Building a Fantasy World

Please welcome Tom Fallwell, as my guest blogger on ‘Ramblings from a Writers Mind’

11204879_1081984258525096_337361035155144461_nBorn in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 1951, Tom Fallwell spent much of his career as a software developer and programmer. Now retired from that field, he has taken up writing, which he had always loved to do, but did not have the time to indulge himself in. Now he is writing the stories he had always wanted to write. Still living in Oklahoma, Tom is active in church, running the sound system and sometimes teaching adult Sunday School. He has always had a love of fantasy and science fiction, both in reading and in movies. His love of story telling came as a result of playing table top role playing games with friends, in which he created adventures for the other players to experience.

Tom Fallwell is an author of heroic fantasy adventures. His first book, Dragon Rising, was published in late 2014, and the first book in the Rangers of Laerean series, A Whisper In The Shadows, was published in April. 2015. Book #2, Where shadows Fall was published on February 1, 2016. Tom is currently working on Book #3, which is tentatively titled, The Shadow of Narwyrm.

If you wish to be kept up-to-date about special events and new releases by Tom Fallwell, please visit and follow Tom’s social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and YouTube Channel.

 Building a Fantasy World 

As a Fantasy author and lover of epic many fantasy series, like The Lord of the Rings, and also a fan of role-play gaming, I’ve always had a fascination for world building. Building a fantasy world can involve very little, or quite a lot, depending on how you approach it and what you want to do with it. Deatails can be scarce, or intense.

In my gaming experience in the past, I only had to create enough of a world to deal with the adventure I was creating for my players. So I only needed a coastline, or a mountain range. Perhaps a desert or forest where all the action took place. In my first novel, Dragon Rising, I limited myself to a single Kingdom, and left references beyond its borders purposely vague and undetailed.

 When I began to think of my current series of novels, the Rangers of Laerean, I knew I wanted something far more rich in history, rich in lore and with great detail. I thought about many aspects of the world I wanted to create. The politics, the races, the creatures, the economy, and so much more. This involved a great deal of time and contemplation, and lengthy note-taking sessions.

 If we look at the world created by J.R.R. Tolkien, which he called Middle Earth, we can see how deep the rich detail and history he put into that work went. It was more than just drawing a map. There are political systems, racial cultures, economic systems, and within that world are many kingdoms and creatures. He detailed not only those elements, but also how they all interacted with each other. Middle Earth is a massive undertaking, and my hat is off to Mr. Tolkien, for he not only did it, he did it with such fantastic and imaginative detail that his world now lives on today, in the minds of fantasy fans everywhere.

 This is the kind of world I wanted for the Rangers of Laerean, and I spent many hours writing down thoughts, drawing maps, and considering how the political and economical factors would come into play, as well as how each race would have their own culture and history, religions and politics. It is a lot to deal with, and in fact, is an ongoing process that I don’t think will ever truly end.

 Creating a section of a world takes less work, but to truly create an entire fantasy world is a huge undertaking and requires much work and enormous amounts of energy and imagination. So how do I do it? A very good question.

 I think the simplest way to begin such a monumental task is to just start. Where? That matters less than just getting the process going. Once I started, things become much less confusing and more focused. I began with a map. I mapped a continent, a large one, added mountains, forests, an inland sea, and many other features. I even added a desert and a swamp. Then, as I began naming these features, I started getting other ideas that would lead to elements of history and legends that I took notes on for my planned stories and for future stories.

 I created four races for my world, though I will likely add others later, from other continents, perhaps. What I have created is something about the size of North America, and the world is a much bigger place, so there is room to continue to grow. I added many common and some strange creatures, and yet, the continent I’ve created is so large, it’s quite possible there are areas where creatures and things that haven’t yet been discovered may be revealed in later stories.

 When it comes right down to it, I’m nowhere near finished creating the world I now have, and I will continue to add to it, modify it, and develop more lore and more history, which in turn helps define the present and the future. It’s still being developed, in the stories I write, and in the notes I write down for later. Constantly increasing in size and scope, and constantly evolving.

