I am sure that I could add my own spin to good vs. evil. But that is it, only a good spin. New Balance 997.5 femme I have nothing new to say about the subject. Writing about it, while the subject is extremely interesting to me, would be like a chore for me. I don’t know how I know this but as a creative person often you just need to follow your instincts. This is some good advice for you guys: the litmus test for whether an idea is a brilliant idea or a good idea is if the idea is so powerful that it can lift your fat butt off the couch, sit you down, open up a Mircrosoft Word doc, and get you writing. When an idea truly inspires you it is a force of nature. On the flip-side of good vs. NIKE ROSHE LD-1000 QS

evil is order vs. chaos. Fjällräven Kånken No.2 On this I will be brief (hopefully). I never very much enjoyed the idea of order vs. chaos. I remember as a kid watching the History Channel and a show started talking about Zoroastrianism. They talked about how it was about a god of good and a god of evil duking it out. “Wow!” I thought, “that sounds awesome.” Then years later I read about it on Wikipedia and I learned that it was just all order vs. chaos and I was bummed out. Order vs. chaos inevitably boils down to: order is the stagnant pool of water and chaos is a consuming flame that destroys everything. Each side is so balanced in its bummer factor that I lose all interest. nike air jordan 11 homme What to do? What to do? How do you come up with something “original?” Well one source that I take inspiration from is the real world. I was contemplating about the news stories of the day and trying to find a common link between them. My advice for anyone doing this is to not go for the “writ from the headlines” because a) that will instantly date you b) the story will become as much about the real life issue as the story itself. Don’t believe me, watch The Dark Knight and then The Dark Knight Rises. The former is a classic about order vs.chaos and the latter is a confused mess about Occupy Wall-street and other topical issues of the day. So anyway, I was thinking a lot about the culture wars going on in the United States. Like Archimedes leaping out of his tub I shouted “Eureka” (okay not really but he sentiment is the same)! I realized that what what the central theme to all the different culture war issues was virtue vs. passion. I wanted a central conflict that was not so black and white as good vs. evil but not something so morally relative as order vs. chaos. What do I mean by virtue vs. passion? Well someone who falls under the virtuous camp holds ideas like chivalry, honor, ethics, and tradition above their own desires and passions. Whereas the passion camp says that what is good is whatever your heart desires it to be, and who are we to say otherwise. The virtue camp holds that the virtues that they live by (and thus the god/philosophy by which those moral laws were ordained) is the center of life and above humanity. Whereas the passion camp says that humanity decides where the center of life to be. Like in real life this does not mean that virtuous people cannot be passionate and that passionate people cannot be virtuous, but instead determines what it is that each civilization/culture/society hold up as the most dear. And what they are willing to let go in order to uphold those principles. This is perfect for me because while I personally am in the virtuous camp I can completely empathize and communicate the passion camp. Each ideology is rich with both good and evil characters and both good and evil cultures. Okay this post has been going on way too long.

Rory Story Cubes Part 2

So now that I got the basics down I decided to start figuring out what was going to happen in the story. I pulled out the set of action dice. Each set comes with nine dice so I divided them into three: beginning, middle, end. Nike Air Max 90 Femme Léopard For the beginning I got this:

The beginning

The beginning

To me this is interpreted as: the humans have realized through research, or maybe by communicating with the Star Guides, that their is a race of beings out there that are able to bend reality by doing certain rituals. So they send an expedition out to the planet, lets call it Eloyet (the human’s nickname it “Brimstone”), and it is a complete disaster. The diplomats and researchers have lost contact with Earth and are presumed dead or in danger. The humans send another expedition that is more military in nature. Nike Air Pegasus The objective is to retrieve the first expedition as well as attempt to accomplish the mission of the first expedition. Next I rolled the middle chapter of the story: The Middle This screamed “MacGuffin” to me. All these stickmen are dealing with what appears to be a ball. So the middle of the story is driven by the search of this MacGuffin. What if the MacGuffin is the “heart” of one of these alien trees? The competing factions of the story all believe that this item is the key to the alien’s power over reality. Jordan 12 Sale But a question arises: what makes this object special? Why don’t one of the factions go and chop down one of these trees and get one for their own? So I then had to come up with the concept that the planet Brimstone is a sick planet and some catastrophe befell it in the past. These trees are almost extinct and they can only grow in small patches in a limited number of areas on the planet. Patrick Chung All of these groves of trees are fiercely guarded by tribes of Onz-Etin, the aliens of the planet. So the MacGuffin is a rare tree that grows out in the wild outside of the protection of the natives. The images of the dice suggest the progression of events: Faction A retrieves the MacGuffin, Faction B and C fight with A over control of the MacGuffin. One of the Factions (or if I want to be really crazy Faction D) obtains the MacGuffin is gets it into an air/spacecraft presumably gets away. A missile shrieks from the planet’s surface and strikes the craft. The craft, and the MacGuffin within it, crash near the protagonist’s base and he gets himself entangled into the fight. The last group of dice were as difficult as the first two were easy. Nike Tanjun Enfants Suffice it to say that I was scratching my head at these:
The End?

The End?

