5-Part Writing Special, Week 2: Storyworld

by - March 09, 2018

Well, it would seem I lost track of time and didn't write a blog post over the week to put up today. #WHOOPS????

But then, I'm forgiving myself, because my time was taken up with, oh yeah, FINISHING the novel that this blog series is about! (And 120,000 words in 2.5 months is like WOW. O_O)

So, anyway, apologies for being late, even though I'm not really sorry. (Go ahead and unfollow me now. Gosh.)

This may be a strange and awkward post, because I haven't spent a whole lot of time on worldbuilding yet (what can I say, my books are character driven), but hopefully you'll find it interesting!

(All pics will be from pinterest and will include a link back to the original.)

What would we immediately notice upon stepping into your storyworld? (What would stand out the most)

Well, pretty much every person in Sildalone has a "power" or enhanced ability that allows them to do things that ordinary humans couldn't. It's not magic--it's more like X-Men, I guess. Some people are stronger than others, and some are closer to superpowered (like many of my most important characters.)

The range of these powers is all over. My protagonist has, as she puts it at one point in frustration, "the power to string words together" (or to give excellent speeches, which is useful when you're a princess!) Another character has the uncomfortable power of making people cold. One character can create lightning storms. The most interesting thing I've found is that making one villainous character a mirror of one of the good guys creates a cool effect. (For example, one of my main villains has the power of ice; one of the heroes has the power of fire.)

fire and ice wallpaper for desktop background, 2048x1152 (359 kB)
My book's aesthetic, basically: from Pinterest

What place in this world (Earth) most reminds you of your world? 

Honestly, the United States. Hear me out! I'm not just giving this as the easy answer!

My world has four main countries (only two of which are really visited within the story) but a lot of different regions and climates within those countries. There's a really rugged and cold band of mountains that my characters may or may not have to cross at some point (the Rockies). There's a section of rolling farmland that goes on and on as far as the eye can see (the Midwest.) There's ocean-front places (Maine, because they have rocky coasts.) Most of the story takes place in a city surrounded by fields all around with a forest less than a mile away to the north and east. (Not sure where that's from, but oh well...)

This is probably a longer answer than you were expecting, but oh well. Here's a picture of a dark forest, which is actually where a great deal of the book takes place. (Confrontations in dark woods. Ooh it's so much fun to write, especially when you forget that the POV character doesn't have night vision and thus can't see any faces.) 

adventure, black, dark, darkness, dreams, explore, fog, foggy, forest, grey, grunge, hipster, indie, inspiration, magical, nature, old, pale, rain, sad, sadness, travel, vintage
From Pinterest

Are there specific food/dining habits particular to this world?

In the city where my main character lives? Not really.

But the other country, Venaria, which is currently known as the "Bad Country," does in fact have some.

Venaria is occupied at the moment by the villains, which nobody there likes, but they're putting their heads down and trying to survive despite the fact that they could be forced to join an army they don't support at any time and may well starve during the winter. Which STINKS. They used to be a very rich and tradition-heavy country, but thanks to occupation most of that is gone.

At one time, however, Venaria was known as the most open place in the world. People covered up who they really were on the inside and made a game of it, but every window was always open for the duration of the summer.

At every meal, families set at least one extra place at the table, and the door remained open so that if someone happened to be passing by, couldn't afford their own meal, or just wanted some company, they could wander in and be treated to a good, full meal with good company. 

That sounds really nice, actually, even for me who is a major introvert. 

Describe the general infrastructure of your world: (i.e., cities and what are those like?) What are the main locations in your story? (Bonus points: Include a map.)


As mentioned above, there are four main countries.

One of them, Brue, doesn't really feature in the story at all because it's kind of that walled-in-totalitarian-society that no one gets into and no one gets out of. I didn't choose to focus on it much. Mostly because there's just not enough room.

The other one that I don't deal much with is the Southlands (yes, I am now ripping off of Goldstone Wood; deal with it. XD). Mostly farmland. Mostly peasants. I don't know a ton about it.

Then there's Venaria, where everything used to be rich and beautiful and the defining characteristics of the people are: Arrogant. Beautiful. Powerful. They're a ton of fun to write, even though their society is kind of being crushed under the heel of occupation and I wish I could do more to help them out of it...

And finally, we have Lascogine (I'm not sure if I ever actually use that name within the story. This must be remedied.) The capital city, Misue, is where my protagonist lives with her family, and so that's where most of this first book takes place. The others will be a little more all over the place. Lascogine contains a broad range of places, from the Mise (which needs a name change because it's too similar to the capital city) which is kind of the slum of the world and is inhabited by a ton of people with knock-off British accents; to the Northern Sector which is all farmland and fun times.

Misue as a city is large, and kind of that stereotypical walled fortress that fantasy is known for. However, there is trade and commerce that happens there, and the city is not just a means to itself.
Castle of Misue-ish
While this is not quite what the castle looks like, the coloring is accurate; everything in Misue is made of white stone. Faith totally didn't rip this off of Minas Tirith when she was eleven, not at all....From Pinterest 

Are there biases in your world, and how do they define the people? Is there a class structure and how would it affect the characters?

