Digging Up Skeletons in Your Fictional World by Traci Kenworth

Digging Up Skeletons in Your World

Traci Kenworth

Digging up skeletons in your world can help you define the population of it. Do you have dragons? What makes them different/the same to dragons of other books? Differences are good. They are what make a species stand out. You want to give them more than just the obvious cosmetic touches to differentiate them. Go deeper. Give them reasons for the changes.

Skeletons can tell us a lot. It’s why archaeologists dig at the bones, pushing to discover as much as they can about them. There is a fortune of wealth, of knowledge in each of those digits. We can discover a bit about where we came from. How our civilization evolved. Skeletons build upon a society and bring the dominant species to the forefront.

Skeletons are also the building blocks that we use to define our world. Think of them as a blueprint. They lead us. We follow. They show us the directions to pursue, the bodies of water to explore. We use them to navigate the jungles of the new world, to make it stand out, to root it in place. You may start with an unstable world, not sure of where all the pieces are or where the towns and cities are set but by the end, everything snaps into place.

Your skeletons can take any form, any shape. They can be together or scattered in different areas. It’s working to pull everything together that matters. Maybe you’re a pantster who doesn’t quite know the direction you’re headed. The skeleton can help with that. Think of the imaginary bones peeping up across your lands, eager to help you find your way. A pilgrimage of sorts.

Or, if you’re a plotter, those bones can offer so much more detail to keep you busy for hours. You can create a new species to populate your lands. Perhaps, one that can live on both land and sea. Maybe by experimentation. Or possibly, evolution. You never can tell. But it’s fun to see what you can come up with. Maybe you want to devolve a species. Take away human skin and replace it with feathers or scales or such. Anything’s possible.

You are the scientist here. Or creator, if you prefer. You can take things to depths unseen. Or play closer to comfort. Your choice. Yes, digging up skeletons in your world can have its advantages. Leading you to discoveries you hadn’t thought possible. Or realizing that your birds can’t fly because their wings all shrank. How to solve that problem? Hm, I wonder what you could come up with. Have a go.

Happenings: What I find most horrifying and sad about all this is that my dad died from congestive heart failure. He refused treatment as he didn’t believe in doctors or that he would get well. I think it had to do with his mother’s shock treatments during his childhood. Anyway, because my ex sought to take those I loved from me and those who opposed him in any way, at the time of my dad’s death, my ex wouldn’t allow me to mourn my father. It took me years after I got out of that relationship to forgive myself for that turmoil. All this is bringing everything back and just tugging at my emotions. Thankfully, the water pill and Jardiance are helping me feel wonderful at moments of the day.

Some links around the web you might like:

  1. Nail Your Novel https://nailyournovel.wordpress.com/2023/02/21/let-the-narrative-bend-where-it-wants-to-memoirist-joseph-lezza-lezzdoothis/ I’m not advocating that people openly discuss something they’re not ready to, but I hope that by refusing to be ‘fine’ in this book, I might show someone how to feel less alone. And others might pay more attention to the folks in their lives who seem to be throwing it around too generously.
  2. Writers Helping Writers https://writershelpingwriters.net/2023/02/getting-back-in-the-writing-flow/ We all need downtime in our writing lives—a planned vacation, Christmas with the family, a buffer between big projects. Sometimes we get downtime whether we’ve chosen it or not (I’m looking at you, COVID). Whatever the cause, it can be good to put down our pens or shut our laptops for a while. Vacation is my time to catch up on reading, and I savor it. But time away creates an inevitable problem: how to get back into the writing habit. I often begin with a short story. It’s easier to maneuver something short. It seems less intimidating.
  3. Life in the Realm of Fantasy https://conniejjasperson.com/2023/02/20/characterization-layers-of-a-scene-amwriting/ When I begin writing a first draft, I try to approach writing each scene as if I were shooting a movie. We know that each conversation is an event that must advance the story, but it must also give us glimpses of who each person is. To that end, dialogue must do at least one (if not all) of these things: Offer information the characters are only now learning. Show the state of mind the characters are experiencing. Show the relationship of the characters to each other. Show the relationship of the characters to their world. However, dialogue is only one layer of the scene. We try to establish the world environment in the opening pages but world-building is an ongoing task and is a foundational layer of each scene. We continue world-building by showing our characters as they interact with the immediate environment.
  4. Writers in the Storm https://writersinthestormblog.com/2023/02/retiring-to-write-or-writing-to-retire-part-1/ Can authors ever really, truly Put-Down-the-Pen? While many dream of spending endless mornings writing the next Great Novel, others eyeball-deep in edits and deadlines count down the days until they can just sleep in. Whether you are starting out in writing or embarking on your fiftieth publication, it is uncommon for writers to officially retire. At some point authors find an equilibrium with their craft, energy, and ambitions levels, the question is when these tip towards losing their creative passion, should they stop writing? Is your writing career just ahead of you? Waiting for you begin once life allows you the time, energy, and better focus? When is it a good time to begin a career as an author? Regardless of your writing status, we can look at common considerations people have when making a big career change. Writing is a career open to anyone with a pen and a desire to continuously improve their craft. When to start is a personal decision. Sometimes either choice is hard to make. Especially, when the fight remains.
  5. Story Empire https://storyempire.com/2023/02/22/how-to-use-prologues-part-12-summary/ Hi SErs! It’s a day of Harmony here at Story Empire 🙂 Today, as promised, we’re here to close up this series on prologues with an easy, at-a-glance summary of the whole topic. For your convenience, I’ve created an A4 downloadable jpeg, which you can save and print if you want to. It details the salient points on prologues. Here’s a link to the previous post on Prologues & Epilogues. Good rules to follow on prologues!
  6. Entertaining Stories https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/2023/02/20/good-news-bad-news/ I’m feeling a little better each day now. I’m about like I usually am as far as sniffly winter weather goes. Nothing seems to completely go away, but I’ll have no problems working tomorrow. My little tantrum from yesterday is drawing some interesting comments. I regret not inviting people to post a link with their comments. One of the summations was to read a book, and I just didn’t think of it soon enough. There are a lot of great authors out there, and I should have invited a bit of promo in the comments. In other news, I started drafting something. I really only wanted a test chapter to get a feel for my characters. It wound up being a little more than that at 4000 words. I changed character names a couple of times and went back to add some settings to the whole thing. Still don’t know how I’m going to stitch this one together, and I might rewrite the whole thing from scratch eventually. I just wanted a feel for how it might go. I need to figure out how one mystery box leads to another, another, etc. I’m excited about this tale, but it still needs some daydreaming before I can move it too far. Many stories will pull together after a week of dwelling on my start. I have a few things I want to say in this one about the modern state of news, tech billionaires, and the uphill battles we all face. The trick is to include those things while making them organic. No preaching, just events unfolding in the plot. Sometimes it’s hard not to get on your soapbox about events and such but yeah, tone it down and make it fit into the plot. You’ll feel better and so will your reader. I know I’ve had to go back in and do some surgery on things in my book. Even though certain things tick you off, you can’t let that permeate your story. If you’re going to put it in their world, make it a part of their world not ours.