Uh…someone knocking on a door, a butterfly and a net, and a someone lifting weights. I got nothing. I don’t really know what to do with these. It was then that I realized that the Story Cubes are probably not the best at finding the conclusion of a story. Without anything capturing my imagination I just chucked out the last three and decided to simplify the ending. Nike Air Max 2016 Heren groen So what I did was take a generic die and an action die.
This is the basic action of the Story

This is the basic action of the Story

To me this translates to that the main character is struggling to get home and back to his family. He does not want to be involved with the bullshit for this MacGuffin. But of course as the story would continue events would either keep dragging him back in or the character would have to say “now its personal.” The final roll that I made was for another character. Nike Air Max Pas Cher I decided that I should probably make some roll for a villain. A major antagonist. Here was my roll. This one was difficult but it did give me a great result. I took the die to mean that he is a character that does not believe in a morality. He believes that chance and probability really rule things. Sort of like the depiction of Two-Face from Batman fiction: he determines your life with a flip of a coin. Nike Air Max 1 Homme Also with the tower I turned that into viewpoint on warfare, military conduct, and treatment of civilians that is reminiscent of the Dark Ages.The character might even say that he admires the Dark Ages because back then there were no rules (now the historian part of my brain is objecting to that but whatever). To this character there is no such thing as any rule of engagement. The only rule is to win, by any means possible. But there is another side to his character and that is the bridge. I struggled with this one but I decided that he was very persuasive with his viewpoint and actually had a infectious personality. The same way that I find the Joker in The Dark Knight hilarious as well as despicable. You might say that he is very good at building bridges and gaining allies.
The Villain Roll

The Villain Roll

If you like any of the idea presented here please feel free to take it and run with it. Consider it a writing prompt. Because there are still a lot of holes that need to be filled in. ADIDAS TUBULAR SHADOW KNIT

So there you have it, a story brainstormed entirely with Rory Story Cubes.

Rory Story Cubes Part 1

On a recent episode of Fear the Boot they talked about Rory Story Cubes. These are nine six sided dice with pictograms on the sides. The idea of the product is that you roll the dice to generate a story. I so loved the idea that while I was listening to the episode I bought the three sets of Rory Story Cubes. I knew that there was an app but I wanted the tactile feel of the dice. I just got them today and I glad that I ordered them. They are really well made and I am sure that they will definitely come in handy in the future. So I decided that it would be fun to brainstorm a story completely with the Rory Story Cubes. chaussures gel lyte 5 The first thing I did was pick a genre. Nike Pas Cher I live and breathe fantasy so I decided to pick good old fashioned science fiction, specifically space opera. So without really thinking about it I rolled three of the generic cubes. This is what I got.

First Roll

First Roll

A tipi, a phone, and a turtle. Oh boy. louboutin soldes Well I interpreted the images as: advanced humans contacting a primitive alien race. I think the tipi and the phone analogies are obvious but you may be wondering about the turtle. Did I just forget about it? For some reason I saw the turtle as a human space ship. Maybe it is a turtle class of space ship that is very good at defense or something? Alright, I thought, let’s move on. So I rolled three more dice on impulse. nike roshe run mesh This is what I got.
The Mystery Roll

The Mystery Roll

As I looked at it I realized that this is “The Mystery.” These aliens, let me call them the Onz-Etin, might revere the trees on their planet and they take some sort of mysterious power from them (the arrow). Fjallraven Kanken 20L These trees are so important to their mythology and culture that they form the alien’s identity (the hand). Next I decided that I needed a main character. Parajumpers Gobi Homme So I rolled again.
Main Character Roll

Main Character Roll

I interpret this as skyscraper, fish, and building. This one was actually pretty easy. I immediately thought “this is a cosmopolitan (skyscraper) family man (building) who has the personality of Pisces (fish).” I myself am a Pisces so that will be easy to understand. Maybe his role in this is to be the consol or representative of Earth’s interests. Now I decided to do some worldbuilding. The most important question in space opera is “how does the magical FTL work?” So I rolled for it. New Balance 1500 homme
FTL Roll

FTL Roll

Unlike the character roll, this one was a bitch to figure out. I got a crescent, a sheep, and a symbol of a lock. I finally came up with the idea with what if the FTL machine was an organic creature rather than a machine? Let’s call them Star Guides for now. And what if that alien was able to do the hyperspace magic that allowed the spaceships to go travel across the galaxy? And what if the alien formed sort of a symbiotic relationship with humans? So I took that idea and applied it to the the dice. The moon to me became cycles. This FTL creature might have the equivalent of hormonal cycles and it can only used at certain times of the year. I took the sheep and translated that to purity. Enacting this creature’s FTL capabilities might produce a lot of toxins in the alien’s body. The humans must make sure to purify the creature of toxins in order to travel. new balance homme This could be a variation of the “SPICE.” And the key hole…uh, er….I got nothin’. I already got a good thing going so I just ignored it. Call me a quitter if ye wish, but I’m moving on. Now another part of any sci-fi is that you got to have the cool tech. So this time I rolled a generic die(black) and an action die (blue).
The Tech Roll

The Tech Roll

This actually took me several tries before I got anything usable. You have what looks like a globe and you got a guy lugging around a box. I have no idea why but I got the image of the characters having to carry around these power back packs to use their tech. Imagine heavy, awkward, proton backs from Ghostbusters. These power packs store and refine the sci-fi fairy dust that allows the humans to interact with the world.