There's not really any sort of class structure, but my book does center on the elite (seeing as my protagonist is the princess) and I haven't yet spent a lot of time dealing with all of that. Just yet, anyway.

I guess the one thing I will say is that where you live does affect how wealthy you are? Like, the people of Misue tend to be fairly well off; the people in the Mise are typically very poor; the people of the Northern Sector are farmers and content with that.

That's about all I can come up with.

What belief structures/ worldviews do your characters hold?  What are some philosophies of your story?

Umm...Oh boy.

I got nothing? *shrugs*

Everyone prays before their meals in Misue, and something that didn't make it into this draft but I'm hoping to be able to edit in is that everyone in the city serves the Mighty One (basically like the Maker in Wingfeather Saga; God, essentially, who's sovereign, but there was no Jesus figure in my world). They have a Bible-like text, and at the end of the day, at five o'clock, a bunch of bells ring and everyone goes to their rooms or chapels or whatever to pray for an hour.

Which sounds lovely, in all honesty.

How is trade carried out in the story world, and how do the cities and nations interact with one another?

Well...at the moment, Lascogine and Venaria are at war thanks to the occupation happening there. So that complicates matters; they used to get along okay...

Southlands sends surplus supplies north to Lascogine because so many of their fields and farms and stuff have been burned in the war.

Everyone just sort of ignores Brue for the moment because they're staying out of the way, and while Queen Bernathel of Lascogine would love to something about the awful conditions of the people there, the army doesn't have the manpower or means to start a second, simultaneous war with two neighbors at once.

The main industry of Misue is creating weapons at the moment. They also deal in jewelry. Here's a snippet from the actual WIP that sums it all up nicely:

Esma walked through streets bustling with activity, past smithies and grocers and shops that made the jewelry that once had been Misue’s greatest claim to fame. Even before the Pentegreens had come to power, in the days of anarchy and destruction, men had made fine jewelry and sold them and traded them.
In her bedroom at home Esma had several pairs of earrings and a single necklace made from the jewels forged in the mountains far away, the jewels that only the men of Misue could turn into something that looked beautiful around the slim neck of a fine young lady.

Are there any unique or special traditions or celebrations that your world is known for?

Not really.

In Venaria, when a child of an influential (or really just comfortable) family turns ten, he or she is presented with their first weapon. This is a huge thing for most of them; it's also when their power begins to show itself for real and they can begin to train with that power.

In Lascogine the powers tend to show themselves a little sooner. If it's obvious, then you'll know what your power is around the age of seven. If it's a little harder to figure out, you'll have to wait until you're about twelve. 

Are there any significant historical events that affected the way your world is now?

Well........................... *clears throat awkwardly*

Once upon a time, Faith wrote a love triangle between three of the most powerful people in the world.

One of the men wanted power and the girl. The other man wanted the same thing. The second man got the power and the girl. The first one got angry.

So the war that's happening now, if you know where to look, can be traced back to that, to some extent. Because Faith is awkward and, just like everyone else, sets up her story's history on a love triangle. 

What do you love most about your world? 

The powers?

The fact that it's home to my characters?

Okay, I'll stop now. XD

I hope you all enjoyed this post! Be sure to check out the similar posts that everyone else is putting up today--I hear they all got theirs up on time. *side eyes at this blatant conspiracy* What do you think of my world? Interesting? Flat? I have a lot more I could have talked about, but the questions didn't ask. #RUDE Chat with me in the comments, and if you have any questions, by all means, ASK ME! (Speaking of questions: I'm filming my Q&A on Monday, so if you'd like to ask any and haven't gotten the chance yet, GO DO IT OVER HERE!

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  1. Yay! Can't wait to see your beautiful face! Your world is AAAAMMMAAAAZING! although maybe we can try to edit and elaborate on those countries ^_^ Wonderful job Faith!

    1. You are too sweet :) Thank you! Yeah, we need to do that... :P I kept meaning to put these tidbits in there as I was writing it, but then Certain Characters kept taking up all the space.... *pushes Certain Character into a box* Thanks! :D

  2. Sounds really cool!!! I love all the pictures!!!! Story worlds are the best! I too have four countries, but they're all more European/Celtic.

    1. That's really awesome! I tried to let some of the more Eastern influences slip in just a bit, but then I also just tried to come up with the stuff that I personally would love to see in a country. Celtic stuff is great! <3 They really are, I need to spend more time on the worldbuilding.

  3. The history part was awesome. XD

    Your world is too epic, it's not fair, Faith!!!!

    And I'm SO excited to watch your vlog!! :D

    1. Yeah....XD Thanks!

      Aww, thank you, Gray <3

      I'm excited to make it!!!

  4. haha, mine went up later than yours, so don't feel bad!!

    I think it's really cool that you based it off the US! A lot of fantasy worlds I know are based off of Celtic and Germanic landscapes (including mine...sigh. I'm so original.) So far, it's really cool!

    I KNOW!!! Not nearly enough questions for some of the cool details (like all the coats of arms, and seals and all the little details!! *pouts*)

    Awesome post, Faith! I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE YOUR VLOG!