  7. Rosie Amber https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/2023/02/24/%f0%9f%93%9aa-story-of-those-who-tried-to-resist-the-norman-conquest-noelle-reviews-in-the-shadows-of-castles-by-g-k-holloway-for-rosies-bookreview-team-rbrt/ The novel is book two in the 1066 saga. Book one, 1066: What the Fates Impose, is about the atmosphere leading up to and following the Battle of Hastings in 1066 between the Norman-French army of William, Duke of Normandy, and an English army under the Anglo-Saxon King Harold Godwinson. It began the Norman Conquest of England. In the Shadows of Castles, William of Normandy is enforcing a new, brutal, and bloody regime of Norman rule throughout England, creating feudalism as the dominant social and economic system. William spreads his soldiers throughout the kingdom, killing, raping, and pillaging to force the Anglo-Saxons to bend to his rule. His plan includes the construction of castles in all the main cities to secure the Norman foothold, hence the title of this novel, and he creates a ruling class of Norman nobles and arranges the appointment of his supporters as bishops and abbots in the Norman church. But these sudden changes in the English political, religious, and cultural landscape create resistance. Dispossessed, and driven from their homes, the members of an English network of resistors have the courage to fight, but scattered across the land, can they coalesce to defeat William? Can they entice the Danes to join them? This seemingly endless turmoil is populated by many characters, which the author – fortunately for the reader – introduces at the beginning of the book. The main ones are two sisters, a thane (a freeman who had his own land), and a soldier. These characters are likable and real. Intrigues, kidnaps, battles, escapes, murder, destruction, and death face them as the resistance takes shape and their fates intertwine in love, hope, and their fight for survival.
  8. Meeka’s Mind https://acflory.wordpress.com/2023/02/24/a-new-kind-of-storytelling-for-the-21st-century/ Impressive!
  9. Angel Messages https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/2023/02/24/angel-messages-feb-24-2023/
  10. Syl 65’s blog https://syl65.wordpress.com/2023/02/24/friday-inspiration-%f0%9f%98%8c-andrew-fripp-for-the-love-of-god/
  11. Myths of the Mirror https://mythsofthemirror.com/2023/02/24/my-cleopatra-tankatuesday/ Isn’t this an amazing piece of art? To me, Lady Agnew’s posture and expression convey a dauntless challenge to acknowledge her power, her being. I wondered what the artist thought. Did he expect a woman properly dignified, stiff, and prim? Did he love her dare as much as she? I love these Ekphrastic challenges. Ekphrastic poetry is written in response to a piece of art. Colleen chose this prompt after seeing it on Rebecca Budd’s blog: Chasing Art. I wrote a stacked/double etheree, which is comprised of twenty lines with a syllable count per line of 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10, 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1. This poem looks like a diamond.
  12. Robbie’s Inspiration https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2023/02/24/kitchen-confidential-cookbook-club-robbie-cheadle-reviews-chicken-shawarma/ I am over at Bernadette’s lovely cooking blog, New Classic Recipe, with my contribution to her Kitchen Confidential Cookbook Club. Thanks for hosting, Bernadette.
  13. The Smorgasbord Magazine https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2023/02/25/smorgasbord-book-promotions-memoir-life-growth-grow-damn-it-the-feeding-and-nurturing-of-life-by-cheryl-oreglia/ Grow Damn It! is a captivating work by Cheryl Oreglia, who uses uncommon honesty and arresting humor to draw you into her cantankerous life, forty-year marriage, and revolving empty nest. She claims the space between past and future is where our potential is created or destroyed. If you don’t like where your life is going, dig deeper, and write a new story. By weeding out the things that clutter her life, she invites you into a refreshing space with some of her most popular posts from her beloved blog Living in the Gap. She surrounds herself with a gaggle of intriguing friends, along with a large and rambunctious family who challenge both her and the reader to live fully in an ever-changing world. Her provocative writing dares us to confront our lives not only with optimism, but courage, and uproarious laughter. Oreglia uses her experience to explore what matters most in life… the degree to which we love and are loved.
  14. Fiction Favorites https://johnwhowell.com/2023/02/24/friday-johnku-aka-tgif-fri-yay-good-news-33/ TODAY’S GOOD NEWS STORY COMES FROM THE GOOD NEWS NETWORK. WITH THE EXCEPTION OF FIXING THE TYPOS, HERE IS THE STORY IN ITS ENTIRETY. SENIOR WITH NO CAR WALKS TO WORK–BUT AFTER SHE FOUND $15K AND RETURNED IT SHE DOES NOW As I commented on John’s blog, such a tremendous blessing for this woman and others to hear! Maybe it will inspire others’ hearts to be more like hers and perhaps get rewarded as well. Truly, truly wonderful to read!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: