Too Many Novels!

Lately, with all the great ideas my husband and I have come up with from our brainstorming game, I’ve found some shiny new ideas for novels. Not only that, sometimes the ideas fit well with old existing story concepts and rekindle my interest in those projects.

I’m writing them all down for later and sticking to Featherfolk, because I know what happens if I stray down one of those enticing new paths without completing my current project (nothing gets finished).

But my head just feels so crammed full of energy for other projects.

Anyone else feel like this some days?

Happy Yarning.

Also, happy All Hallow’s Eve! Don’t forget the Saints as you devour your loot tomorrow. (Americans sure are good at twisting holidays around.)

Fun Brainstorming Game

IMG_3628

On the drive back from a recent weekend adventure, my husband and I invented a new game.

We took turns challenging each other with random elements from fantasy or sci-fi. The object was to come up with a new and interesting way to use it in a story.

Some of the prompts we played with were Werewolves, Tree Spirits, People Living in Caves, and Music as Magic.

When one of us collected a few thoughts on how to use the element in a non-cliché way, we talked it out. Together, we developed it a little further, asking more questions, coming up with possible plots and sources of conflict. When we ran out of ideas for that prompt, we moved on.

We actually invented some pretty awesome stuff that I jotted down for possible use later.

Like, “Werewolves: They’re not human and never were. They’re a race of shapeshifters, wolf-like in appearance, whose power is tied to the sun and moon. So when the moon is near the sun and “new” they can shift into anything. As the moon gets fuller and farther from the sun, they have a harder time maintaining anything but their own shape.”

I don’t know if anyone has done werewolves that way before, but I’d read it.

I highly recommend this as a way to flex creative muscles and just play with stories.

Happy Yarning!

Considering Economics in a Fantasy Setting

griffin carrots

I don’t have to worry too much about getting food. I get it from the store. I cook it. I eat it. Maybe I’m super awesome and grow my own strawberries or tomatoes, or maybe I don’t.

How do your fantasy characters get food? What does the economy and infrastructure have to be like so your party can mosey on into a tavern at a crossroads in the middle of nowhere and get a meal along with all the other patrons there that night? And is your economic system consistent over a whole shire, state, country, or planet? Whatever your setting, it’s important to consider economics. Magic, especially teleportation abilities, will have a big impact.

My husband and I put together a story idea about a society made up of humans and griffins, at about a 1:1 ratio. For a while, we assumed our griffins were carnivores–you know, because they’re half lion and half eagle.

Then we considered the economics of the situation. What, and how much, did the griffins eat? We asked the internet how much meat a lion eats in a day and realized that with the scale we were considering, all the prey in the area would get eaten up pretty fast. And we didn’t want to make our griffins be nomadic while the humans were agrarian. Ok, so maybe the humans raise goats and the griffins eat those. Bam. Solved.

Until we calculated how many goats it would take to keep a family of griffins fed for a year. Something like 200 goats per family. That wasn’t going to work either.

So, obviously, the griffins were omnivores. If a creature can be both a bird and a mammal and have six limbs, it can darn well be an omnivore if we need it to be. Now we have griffins helping out with plowing and harvesting in the fields, hunting game in the woods, and eating the same meals as the humans.

Don’t be afraid to ask hard questions of your setting, or let others ask. In the end, your story will be healthier.

Happy Yarning!