Tag: world building

In the Beginning, There was a Map What comes first when you are building your speculative world? Is it the world? The characters? The story? How do writers decide? Whenever you open a fantasy or science fiction book, usually the first thing you see before you reach chapter one is a map. And when you […]
They are Not the Same Fantasy and folklore share many traits. They are not the same thing. But they share many similarities. Confused? Fantasy fiction is about adventures where the impossible happens and magic and magical creatures exist. Fantasy is about make-belief. Folklore refers to the traditional customs, songs, dances, oral histories, art, sayings, and […]
Every Culture has its Own Holy Places A holy place is any place people consider sacred and a religion considers of special significance. A holy place is not necessarily a church or a temple, although there is usually one erected in them. Pilgrimage to holy places remains popular these days. Indeed, think of some of […]
Sounds Effects for Your Writing They always tell us writers “show, don’t tell”. However, when it comes to horror stories, what you do not see (but hear) can be as frightful, perhaps more so, than showing. Yes, in horror, “listen, don’t tell” may be the better advice. Horror as a genre is about creating scares […]
What is Alternate History? What is Not? Alternate history is a subgenre of speculative fiction in which one or more historical events occur differently. A past event becomes a divergent point which completely changes our timeline. For example, what if Hitler wins World War II? (an idea that was fresh the first hundred times it […]
Pen, Paper, and Pencil In all honesty, I did not grow up with Dungeons and Dragons (D&D). However, I was a big fan of the cartoon. I loved the cartoon. Somehow I was unaware the cartoon (Calabozos y Dragones in Spanish) was based on a tabletop game. Role play games were not a Puerto Rican […]
The Past… With Wizards and Dragons Historical fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy in which the setting is the past, usually (but not limited) to the Middle Ages. It aims for historical accuracy. However, there are magical elements, fantastical creatures, potions, and magical weapons. Yes, it sounds like myths, fables, and legends too. The difference […]
The Problem with Science I love science. Science fiction readers read to see stories in which science and futuristic technology play a prominent role. Without science, science fiction is fantasy or something else. Yes, you cannot have science fiction without science. Nonetheless, sometimes science is the number one enemy of science fiction. For real. It […]
The Study of Us is Also the Study of Them Anthropology is the study of us, human beings. Who we are, who we were, and who we will become? Human beings are complex beings and have evolved throughout centuries and still are evolving. Somewhere in our evolutionary process, cultural evolution overtook biological evolution. Yes, we […]
More than a Plot Device Magic in speculative fiction is often used as a way to advance the plot. However, magic is more than a plot device. You cannot have fantasy without magic. Likewise, magic features prominently in certain horror stories (i.e., supernatural and cosmic horror). When magic is prevalent and natural in the world, […]
March 2023