Wednesday, August 17, 2011
David M. Brown ~ Fezariu's Epiphany ~ Virtual Book Tour! And Prize Drawing!
Please welcome David M. Brown to my blog today. I'm thrilled that he has stopped by on his book tour to discuss world building!
Mr. Brown was born in Barnsley in 1982 and first conceived the idea of Elenchera in college. His love of history and English led him to read these subjects at Huddersfield University. David is inspired by medieval history, Norse mythology and Japanese role-playing video games and anime films. He lives in Huddersfield with his wife Donna and their six rescue cats.
A World Like No Other
Having spent more than ten years building the world of Elenchera I’d like to think I have an idea or two about creating worlds. I’m no expert with all the right answers, you understand, in fact my approach to world building may be completely and utterly wrong in most people’s eyes but these methods have allowed me to make Elenchera what it is today i.e. 2,000+ pages of history, 500+ maps and many memories of aching hands from drawing maps and tired eyes from forming extensive timelines and an A-Z of all things Elenchera (that one is still in progress I’m not ashamed to say!).
I first decided in 1999 that I wanted to start writing fantasy and that it would have to take place in a fictitious world called Elenchera. World building hadn’t been in my list of life experiences up until that point so I was something of an amateur in how to about it. My primary concern was having a world map. I spend a bit of time drawing different lands and continents before feeling the need to colour in the land, mountains, rivers, lakes and the surrounding oceans. Once finished I already had some basic ideas in mind about how the history was going to work out. The positioning of the different islands had left a large body of water effectively splitting the world into East and West Elenchera. Drawing on our own history I decided the two halves would exist oblivious of each other for the first eleven Shards (my term for ages of history in Elenchera). In the Twelfth Shard, voyages of discovery began and what follows is imperialism and colonialism on a huge scale. That strand of history came just from drawing a world map so I’d certainly recommend doing maps of your own. You don’t need to be a cartographer to do so. My maps are absolutely shocking, I don’t mind admitting that, but I am judged on my writing rather than my drawing skills, right?
Elenchera began as one large landmass but during the First Shard it was divided into twenty-three individual lands. Having made that decision I drew the individual maps so I knew the geographical layout for each land and then I drew a different map for each Shard to demonstrate the many changes occurring i.e. new towns erected, settlements destroyed or renamed. Having to draw one for each Shard was laborious work, I’ll admit, but it’s been more than worth it. Having a map with all the landmarks, towns and villages in place is ideal for reference but when working on those early maps I was conscious that they would have few settlements to begin with. Pioneers had to find suitable sites first of all, building isolated settlements in one part of the land before gradually progressing and erecting new villages and towns as they travelled further afield and, of course, the populations increased. These were just the basics I tried to abide by but making sure these aspects were correct made it easier to build the rest of the history.
Rather than do the entire history of individual lands I tended to work on a Shard by Shard basis, ensuring everything was correctly cross-referenced e.g. land A is at war with land B so this must be noted in the individual history of both lands. There were was a time when I did nothing but the history for three years in a row and it became arduous at times but I always reminded myself what I would have once it was finished – an encyclopaedia for a fictitious world, the perfect reference book for writing as many novels as I wish. While Elenchera is still not completed, it is in a position where I can draw inspiration from it for my novels and Fezariu’s Epiphany is the first result of those years spent world building.
The White Oak, Clarendon’s oldest brothel, lured and destroyed men by the thousands. Fezariu was different. He had never been drawn by the White Oak’s vices but the brothel had still ruined him when he was just a boy.
Salvation came in the form of the Merelax Mercenaries – Elenchera’s most prestigious hired hands. They gave Fezariu the chance to escape from his past. Immersed in the world of dangerous assignments in the colonies Fezariu longed to forget everything about his childhood but only in facing the past would he ever be free of it.
RRP: £9.99/$14.99 (paperback), $4.99 (ebook)
A sudden lull in the snowfall allowed the overhanging moon to bask the valley in its nocturnal splendour. Fezariu’s gaze fell upon the crystalline glitter on the surface of the snow and he felt a slight ironic smile come to his numb lips as he absorbed this intricate beauty in the midst of countless fading lives. In his arms, Tessera awoke and now seemed oblivious to the mortal wound she had suffered in the battle the mercenaries had so decisively lost.
‘Do you remember when we first trained with General Bayard, Fezariu?’ Tessera asked, briefly closing her eyes, causing tears to run down her face, their trace briefly alleviating the bitter and enveloping cold.
‘My erstwhile teacher with selective hearing,’ Fezariu replied with a wry smile. ‘How could I forget?’
When Tessera failed to respond, Fezariu began to feel her edging closer to delirium. Her questions became frequent though she awaited no response or acknowledgement of any kind from Fezariu.
‘Do you remember sitting on the wall overlooking Redemption with Vintaro and smoking Mizuansi?’ Tessera asked, between painful coughs. ‘I can still see the luminous stars through the myriad of colours rising from the bowls of our pipes. The seemingly endless conflict throughout the streets was over and with it the rebellion. The city stood subdued and silent save for the foundations of the tallest buildings that still trembled in the aftermath of the devastation. Do you remember the torches that lit up the harbour at Strathmore? Our journey to Clarendon changed everything. We should never have gone there. It was never the same after that. Do you remember, Fezariu?’
The Elencheran Chronicles
The World According to Dave
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