The Ultimate Guide To World-Building: Featured Article on Writer’s Edit

A couple of months ago, I started working with the lovely team at Writer’s Edit, a wonderful online literary magazine and small press. If you’re a writer, a reader or an all-round lit-lover, you’ll want to check out this site – it’s an expansive literary hub, containing everything from advice for writers to book reviews to publishing industry news and insights.

Writer’s Edit has also published Kindling, a diverse anthology of short fiction, poetry and non-fiction that’s well worth getting your hands on. Plus, they’re running an awesome competition at the moment, which could have you winning all sorts of prizes like novel-writing software and writerly book packs – and you get a free ebook just for entering. What’s not to love?! (Be quick with that one, though – entries close on Wednesday the 15th.)

Image via Instagram: @writersedit.

Anyway, I’m excited to say that this week sees my first feature article published on Writer’s Edit! ‘The Ultimate Guide to World-Building: How To Write Fantasy, Sci-Fi and Real Life Worlds’ pretty much does what it says on the label. It’s an in-depth look at the creation processes behind great fictional worlds, drawing advice and examples from master world-builders like Tolkien, GRRM and (my hero) J. K.

If you’re a writer looking to invent a new world (or simply create a sense of place using our existing one), it may be worth having a read. Even non-writers who love reading fantasy or sci-fi might enjoy learning what goes on behind the scenes of their favourite made-up universe! So whether you’re a fan of dragons, dystopias or real-world destinations, make a cup of tea and head over to Writer’s Edit for an afternoon read.

LOTRDid someone say ‘afternoon tea’? Painting by the talented Christopher Clark.
Harry PotterMy ultimate fantasy destination: Hogwarts. Image via Pottermore.
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Things I Love Lately…Six Months Later

If there’s anybody still out there… HELLO! After six months of complete silence, I’m back.

I feel REALLY slack for having let the blog go for this long. I was just so busy – working two jobs, keeping up with postgrad study, trying to maintain some semblance of a social life – and blogging was, unfortunately, relegated to the bottom of my priority list.

However! A few things have changed since I last posted. Last month, I made the decision to leave my bookshop so I could just stick with the one job. I absolutely loved working at the bookshop, but it was time to leave. I now work solely as a writer (or ‘Communications Coordinator’, if you want to get technical), taking on more projects and loving every minute of it.

So now that I’m starting to get settled into a better routine, I’m going to make an effort NOT to leave a gigantic six-month gap in between posts here! I thought I’d kick things back off with a nice little set of ‘Things I Love Lately’. :)

White Bird Art

WBA (2)Image via White Bird Art

I love birds and woodland animals and beautiful drawings and sticking pretty things on my walls. (Who doesn’t?) So when I came across White Bird Art, it was instant love.

They’re two amazingly talented girls from Sydney who create gorgeous artworks of birds, foxes, flowers and just all manner of loveliness. I picked out two of their prints for Nate to get me for my birthday, and they are such a sweet addition to the walls of our little apartment.

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As well as being ridiculously clever, the girls themselves are lovely too – my prints got lost in the mail thanks to AusPost being dodgy, and they were SO helpful and wonderful about it!

You can visit White Bird Art’s Etsy shop here and their website here. And by ‘can’ I mean ‘should, right now’.

WBA (1)Image via White Bird Art

Cormac McCarthy

McCarthy

I remember one of my undergrad writing teachers always going on about Cormac McCarthy, never missing an opportunity to spruik the harsh American beauty of his prose. When he showed us an excerpt, I read it, went ‘eh’, and didn’t think about McCarthy again until this year.

My bad.

Getting an awesome discount at the bookshop I worked at was beneficial to more than just my budget: it made it easier for me to expand my reading repertoire. We stocked a fair few of McCarthy’s books, some with beautiful, striking cover designs that always caught my eye when I was stocking shelves. I decided to give him a go and start with No Country for Old Men, which is obviously one of his better-known works.

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Eight pages in, my thoughts, as recorded on Twitter, were:

  1. Interesting.
  2. Has he actually removed the comma button from his keyboard?

Dude doesn’t use a lot of punctuation.

I found it weird at first, but slowly and surely, I got completely sucked in by this sparse, gritty novel. His prose, which seems at first to be nothing but long sentences with lots of ‘and’s, has this strange, hypnotic, addictive quality. It completely draws you into his world – whether that be the dusty, gun-slinging, drug-running world of No Country, or the bleak, never-ending, post-apocalyptic highway that is The Road.

Don’t you just love it when you find a new author to add to your favourites?

Lego Harry Potter

Image via megagamesImage via megagames

To anyone who knows me, it’s no secret that I am a shameless, hardcore, lifelong Harry Potter fan. Like, I’m talking Hedwig and Time-Turner ornaments on my desk, movie soundtracks playing while I do uni work… Yep.

Processed with VSCOcam with a5 presetProof that my desk is something of a HP trinket shrine.

Anyway, I’ve realised that one of the key feelings I get from anything Potter-related is comfort. It was such a huge part of my childhood and brought me so much joy that every time I immerse myself even slightly in that world, I just feel calmed.

So when I was feeling a little stressed out by work and uni lately, the most brilliantly genius idea popped into my head: I should absolutely, totally get a Harry Potter game to play on Nate’s Xbox. (How I hadn’t thought of this before, I have no idea.)

Off I trotted to the shops, with seasoned Xbox veteran Nate in tow to help me out. I ended up scoring a secondhand copy of Lego HP Years 1–4 for $20! Potentially THE BEST $20 I HAVE EVER SPENT.

Image via lego.wikia.comImage via lego.wikia.com

I’m proud to say that my previously non-existent Xbox skills have increased tenfold! I can now run around, jumping and joyfully Expelliarmusing everyone in sight, all without looking at the controls. One hundred points to Hufflepuff. (I fully embrace the fact that I would absolutely be sorted into Hufflepuff.)

Anyway, the point of all this is, I have found a new method of stress management and it is exploding things and making potions as a little Harry made of blocks. I highly recommend that you give it a try. x