 I doubt it will ever reach a point that I can say, “It is done!” My only hope is, that in the far future, long after I am gone, that fantasy fans will know about the world I have created, and enjoy the stories I have placed within it, and say, “What a fantastic world he created!” Just as we do for past authors, like Tolkien, today. I believe Middle Earth was Tolkien’s dream world, and in the world I have created, my dreams can come true as well.

 

 Find out more about Tom on these social sites

Facebook: http://facebook.com/TomFallwellAuthor

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/11303749.Tom_Fallwell

Website: http://tomfallwell.com

 

 Click on the image to get Tom’s books

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Fantastic Journeys Into Fantasy

I am very happy to have Mr. Tom Fallwell, a friend and fellow ‘Awethor’ as my guest blogger today.

Tom is a fantastic writer of captivating and enchanting fantasy fiction, including his latest book ‘Where Shadows Fall’

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There are many genres for stories. Whether they are told in books, in novels, in games, or some other format. There are just as many fans with the same variety of tastes that clamor for them. I have a great passion for reading and watching movies both, and I read and watch many different genres, but there is one that I find the most enjoyable, Fantasy. So what is it about this particular genre that grabs me? What makes it my favorite? There are many reasons, but if I had to describe why in one word, it would be “limitless”.

I don’t read to escape real life. In fact, I like my life, so I have no desire to escape it. I read for one reason, entertainment. The same reason I watch a movie or a television show. I am simply desiring some moments of entertainment. With a movie, it’s over in a couple of hours, but with a good novel, I can spend days, weeks maybe, reading, and that’s even better. So, my sole reason is for entertainment, and the more entertaining, the better.

Fantasy, as a genre, provides me with a vast universe of entertainment. I can go anywhere, be anyone, do anything. There are no limits in fantasy. No hard cut rules that must be followed. Fantasy can take you into the past, to the present, and even into the future. It can happen right here in our own world, or it can take you to a whole new world beyond imagination. Any possible race can be portrayed in fantasy, any possible creature, any possible setting.

I think, more than anything else, it is this limitless macrocosm of possibilities that make fantasy my genre of choice. I had one reader of my first novel, Dragon Rising, once tell me that my characters having quivers was incorrect, that they did not use quivers in medieval times. I thought, “What medieval times? This is another world, not ours. Of course they can have quivers”. Fantasy is not bound by such rules, at least not in my mind.

It is the unbound possibilities that draws me to fantasy. Sure, you can do the same with other genres, like science-fiction, but with those other genres, you have to make a plausible explanation about why or how. With fantasy, you can just say it is, because it is. Readers may have different views, like the one who thought I should not use quivers, but there are just as many readers that will not even think of such a limitation. So fantasy gives me a sense of freedom in writing that I don’t find in other genres.

Limitless boundaries to a limitless imagination. That is what fantasy is to me. Are you a fantasy fan? Why do you like fantasy? Feel free to tell me, or ask questions about my books. Stop by my website and use the Contact Form to get in touch. I would love to hear what you think. Happy reading!

Tom Fallwell

 

Visit me at my website or on Facebook.

http://tomfallwell.com

http://facebook.com/TomFallwellAuthor

Books by Tom Fallwell

Dragon Rising: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RGZU56Q  

A Whisper In The Shadows: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VYL2426

Where Shadows Fall: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VYL2426

 

Why would you even bother reading a book?

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    Believe it or not this was said to me today in a general conversation. Needless to say that the person who spoke these particular words did not know I was an author; I did not enlighten them either!

    However, for my part these simple few words started a chain of thought that, as the day progressed, continued to reoccur in various forms. This post is the result of some of the fleeting impressions these musings have left me.

    By the way I am solely writing with regards to reading fictional books, as this was the original topic of discussion this morning.

    For those techno-loving geeky types, I am not separating e-books from their paper counterparts as they were not distinguished as separate entities during the debate.

So on with the post…….Firstly, why read a book when we are surrounded by a plethora of various media platforms, allowing access to just about every form of entertainment available by a simple click of a mouse, a push of a button, or a touch of a screen?

My answer to this is that all forms of moving picture media leaves very little exercise for the mind.

Once again I will say ALL forms, whether it is a chick-flick or shoot-um-up film, a drama, play, soap opera, or another genre.

