Showing posts from April, 2016

Creating a Map of Your World: Part Four

We're at the end of this series, I hope you enjoyed it so far... but let's get to the end, because its about time, am I right?

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

When you're playing with a world that is just HUGE, you may need to embiggen bits and pieces of it to give a zoomed in map of a specific area.

If you can scan the full map in, awesome. If you can't, you can do it the way I did and use a picture of the big map. Then it's just a matter of cropping and resizing. et Voila!

Repeat one of the first steps
If you recall from part two, the easiest way (imo) to transfer your coast lines, etc to a fresh piece of paper is by making those lines prominent with a dark marker and then busting out your light table/pad.

Add in the Particulars
This is a step that is going to depend entirely on you. I myself have one map that requires the embiggenment because of the need for itty bitty details. So here, you use the rough outline from your big map to place the features o…

7 Careers You Should Consider Instead of Writing

Experimental Drug Test Subject – You like the stories that play out in your head? You are going to LOVE the side-effects of our newest acne treatment! Early tests show that our side effects include in-depth hallucinations. Want to talk to the most conscientious wall you’ve ever encountered? How about learning what it’s like to have the floor really be lava! Best part! It’s legal drug use! (Other side effects include: Explosive diarrhea, suicidal behavior, pica, an intense urge to insert non-metallic objects into… well, unfortunate places.)
This is obviously preferable to writing because you’ll get to explore the minds inside your head and have your memories altered!

IRS Auditor – No one likes the IRS (I mean, at best, we’re apathetic to them). Make your mark on the world by starting a career in a profession that is understaffed, over stressed and spends most of the year in a mad dash to keep up with the ever changing laws in their own workplace.
Chances are, you’re going to write a book…

Creating A Map Of Your World: Part 3

This is a four part series, so hop back and check last week’s if you haven’t already and come back for parts three and four!
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4
Create Borders If you’re working on a large scale (creating a continent or a whole planet) you’ll want to create borders for your different countries, kingdoms, realms etc.

If you’re working with something with a historical vibe, your borders will usually follow some sort of geological formation, and they usually won’t be straight. Maps for “newer” civilizations will very likely have straight lines based on things like longitude and latitude, or walls/fences.

Ink Outline At this point, since you’ve got everything figured out place wise. It’s a good thing to set the lines with ink. I’ve used sharpies or G2 pens to do this most often. Fine-point felt pens are also a good option.

Rough Draft Geographical features This is a step you can skip. Sometimes, you just aren’t going to have any. Or they’re not important enough to the story to go i…

Guest Post: Christine Rains - Top 5 Favorite Urban Fantasy Worlds

Today I'm over at Christine's blog talking about my Top 5 Fairytale Retellings. Stop by and check it out after you read about her favorites.

Take it away, Christine!

By Christine Rains
Thanks so much to Amy for having me on her blog today. I'm excited to talk about the worlds in one of my favorite genres: urban fantasy.
There are so many awesome worlds in this genre. Ones that lay secret beneath the mundane world we know, and others that are alternate modern worlds in which our planet had taken a turn for the better... or worse.

1. The Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. Kate kicks butt in a world which has suffered a magical apocalypse. Technology pushed too fast and too far, and magic fought back without mercy. Magic is wild here and it feeds upon technology. It comes and goes with no reason. When the magic leaves, spells fail and tech works again. There are magical hotspots like a whole neighborhood made out of glass which could fall a…

IWSG: Am I Writing In The Wrong Genre?

I’ve been self-publishing since July of 2013 and though I’ve always called myself a speculative fiction author, up until this year, I’ve only published Science Fiction novels and short stories.
In February, that changed.
I put out the first in a series of Clockwork Fairytale novellas. Something interesting happened.
They began to sell with a level of success that I hadn’t seen in my SF titles. Which led me to an interesting question: Am I writing in the wrong genre?
The question arose because of the large sales numbers (comparative to my SF titles) and the fact that I had done nothing differently for these books. It is entirely possible that there is some other factor that I’m completely overlooking, but I don’t know what it is. What I do now is that I’ve moved more books in the first 3 months of this year than all of 2015 and the split is 86%/14% Clockwork Fairytales/Everything else.
But that leads to the question: What genre am I writing in anymore. These fairytale retellings are fant…

Creating A Map Of Your World: Part 2

This is a four part series, so hop back and check last week’s if you haven’t already and come back for parts three and four! Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Prep your proportions If your map is crazy big (like mine was) you may need to deal with that. In my case, I took a picture of the whole map and then I popped it on my computer, dropped it into a word document (because I needed to be sure it worked on a 11x17 sheet of paper) added a few minor details, and then printed the think out!

You may be able to skip this step if your original version fits on a normal sheet of paper.

Break our your black marker Step two is necessary in my opinion, just for ease of later use. Grab yourself a sharp black marker and trace out everything from your map that you want to use, coast lines, lakes, possibly rivers. Whatever you want in your end product,you’ll want to put it in here now

Do the Line Work You can do this on a window if you’ve got a sunny day, but I use my nifty light pad (grab your own here).


March Numbers & April Goals

~March Numbers~

In Real Life: March is always a strange month. My birthday was at the beginning (Yay, achievement unlocked: 29), my anniversary was at the end (2 years of awesome!), and I had a trio of medical fun in between. Also, taxes.
Other than those four things, life was mostly normal. I drank tea, I wrote and edited like it was going out of style, and I feel like an unproductive slouch because I didn’t get everything on my to-do list done (even though I know my monthly to-do lists are a little ridiculous – 3 pages long).

Reading: 3 books
(Avg GR rating 2.5)

Cinder | Hazel & Gretel | Lace & Bullets
I don’t know what’s up with this month, but reading was a wash. Of the three books in that list, one is mine, one I didn’t finish because it was awful, and the other, while delightful, still left me apathetic to picking up the next book. I just don’t know what’s up with the reading blues last month.
Writing: 57,909-wds in 21 days
(Avg 2,757.5 w/day)

No complaints here (okay some, but th…