NaNo Special: World Building

It’s that time again today. That’s right- it’s time for a NaNo Special! Today, I felt like talking about something I worked on for a good chunk of September and October in preparation for this year’s NaNo: world building. It’s a difficult and tedious task depending on how you go about it, but in my experience, it can feel so worth the time and effort!

One of the first things I worked on, personally, was religions. I only knew one religion on the world my story takes place in, but I also knew that my characters followed something different. So, I had to come up with a new religion or two. With that responsibility comes the requirement to note down things like their myths, their holidays, their rituals- and to be honest, I didn’t finish as much as I intended to. It can be pretty hard to come up with all those details! But as of this moment, the world I’m writing in has three religions. I hope to use all of them in the stories I write someday!

The next task, to me, was to make a calendar. You see, my stories take place on another (made up) planet. Time moves differently there. And naturally, the religions and countries have their own holidays and things to celebrate throughout the year. So, I made a calendar. A calendar full of the world’s important dates highlighted.

That calendar was a pain in the ass to make, however. It was tediously daunting, and I had issues with my local spreadsheet programs eating and just deleting the calendar after I finally got it all prepared. In the end, it’s on my google sheets, and will eventually be put in my writing planner when I feel it’s filled to the brim with important information.

Another major task was getting to know the countries of this little world of mine. I had to know not just their names, but their layouts, governments, and other details relating to local vs broad spectrum holidays and such. I drew really crappy maps, set up the sections with numbers, colored the maps with a key for the different terrain, etc. I set up holidays for single countries and the world as a whole. I set up a monarchy, and two distinct forms of democracy of sorts. I laid out some of their laws, and up to 400 years of history depending on how far back I felt I’d need to deal with my immortal heroine in this year’s NaNo project.

With all that said, there’s still a lot of things I need to do. I need to adjust character birthdays, which are currently set on the Gregorian calendar. I need to finish fleshing out rituals and holidays, and write more lore of the land in detail. I haven’t plotted out the resources that are abundant or lacking yet, and while I’ve named all the primary politicians and capitals, I haven’t laid out where on each map the stories are set when they’re not capitals or anything of the sort.

As you can see, world building has a lot of details it can include. I think it really depends on the writer as to what details to focus on and how to go about planning things out. I put so much work into it the past months because I felt having the world better set up would give me more to work with when I write my stories in it. I get stuck with a lot of plot holes and writing blocks when I’m working on a story- but I think maybe, just maybe, better knowing the world will give me ideas of what could happen, or at least become good dialogue.

So today I have questions separate for my readers and writers out there. Readers, what do you consider the most interesting or important information to have about the world you’re reading about? And writers, how do you prepare details about your world? Do you use spreadsheets, make maps, or a number of different things? I want to hear this topic from different perspectives. Please share anything you’d like or can, so that I can learn it from you!

Topical Tuesday: My Planner

Howdy folks! It’s the last week of October already- that’s both amazing and a bit intimidating, don’t you think? But with a new month in tow, I have plans this week to reorganize my planner. I’d like to share my planner experience with you.

I’ve never been an organized person. I’m lazy and a clutter bug. I’m easily overwhelmed, and seeing my own mess makes me feel terrified of having to go through it! I finally realized that I need to organize my life. So, I finally gave in to my urge to journal.

At first, I was trying to do a bullet journal. I bought a small notebook at the dollar store and tried to start it, but I found I dropped it during my trip to Arizona and realized it didn’t quite fit my needs. I started looking for spreads I could duplicate, but it had too little space for me to handle with my bad handwriting. I needed something a bit bigger… And a bit more flexible than I found my bullet journaling to be.

That’s when my dad found a bunch of binders that we hadn’t used yet. We found four in total, and dad said they’re all mine to use. Dad recommended using one of the big ones as a physical copy of my writing projects, which I’ve since done. It’s got everything from maps to printouts of my world building and a workbook I printed the pages of because I was intrigued by it.

That’s not the planner I started with, though. Though that too is an important planner in my life, what really became important was another binder I began using: it’s filled with planner printables I found online, and though I intend to redo some of it this week, it’s not just this week that I’ve been using it.

Sure, I’ve missed a couple days in my habit tracker and such. I’ve more easily accepted my imperfections as I’ve worked with this planner. I found a lot of sites with great free printables, including everything from an about me to weekly and daily planning pages. I’ve got a gratitude journal, my mentioned habit tracker, and even a mental health tracker. I try to use each of them each day, and while I’ve missed some as I’ve said, it’s really amazing to see my progress. I can see what parts of my life I’m still struggling with (mainly decluttering).

I do have some changes I plan to make for next month. For starters, I’m going to try a mood tracker instead of the mental health one I currently use. It’ll be more fun to color than just x a box about an emotion. I plan to make a headache tracker of my own using online resources, too. I’m thinking I can change a habit tracker to a symptom tracker in general, actually… But I also want to track my blood pressure and heart rate, too, so I’ll probably be playing around with methods to do this for a good chunk of the week.

There’s more changes I plan to make, but it’s mostly just changing where things are and adding labels to my dividers so that I can better access things after I readjust. If you want me to share some of the printables I’ve used, I’d be happy to take some pictures. That, or I can share some of my favorite places to get printables. Whatever you might want, let me know, because I’ve come to really love my planner, and it’s seriously helping with my anxiety!

