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bear by san

March 2017

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froud magician

the government substitute for meat


Two thousand words of Range of Ghosts today, bringing me up to a thrilling 35K. I think I get my next weekend at 50K, if I can hold this pace up.

I did get my two protagonists into the same place, which is a major step forward. And they have discovered the critical problem, so now we're moving forwards on that.

I'm still in love with this book. I love its panoramas; I love its characters; I love its world. Really, it's just a giant romance between me and the shiny shiny book.

It's so nice to have the freedom of invention that comes with a second-world fantasy. It's not that it requires less research, because the cultures and ecosystems and so forth have to make sense--but it requires a different kind of research, and a different level of invention. Because while there are aspects of the Rasan culture, for example, that are inspired by the Tibetan Empire, it's not Tibet. Tsarepheth is not Lhasa. So I have to build a new and fascinating city in my head.

Another challenge: the major world religions as we know them--Christianity, Islam, Buddhism--do not exist in this world. So I'm having to invent new religions, that aren't just fancy dress versions of our religions. That's even harder than it sounds, and I think I'm being more successful with some than with others. But all you can do is try, and I'm really tired of fantasy where the generic good mother-goddess religion has to fight the generic autocratic patriarchy religion. I want something more like the weird and wonderful panoply of belief systems your average 9th-century continent might have compassed.

There's so much world in this world. It's positively exhilarating. And a little intimidating, in its richness. (And as a side effect, it makes me really appreciate what an insanely cool thing the Horse-Lords of Rohan are: Tolkien* took a seafaring and farming Germanic and Norse culture, transplanted it to the Steppes, and came up with a semi-nomadic plains culture that seemed natural and full of pathos--because he succeeded in imagining its shortcomings as well as its strengths.** Imagine doing the opposite, and transplanting the Cossacks or the Sioux to Stockholm. Just thinking about it makes my brain hurt.)

And now I think I'm going to go make a beef tagine for dinner. Mmm, tagine.



*Also, isn't Tolkien a great name all by itself? If it weren't taken, I would want to give it to a wizard, just for the sounds in it.

**Its economy may not make much sense, but this is a world in which there are umbrellas and chain mail. Of course, if you were in chain mail, you might want an umbrella....

Comments

Mithril was not only light, it also didn't rust!
Truly a quality product!
If you'd like to make a wall map for this, I have some small experience doing that sort of thing and it could be really fun.

Let me know.
Aw, thanks! I plan to turn over my bad sketch to my publisher and see what the art department makes of it....
Playground sand is cheap, and commercial car wash places will often give you their empty detergent barrels for free! I am personally curious about the barrel-of-sand method for chainmail, since I'd heard of it before and they never seem to show it on Merlin (which is, I know, not meant to be anything like accurate, but I can't help fussing at it).
You are not helping with my craving to jettison this historical fantasy b.s. in favor of some good old-fashioned secondary-world invention.

After this book, brain. Then you get to play. But first, finish the book you're writing.
Yeah. It's awful nice to take a good old 2nd-world fantasy out for a spin. Haven't done that since AtWS and its kin....
I'm really tired of fantasy where the generic good mother-goddess religion has to fight the generic autocratic patriarchy religion.
Oh, yes.
The Rohirrim are my favourite part of LotR. They are a wonderfully realised culture.
And real-feeling religions are so important in world-building. Whatever we may think of it, faiths have had a huge influence on the shaping of societies over time. I never quite believe fictional cultures that don't have some kind of beliefs, even long-abandoned ones. Myth is resonance. And necessary.
Yeah, I agree. And there's a lot of fun in making the myths reflect the cultures, and vice versa....

Re: Did you buy it at the Mobil?

I don't really know how to describe it. Mostly it's a feel thing, and core beliefs. I'm writing fiction, after all, not a treatise on comparative religion.

So ideally, you want the stuff to inform your worldbuilding without being the subject of endless discourses.
I'm so glad you're enjoying the writing. Go you.

Writing has been going reasonably well in these quarters too -- not fiction, since that's not how I roll (unless it's fanfic which is a whole other kettle of fish), but other things. Huzzah.
Thank you.
That's one of the things I really appreciate about Bujold's Chalion books, that she has the people with the 5-god pantheon at war with the people with the 4-god pantheon, and neither pantheon breaks down into sky father vs. earth mother.
Indeed. (Sometimes, even on our earth, it's a Sky Mother. Sometimes it's not even anything so specific as that...)
You mean Tin Man syndrome?
But all you can do is try, and I'm really tired of fantasy where the generic good mother-goddess religion has to fight the generic autocratic patriarchy religion.

Preach it sister!

I really sympathize with your efforts, because I'm in the middle of a fantasy world building project, and coming up with the religions for
three 300th century empires (ancestor-based turned into gods, polytheistic and combination), as well as the various folk and regional religions, some of which are based on the remnants of long--extinct civilizations...it's enough too drive one mad, really it is.

Some days one could envy CS Lewis. He had it easy.
Sounds liek a neat world, anyway...
Me too!
I have just nominated "your average 9th-century continent" for the concept-of-the-day laurel.
Aww, thank you!

It's one that turns up a lot in my fantasy worlds.... for reasons unknown, I am very fond of C 9-12.

Good tech levels, maybe. Many interesting peoples.
Its economy may not make much sense, but this is a world in which there are umbrellas and chain mail.

How are umbrellas and chain mail contradictory? Or am I misreading you?
Anachronistic, not contradictory.