Each and every one spoon feeds the viewer the information required and therefore leaves very little, if anything for the imagination to create.

However involved the viewer may become in the plot of the programme he or she is watching, their mind is purely focused on the screen, watching antics and listening to the words of the actors alone.

Do not get me wrong, I enjoy a good film as much as the next man; I love watching plays and intriguing dramas, and yet no matter how well directed, produced, or acted they may be, such simply cannot begin to compete with a well written book.

What is so special about reading is that it can do something that no other form of entertainment can possibly achieve.fit-girl-working-out-fgp9n

A book can give your mind a ruddy good workout, a neuron enhancing, cognitive improving gym session like no other.

Allow me to explain……When you watch something on a screen you are seeing a story through the eyes of the director, via a screen writers interpretation of a story that has most probably been adapted from another medium, possibly that well written book I mentioned a short while ago.

Therefore what you are seeing is actually a director’s vision, of a third of fourth hand edited version of an original work. Doesn’t seem so good now does it?

Another downside to watching a screenplay is when one of the characters, (which will be the actors portrayal of the watered down interpretation of the directors version of that original piece of work), walks across the car park and drives away in a dark shiny car, you will see exactly from which direction the actor enters the car park, see how the parking lot is lit, know what model car he climbs into, and just how fast he drives away.

That is okay, but it is hardly fascinating, is it?

However, within those magic pages of a book all that action is yours, and yours alone. No one else will ever see the same man walk through the same car park and slide behind the wheel of that car. Only you know how the parking lot smells, which lights were dim and flickering. Only you can sense the suppleness of the leather seats and watch through the windshield as he drives, tyres squealing, up the ramp and out into the….daylight / darkness of a rainy night?

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Now you are beginning to see why I love reading.

Everything conjured up by the words on the page are designed to stimulate your mind, not only by guiding you through the storyline, the plot, sub-plots and twists to bring you to a conclusion, but to excite every cerebral nerve in your mind to create entire worlds where you can escape to for hours on end.

It is your personal world, an exclusive world, where every drop of rain, each blade of grass, the people who inhabit it, the scents, the very texture of material are all yours, and yours alone. A semi-mystical fantasy world where love, hate, lust, passion, jealousy and forgiveness can be experienced without fear.

There is no other form of entertainment that can even come anywhere close to that which can be delivered by a good book.

As I have said above, I love reading, I enjoy the escapism it provides. Which is also why I enjoy writing; when I write I hope to give my readers the same experience, the same satisfaction that I get when I’m deeply lost, in my own netherworld, following the storyline of a Novel.

Even if you do not read one of my books, please buy one, even two of somebody else’s and start reading straight away. I know you will enjoy.

Thanks for reading this!

Paul.

In the Darkness of Illusion

 

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It is two thirty in the morning.

I should be sleeping.

But like many writers, it is in these ‘wee hours’ that our minds race, that our thoughts begin to gel into some recognisable form of understanding. Thoughts that we must ‘get down on paper’ NOW.

Not later. Later is no good.

By later the concepts, the feelings, the ideas will have shrivelled like the skin of a rotting fruit. No longer will these ideas have the shiny skin of freshness. No longer will each sentence be sweet with the flowing fructose of conception. So now is the time to allow our words to freely spill onto those blank pages, pages of lingering anticipation.

By sunrise, sleep has yet again passed us by. Another coffee and a cool shower invigorates, just enough to face the daylight hours which queue before us, clambering for our attention, calling us to deal with the mundane tasks of reality, the chores of daily living.

Distracted our thoughts, our fantasies and whimsies sink into the subconscious. Some hide in the darker shadows, others play truant, while many are lost forever. Those dark hours, the late nights and early mornings are the vampiric lairs of the writer.

Sunrise brings only loss of procession, a stilling of conscious reasoning, a slowing of creativity. Staggering along throughout the day we long for the sun to set, look towards the dusk with wistful eyes, longing for the darkness to envelop once us once more, to fold us in its soft cloak of imagination.

Because here in the quiet, in the still of the night, is where the bats of illusion flit freely in the caverns of our minds. All that is witnessed, touched, seen, tasted and heard during the day is fired in the cauldron of concept and fantastical prophecy. This is the time when mystical worlds are created from a scattering of magical runes and symbols we call letters.

