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Chatterbox: Crowd Sorcery
Writing a fantasy story often involves world-building: creating the setting in which your story takes place. Physical location is an important part of this phase—the house, cavern, mountain, forest, town, ship, island, or any other space your characters inhabit. But it is more than just a place. Building a world may mean thinking about the history, art, music, language, clothing, and customs of the story’s people—how they earn a living, what they do on holidays, and what everyday objects they use.
Of course a writer can’t design every aspect of a culture. If you did that, you’d never get around to writing the story! But here is the key: you want to think carefully enough about these things so that the reader believes your fantasy world goes on beyond the edges of your story. You want this imaginary world to feel real. And you do that with some well-placed, clear, creative details.
So let’s do some world-building! Please come up with objects, places, words ... any ideas for a fantasy story’s world. Tools, animals, types of clothing, dwellings—any of these and more may become necessary elements in our story! You may suggest as many as you like, or even post a strange word and let others suggest meanings. If you want, you can also write a sentence using the word or describing the fantasy place. Here are two examples:
haloris – a lantern that gives off both light and a pleasant scent. It is used by people who live near the swamps to counter the odors of mud and decay.
“Quill’s boots sank into the moss, deeper at each step, and ahead she could see a swamp, moonbeams glittering on pools that lapped around the tree roots. Catching the stench of stagnant water, she pulled the haloris lamp from her pack and set it alight.”
gnawk – a large, black bird with a raucous cry and uneven feathers that always look ruffled and untidy. Gnawks have a fondness for pecking and chewing on rope, and they are notorious for setting free dogs and farm animals tied with ropes. They unmoor boats tied to docks, and have been known to free certain fortunate prisoners.
Can you see how story ideas practically ooze from your Fantasy Dictionary, once you get your imagination going?
(April 23, 2014 - 10:11 am)