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Writing Meme Day Thirteen, Fourteen, and Fifteen

April 15, 2010

Time to play catch-up with the writing meme. The manic insomnia broke in once we finished Rachmaninoff, so I lost two days.

April 13th – What’s your favorite culture to write, fictional or not?

Elven and vampiric cultures. I like playing around with what’s commonly accepted as their ‘culture’. In the Other Side of Night series, the culture for the vampires is very loose, very regional. In Rachmaninoff, there is almost no culture for them, it’s all independent and territorial. However, in Pathos, there is a strong culture, one that evolved from modern human cultures, and then perverted and warped to serve the vampiric purpose. I love it. I love playing with those things.

Elves, while I love them, have been singular to the Egaea books. I’ve not written anything else starring Elves. Though, I have to admit, Egaea is huge. The Elves there – as well as their non-magical counterparts, the Maith – are heavily constructed. The cultures are extensive and deep. I’ve spent two years building the cultures, which has been trying at times because the Elves and Maith have common cultural aspects, but because the Elves split into nine different Houses (and the Maith evolved on a whole different continent), there are micro-cultures we’ve had to also create.

*grins* I love that aspect of world-and-character-building. Culture gives the world and characters depth, and so I view it as an important step in the process.

April 14th – How do you map out locations, if needed? Do you have any to show us?

Mostly, Kris does the mapping. I place and name things when she’s done. 🙂 She’s far better than I am at cartography. But our basic routine is to discuss the sort of landscape we desire, weather pattern, and then Kris starts sketching. Depending on the scope of the project, it can take us a year or more to get a single continent right.

That is the map of Tridéa, the Elven continent, that started with a crude sketch from me. Over the course of a year, Kris refined it, then I named and labeled everything, and we had our finished map for the Elves.

April 15th – Midway question! Tell us about a writer you admire, whether professional or not!

What writer don’t I admire? Whether I like their work or not, I admire the dedication and drive they have to have in order to write. There’s also the sense of self-confidence a writer has to have in order to publish, and I admire that in all writers. But, if there we’re not talking in the abstract, I have very few individual authors I’d say I admire, since, to me, admiration means we would like to be a little more like them.

In fact, I can’t think of one I admire. *laughs* It’s very much like music to me. I don’t like artists or bands, I like a song. It’s like that with books. I don’t necessary admire the author, I admire the work. There are certain books I have read that make me wish I had that particular way with words, or that I’d thought of such an amazing world, or that I had that grasp of a character. It’s more about the individual pieces of work than the author themselves for me.

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