Twenty Six7f3f9ede89ac78685ce79af4fbeffb18 tiny marks which have the power to enter the mind and take control of whoever is reading, whisking reality away and replacing it with netherworld where all is possible and perception an illusion.

Yet it takes a mighty wizard of the quill to cast such formidable spells from so few tiny symbols. The craft of wordsmithing is often a lonely and long journey through the forests of despair and foreboding.

Yet when the daylight of publication looms bright, the rewards of satisfaction bring the cost of toiling through those darkest of late nights, the journey of self-doubt and inner loathing, well worth the pain and agony’s suffered.

The price can be high, but the rewards glorious.

Thank you for walking through the forests with me tonight, Paul.

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While you are here why not grab a copy of the award-winning Dark Words, You can find it on Amazon UK https://amzn.to/2GOuHq0

or in the USA at,  https://goo.gl/X8Q1dX

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Do not cry for us

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It is another late night.

I have taken myself off to bed once, but to no avail; sleep evades me, scurrying away into the darkness the moment my eyelids become heavy.

So, I return to the keyboard and start tapping away, to see what devils play within my mind tonight. Only it is no longer night, it is two-thirty in the morning.

Sometimes, this is when all the indiscriminate arbitrary concepts and vague notions I have considered during the days previous, formulate themselves into a cohesive interrelated and reasonably logical order, thus forming a coherent chain of words, which when read back, actually convey my original inspiration and intention to the reader.

This period, at least for myself, generally occurs at arbitrary times. It is haphazard, irregular and unselective. Although these late nights, these solitary, unsocial and introverted hours are those that commonly prove the most creatively productive.

In the morning, (read later today), after and eventually, I have achieved some sleep, I shall present myself to the world in a fashion that shall cause the casual observer to regard me as introverted and unsociable.

Although this would not be my elected preference, I cannot chastise those who would consider me as such, because I know I shall be ruminating and deliberating over the words I have written tonight and, as such, my demeanour shall convey my meditation as distant and antisocial.

This is a burden carried upon the shoulders of many, if not all, creative writers.

The creativity and ingenuity required to conjure fictional lives from the rawness of neural pathways, to weave nether worlds from mere suggestion, or pen flowing poetry which stirs passions of the heart and excites emotion, thrives best when it is born from the isolated world of the solitary writer.

Distraction is a temporary remedy, a partial relief of this symptomatic characteristic trait. However, there is no cure. This is the writer’s curse.

Do not cry for us.

This is our choice, our drug of life which brings its own highs, begets its rewards in other forms of alternate kinds.

Satisfaction and stimulation of your mind, your heart and your soul is our reward.

To tease and toy with your emotions until you lose, for those moments, your sense of the world around you and escape into ours, into our fictitious realm, our domain of narrative legend.

That is our reward, our incentive and our recompense.

Thank you for reading, Paul White.


You can find a great selection of amazing reads all in one special Amazon store specially designed for you, the avid reader.

@open24 has books from Electric Eclectic, Dragonfly books, Crimson Cloak publishers and me, Paul White, along with a great selection of children’s books and a wonderful choice of gifts for readers and authors.

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The Secret Entity

Books, novels, novellas, whatever term you use it does not really matter. Neither does it matter, in this instance, if you are reading a hardcover book, a paperback or even an e-reader. Because this post is about the story that lays within, not the format, the genre or classification of the book.

A story is a most wondrous gift which can be bestowed on anyone. It affords an avenue of escapism from life, from reality. A tale can whisk you away to worlds which do not exist but feel real, feel true as you read and absorb each word on each and every page.

A great story will draw you in, make you part of its netherworld, a place where you can battle the bad guys, or be the bad guy, or girl, or dog or horse… or simply watch, from your lofty viewpoint, all that transpires below.

No matter if you love a twisted plot of dirty deeds, or raunchy romance, fast action with death and destruction, a private detective prying into everyone’s business, or a love and betrayal saga of family and ever-changing fortunes;  as a reader you must consider how the author weaves such magic, how they are able to draw you into their fiction, into their deep mindbending imagination.