    1. Hee hee, I noticed that...it was just funny to check when my alarm went off, see six posts with the right title waiting in my feed, and start screaming because WHAT HAVE I DONE I FORGOT THE POST. XD

      That's totally okay! I'm a huge fan of that kind of landscape...and honestly my story's not TERRIBLY American. Just a lot more varied than any other one country.

      Yeah, I would have loved to have more time to talk about stuff! All these little tidbits I was wishing I could share! *pouts right back*

      Thanks! I CAN'T WAIT /FOR/ YOU TO SEE IT!

  5. What do you mean you haven't spent a lot of time worldbuilding?? This all looks SO thought out!!!

    I adoooore the idea of each person having a power. And it sounds like you've come up with some unique ones! Like being able to string words together. I've never seen that being an actual power in anything before! AND I WISH I HAD IT. Smooth verbal communication is nooooot my forte. XD

    All the different places sound really interesting! Venaria especially! (And I love that name.) The idea of leaving the door open at meal time is BRILLIANT and does sound lovely!

    Oh my goodness, I have a city in one of my stories that was totally inspired by Minas Tirith as well. XDDD It's just such a PRETTY city! I love the idea of a city full of big, white buildings! Besides, one is not a fantasy writer if they don't ripoff Tolkien some. ;D

    This whole world just sounds epic. I love it! :D

    Alsooo...I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE YOUR VLOG! *flails*

    1. It's hilarious....because it's not, really. It just happened to come out really nicely. XD

      I do too! I feel like it gets rid of some of that "chosen one" cliche and just sort of brings out nicely the "Difference" aspect of the world. <3 That power would be so nice. Esma loves to complain to e about it...I typically tell her to stop whining. XD

      Yes! I love Venaria too. <3 I'd actually much rather live there than live in Misue/Lascogine, although I don't think I could handle all the beautiful arrogant people...XD

      I know, it really is. I've never been able to come up with a city that doesn't take Tolkien as at least part of its inspiration. :D

      Thank you so much!!!!! And I can't wait to make it! <3

  6. Why are all the awesome world-builders trying to say that their world-building isn't that awesome yet??? xD THIS WORLD IS ALREADY WONDERFUL, FAITH.

    Everything about The King's Daughter intrigues me so muuuuuuch!!! EEEEP.

    Confrontations in dark woods are the BEST.

    Lila @ The Red-Hooded Writer

    1. Oh my word, thanks, Lila. <3 It needs work but I think it's developing pretty well....the more I think about it the better I realize it is.

      THANK YOU! I actually finished it a couple days ago (*shhhh don't tell anybody*) so I'll be ready for you rather soon! :D

      I KNOW. I love 'em. I think there's three or four in this book? Something like that anyways? Oh well. XD

  7. I love stories about people with powers. Also you have developed your world so well, I'm jealous. I never really do more than the basics. Anyway it sounds fantastic!

    1. Lol, thank you, Skye! I'd love to hear about your worlds someday!

  8. I gotta say, worldbuilding is probably one of my favorite things about writing. And you NAILED IT. This looks like such an AWESOME world!! So well-thought out and EPIC SOUNDING. :D
    And I really love stories about people with powers. Like. They are my greatest weakness. XD

    1. Why THANK YOU! I've been learning lately how much more I love meshing aspects of different cultures to create my own. <3

      I love them too, which I wouldn't have expected, but they still make me fangirl-squeal super hard. :D

  9. You finished your novel?? WHOOO *showers confetti liberally* Go you, Faith!! :D

    I like the sound of mirroring your heroes and villains - there'd be some interesting lessons (both for the characters and the readers) made by having them different but similar?

    That Venarian tradition of having open meals sounds awesome and makes the country feel so real (and like it would have been a lovely place!).
    - Jem Jones

    1. THANK YOU, JEM! You seem to be the only person who actually caught that....lol. XD I'm so proud of myself!!!!

      Yes! I really like that, and it also came out organically which is really cool. <3

      I know! I really liked that idea and was happy to find a home for it within this series. <3

  10. CONGRATS ON FINISHING!!!! WHOO-HOO!!!!! *dances around office* *cat looks startled, but goes with it*

    "The first one got angry." That pretty much wraps things up. I love it!!

    But American fantasy sounds super cool! I need to read this....

    1. THANK YOU! *cats getting startled but going with it is the BEST*

      Lol, it's a LIIIIIIITTTTLLLEEE bit more complicated than that, but I feel like that sums it up pretty well. XD

      Thanks! :D I hope you get to!

    2. Yeah, this whole thing "One of the men wanted power and the girl. The other man wanted the same thing. The second man got the power and the girl. The first one got angry." That was just perfect, lol!

  11. Venaria--yep, arrogant people are so fun to write! XD I probably do it too much.

    Your world sounds sooo cool! :D

    1. They really are--I have way too much fun writing the people from those places (except I'm such a nice person that I just can't handle it and then make them too nice and emotional. XD)

      Thank you! :D Yours does too!

  12. Powers? Awesome! Can I go live there!!!?? ;D

    This book sounds so awesome, Faith! Keep going!!! I can't wait to learn more about it! <3


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