Some Sojourn Reviews

A short while back, air max homme pas cher Cape Rust posted a review of Sojourn on Pop Cults. Scarpe Air Jordan 9 Kristine Chester just posted another one on Fanboy Comics. Air Max 2015
Being Fear the Boot’s first venture into publishing, Ray Ban Goedkoop I’m beyond thrilled with the positive reception the book has gotten from professional reviewers as well as the readers posting on Amazon,

Worldbuilding Series Part 1: Origin and Tone

The best way that you can understand what I am doing with my world is to describe what started it off in the first place. Nike Roshe Run Motif Homme There is usually that spark, that initial inspiration that begins the whole process. Like billiard balls, one idea leads to another and that idea leads to more ideas. The initial spark is most often very unique to the individual and the moment. For me, the spark comes from the story that I wrote for Sojourn V2. The whole story revolves around the decisions and the fate of someone called the Dreamt Myriad (I don’t know what that means but it sounds cool). AIR ZOOM PEGASUS 34

In the story the Dreamt Myriad is the foretold hero and champion of the Western Kingdoms who is destined to save the world. He is the head of the church, king of kings, and champion of the people. Soldes Under Armour The idea is tried and true in fantasy fiction and I was drawing upon my nostalgia for books like the Belgariad by David Eddings. The story concerns the Dreamt Myriad as he mistakenly trusts the leader of the Eastern Kingdoms, a man whose position mirrors his own, a man called Tybrin, and thus dooms the Western Kingdoms. That is the cliff-notes version. Hopefully when you read the story in Sojourn V2 you will see the nuances that I thread into the story. Womens Nike Air Huarache Now worldbuilding, at its heart, is all about making decisions. Macro decisions like “will this world be a literal flat earth” to micro decisions like “what is the economy of this dwarf village?” When you start making a world there are so many questions and so many decisions that you can start to feel overwhelmed. What are the religions? Are they monotheistic or polytheistic? Are the religions tolerant or intolerant? Are the gods real? How involved are the gods? What are the holy scriptures? Are women allowed to be priestesses? What is the preferred weapon for the clerics in my world? When you make a world, question begets question at a frightening rate? Sometimes when starting out a new world I have gotten shell-shocked by the sheer amount of questions I had to answer to start laying the foundations of the world. Even when I started answering the the huge pile of questions I felt wrong when I did it. sneakers blanc Homme Asics My decisions felt arbitrary and contradictory and I feared that in the future my decision were going to lead me into a creative dead end. Over the years of writing and worldbuilding I have developed a useful solution to solve this anxiety. The solution is to go back to my original idea, the spark that got me thinking about the world in the first place. If you examine your inspiration, often a large majority of the questions will fall into place. Nike Air Max 90 Dames grijs

Let’s use my world as an example. One decision that I struggled to make was whether the tone of my world was going to be nihilistic or romantic. What I mean by the word “tone” is how the world feels emotional. So was this going to be a romantic world where heroes are heroes and villains are villains. Or was this going to be like George R. R. Nike Air Max 2017 Heren Martin’s Game of Thrones where heroes are killed and the villains are rewarded for their cunning? This was a dilemma for me because I love both. I love the sheer emotional power of romanticism! Those are the stories that just lift you off your feet and take you towards the adventure. Star Wars is a great example of unabashed romanticism and one of my personal favorites. On the other hand I love the complexity and the thought-inducing quality of nihilistic stories (I could not really decide on the correct term, a more apt term would be “postmodern” but that word is as loaded as a revolver so I decided to just go with nihilistic). I love both of them and if you forced me to choose the only real deciding factor would be the side of the bed I woke up on that day. But if I go back to my inspiration as a guide, the decision becomes clearer. new balance or bleu For my story I wanted the Dreamt Myriad to be the real deal. I didn’t want him to be a fraud or a buffoon. I wanted to show that even if one is chosen by prophecy then you can still mess everything up. I wanted to explore the idea that even the best of people can screw everything up for legitimate reasons (not because they are idiots or bastards). And in order to buffer that idea then the prophecies have to be true. And if the prophecies are true then most likely the tone is romantic. There are no hard and fast rule. It is very possible that I could still have a nihilistic tone and then subvert that by having one prophecy, in a world of crack-pot prophecies, that can be the only true prophecy. That would still work and be beneficial to my goals. I decided upon the former simply because of personal preference. Maglie Memphis Grizzlies Your creativity will become enhanced tenfold the moment you break the unconscious box that you have erected around your work (I’ll talk more about this idea in future posts). The thing to understand about this process is that going back to your inspiration is not a way to find definitive answers. But the glorious thing that it does do is turns an arbitrary decision into an actual decision. nike air jordan 3 donna For my next installment I am going to figure out the major conflict in my world and decide what is it these Eastern and Western Kingdoms are fighting about. And if it will devolve into a snap fight like in West Side Story.