That’s all for today, I’m afraid. I look forward to seeing you on Thursday, where I’ll be sharing the biggest event of the year to me and how it’s going to affect this blog for the upcoming month. Please make sure not to miss it! I look forward to telling you all about it soon. 🙂

Soulful Saturday: Journals

Good day to you, my lovely readers. I hope your Saturday isn’t as blistering hot as mine is! Summer has indeed arrived in my mind now, and I have many ventures afoot. However, that’s not what we’re here to talk about today- today is a day to dig deep in my soul. To that end, I came up with a likely cliche but notable topic: journaling.

I’m not an organized person. Bullet journals amaze me, and I love learning about them, but… I’m just so bad at keeping up with things as it is. For me, it’s just not yet something I can commit to. It’s something that I can only wish I could do, for the time that is.

No, I’m talking about the kind of journal you might have kept as a kid. Or a blog, just like this one right now. I’m talking about journals that you spilled your heart into, that you treated like a close friend that knew all your secrets but would never fail to keep them that way.

I’ve been keeping journals since I was young. I’ve always done it on and off, and sometimes they were more logs of things in my life, such as dreams and nightmares. But, for most times, I was writing journals because I needed an escape outside the internet. And, once on the internet, I found a way to share my experiences with others that I felt safe around: strangers on the net. All that through the art of blogging, which is very much akin to journaling, if you look at it the right way.

It’s important to choose your audience though. Showing your therapist a rather morbid entry will make them worry you’re going to do harm to someone else or you yourself. That happened to me, when I was sent to the hospital for ten days for suicidal ideation- I think I’ve mentioned that before, actually! But still, that was all started by something so very simple: a copied page of my private journal on the computer.

The thing with journals is there’s so many ways to use them. You can write paragraph after paragraph about your day or a topic, you can use it to remember your dreams, or even to organize your life. I got a new journal as part of a care package, and it’s stunning- so stunning, I feel my current method of journaling doesn’t do it justice. I’ve merely been writing bullet note lists of things I found remarkable in some way that day. I fit three days on a single page! I look at it and I lack that joy that comes from writing my thoughts… So now, I must learn a better way to journal.

What kinds of journaling do you do, my friends? I bet hearing your methods will help me greatly in finding the right one for me and my new ally. That’s my last request for today. That, and that you have a good weekend! Don’t forget to stay hydrated! Okay? 🙂

Topical Tuesday: Goals

Hey there everybody! It’s Topical Tuesday, so it’s time for some light-hearted conversation… about goals. I know, I know. Goals aren’t light-hearted in the long run- but it’s a topic I deem worthy anyway. After all, I’m just telling you some of mine. I’ll tell you just a bit, I swear- just some of the things I’m working on, saving for, and hoping to achieve. But first, a big thank you to my new friend at http://evereview.xyz/ for the inspiration!

Now, I’m a person who tends to stretch themselves thin- I have a lot of goals, and sometimes, that can be a real nuisance. I have goals in all sorts of criteria, ranging from travel plans and expenses to projects and how I want them to work. So, today, I’m going to just share a few of my goals in each category. This will be short and sweet, I guarantee!

Financial Goals

Currently, my financial goals coincide with my health and travel goals. I’m not gonna give you the total I need for the medical stuff, since I don’t know that. But, I have two big trips planned for this year, so I need to work hard to save up!

Goals in this criteria include…
*Visiting Arizona
*Helping a couple panels at Anime North
*Getting back into therapy (and affording it!)
*Getting rid of my migraines once and for all.
*Getting the depo shot.

Okay, I have more goals than I realized… But see? These are just some of my goals! My other goals include projects. Yep, it’s time…

Project Goals

Unlike things like my financially inclined goals, my goals for projects are a bit more relaxed.

For example…
*Being able to start making Alien Irony: Redux manga, at least four to five chapters for book one.
*Starting my for-fun magical girl project, Treasure of Eternity
*Enter five poetry contests or calls for submission in the next couple months.
*Start working on VN project Crow.
*Decluttering my room (this counts as a project right?)

Other Goals

After those goals, all I have is a wishlist of things to buy, really, including…
*A new computer
*A better mic and webcam
*More books
*Probably some new shoes that aren’t sneakers

And that’s pretty much it! As I said, I have a LOT of goals- and these don’t even include goals regarding the magazine. Are you the type to have a lot of goals like me, or just broader goals in general? I’d love to hear your input. Until next time!

Revamping

I’ve been gone a long while and found my site covered in dust. But dust will be no more! I have returned, and am going to be cleaning up this site, organizing things, and making it more streamlined. So, over the next few days, you’ll see a lot of changes.

I’ve taken down a couple pages because I need to do heavy work on them and/or am debating keeping them. I’ve made some new graphics, such as the header, and I’ve made myself a schedule for posting. The schedule will be as follows:

TUESDAY: ‘Topical Tuesdays” will be all about my writing and life in a light-hearted way. It won’t get too deep into the darker things that happen day to day, and will hopefully have some feel good stories to share.

THURSDAYS: “Throwback Thursdays” will have me sharing my memories, old works, and things of that nature. It’ll be a look into my past, and have me wishing for a better future.

SATURDAYS: “Soul Saturdays” will be a deep dive into my writing and life, looking at the raw and sometimes dark parts of my mind. I’ll be talking mental health, coping skills, how the darker things affect my writing, etc. I’ll make sure to include trigger warnings at the top of any posts these days, just to be safe.

Along with this schedule, I’ll be editing the Sites To See page to be cleaner and more recent links only. I’ll also be debating continuing to have an excerpt page or one for my works in progress.

Have an opinion? Comment and tell me what you think!