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Whether you are laying on a recliner by the pool, soaking up the sun at the beach, or simply curled up in your armchair at home, a book is a magical portal, a gateway to another life, through which you can escape the humdrum of everyday tasks, at least for a while.

When you immerse yourself into a story the mundane evaporates, it disappears into the shadows of forgotten responsibilities, while you become absorbed into your own private world, a world that no other person can ever become part of.

Now, you may find my last statement somewhat beguiling.

Why would I say no other person could possibly enter the same world as you? After all you are reading just one copy, a single edition of a book. Many other people are, or must have, read the same story? They too must have visited this fantastical world you now find yourself in?

WRONG.

Unlike watching the television, a downloaded video, or visiting the cinema where you sit with family and friends watching precisely the same action, hearing the same sounds, the same voices, a book is a far more personal experience.

It is a unique individual encounter.

When you read a story your eyes will be scanning the chains of words which are sequenced by the author. Yet it is not the author who is telling you the story. It is not these chains of words, mere ink blobs on the pages which paint those pictures in your mind. It is not they which lead you from one scene to another.

You see, in between the words there lies an invisible entity.

It is this entity which connects your mind to the authors, no matter how far away they may be in distance or time. Alive or long dead… you will become connected.

It is this which is the true magic of a book.

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Wonderful plays and fantastic films work from the basis of good creative script writing, however, assisting the scriptwriters to deliver the words to an audience, in a manner the will capture their attention are the actors and actresses. Their ability to deliver a speech or to convey dialogue convincingly is a wonderful skill.

Cameramen, directors, special effects, best boy’s and grips… and so on produce the scenes and effects. But that vision, the moving images on the screen and the actor’s voices are not your story; they are the director’s interpretation of the screen-writers construal of the original play, which is based on the television series of the original book written by… whoever it may be.

I prefer a direct connection to the author, one without the intervention of another person’s personal translation being foisted upon me.

Without becoming too technical, I am writing this post in a style far removed from the one I am using to write my novel. The way you are reading this is the way I have deliberately formatted my narration. In this instance as if I am speaking, talking directly to you personally.

In my stories the voice you hear is inside your own head, it may be omnipotent, or it may seem as if one of the characters is speaking, telling you the tale; it depends on how I intend you to hear my story.

I hope I have explained that clearly?

 

The second reason reading a book is such a personal experience is, as you read your mind creates a world so real and so detailed and in such a subjective form, it is only possible for it to exist in your own imagination.

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Take a simple statement:

The long black sedan drew up to the pavement outside the hotel.

Simple?

Yes?

No.

If it were a film I would agree because we would have both seen the same car, drive up to the same hotel, from the same direction, in the same weather conditions, at the same time of day….same….same…same.

However, when you are absorbed into the story of a book, you have to create the car yourself, imagine which direction it is driving, how the daylight reflects from its bodywork, or the lights glint on its polished paintwork as it drives under the portico of the main entrance… oh wait, your hotel did not have a portico? And it was not in a city centre… well, that’s ok, because this is your story and yours alone.

In mine it was night, the car was a dark blue stretched Bentley continental, what make was it in yours?  Was it a stretch, was it blue or black… or white? What time of day, or night did you create for your story? Was it Chauffeur driven?

This is the reason you cannot read the same story as your friends, your mother, sister, brother, uncle, aunt or Little Lord Fauntleroy. You can read the same book, but you can never experience the same story.

Ahh, now you are beginning to understand the true magic of a book, the amazing mystical power of narration.

It is something unique, something no other medium can offer.

Which is why I love the written word, why I love books above and beyond any other form of media for regaling a great story.

It is why I love to write.

Talking about writing… have you read any of my Electric Eclectic novelettes yet?

If not, you are missing a treat; Electric Eclectic novelettes contain an amazing and captivating short story.

Each novelette is written as introductory book so you can experience my writing style, which I hope you will like so much you will then grab more of my books!

With each Electric Eclectic novelette cosing a mere 1.00, you could try two or three, or more, Electric Eclectic authors novelettes, you may even find your ‘next favourite author’ among them. 

I hope so.

Visit the Electric Eclectic website HERE

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