One of the most important tasks we have as writers of scifi and fantasy is the construction of our worlds. For me, it is critical that I have my social structure firmly in place when I begin writing my characters into it. If I have a society that is feudal, I had best have some notion as to what that sort of society entails for my protagonist and his friends before I start putting them into impossible situations. Research is integral to a good, believable tale.
I usually make a ‘tree of events’ and then I consider what sort of society the characters might live in that would allow these events to feel natural. At that point if there is to be magic, I make the rules for the acquisition and use of magic. Can just anyone use it or is it a rare talent? Will there be artifacts that have magic associated with them? Rules are critical for a tale to be believable, or I will end up contradicting myself, often within only a few pages.
This week I have been perusing my completed manuscript for those contradictions. If there is one thing that I hate as a reader it is an author who makes up the rules as they go, so I am working very hard to avoid that very thing.
As I was last week I am concentrating on editing my own work before I send it off to my editor! It is my responsibility to submit as clean a manuscript as is possible. I have already spent weeks tweaking the dialogue, and adding color to the background, but now, as I check for other fatal flaws I need to continue making sure that my spell-checker has not sabotaged me in some unusual and random way.
Along with my personal reality of living and writing in small town America, there is the ongoing worry for the people of Japan, and the living nightmare that daily affects their lives. If you have the desire to donate to any of the many wonderful organizations that are on the ground in Japan and in the other devastated parts of this world here are the links to their very wonderful websites where you can make your donations and be assured that the funds go to the people as you have intended.
These organizations will take them food, and help them to rebuild their lives. We can’t bring back their loved ones, or take away the horror of what they are living through but we can mitigate it in some way, and I urge you to consider making a donation to one of these fine charities. This is the real world, and it is no fantasy for those who must live it.
The American Red Cross http://www.redcross.org/ is out there fighting the good fight.
Also Catholic Relief Services http://crs.org/ is on ground zero helping anyone that they can.
Samaritan’s Purse is highly recommended to me as a world class charity. http://speu01.samaritanspurse.org/t/219286/1732115/23/0/
However, my personal favorite of all these charities is World Vision http://donate.worldvision.org/OA_HTML/ibeCZzdMinisites.jsp
God bless all these people and the people they work so tirelessly to help.
In the meantime, the world of Waldeyn awaits you in the ‘The Last Good Knight’; the Tale of Julian Lackland. Waldeyn is a world that I loved the crafting of, and I am completely in love with the Great Knight himself!