May 27, 2015

Warning: time for a rant!


This fed through in my FB feed and can I just say “argghhh!”? This kind of thing gets me so riled up as both a writer and a reader. Technically I’m not aiming to write YA since my characters are all aged in the New Adult range (the youngest is 18, but he’s got a career and by book two he’s married), but I could easily be lumped there since I write lighthearted bordering on comedic with youngish characters. I know that when I go to approach agents and whatnot once these books are ready for the world to see them, I’m going to have a hell of a time getting them picked up. Most of my cast is LGBT, very few of them are white (because pale skin makes no sense for the location of the culture), I’ve got some disability-type things in there (so far there’s a main character with anxiety/social phobia and a secondary who is unable to speak), and I don’t ever try to hide these things in subtext. Oh, and the culture itself? Triads are the normal form of marriage. Look at me, corrupting and alienating readers with my committed, healthy relationships and non-white characters.

THIS is the kind of story I want to read, which is why it’s the kind of story I’m writing. And you know what? I’ve had quite a few people say that they want me to finish writing the series because they want to read it. Because it’s different. I’m so freaking sick of agents and publishers saying how anything not mainstream won’t sell. It will. Diversity is important. New ideas are important.

To disprove the theory that the same old, same old is what people want to read: I’m straight and as white as you can get and have far more interest in reading diversity than about people exactly like me. It’s boring, honestly. Give me something new. Let me learn about things that are unfamiliar to me.

This turned into a rant, but it’s just something I feel so strongly about. I don’t want to come off as “my writing is amazing!” because honestly it’s a pile of messy first and second drafts. My point is to let there be diversity. It’s a good thing! Really! People who don't fit into the published mainstream want representation. People who do fit into the mainstream should be allowed the opportunity to learn about people who are different from them. It's a win-win all around.

~Meri
(This mini-rant is crossposted from my Tumblr blog.)

May 17, 2015

Calendar Time!



Working on a calendar! I am LOVING the calendar creator over on http://donjon.bin.sh/fantasy/calendar/ After months of pondering this, I've finally sorted out my months of the year and the days of the week. However, this is... well, confusing. I had planned on labeling my flashback scenes/chapters so the reader knew when they took place, but something tells me "Andante 38th, 454" and "Chiaroscuro 3rd, 460" are probably not much of a help unless people don't mind indexes or explanation pages in fantasy. ;)

Each month has 40-41 days in it, there are 9 months in the year and 6 days in a week. I'm pretty sure I can make this work (I already know I'm going to need an index since this is very much not Earth), but it's going to take some clever writing to not frustrate the reader. I hope I'm up to the task! (I don't use a lot of made up words since that always drives me crazy- it's mainly the calendar that's different. All my characters' names and titles, as well as cities and locations, are normal and pronounceable.)

This is an art-centric culture, so the months are named after the muses of each branch of art. These muses are actually the constellations; legend says they came down from the sky to teach their artistic knowledge to the old artists centuries ago.

The days of the week are named after the six main founders of the country. Originally these started off as "Ceadda's Turn", "Petra's Turn", "Daegal's Turn", etc, but over the centuries that became shortened to things like "Ceadurn". A "turn" is what they call a day and a "rotation" is about an hour- the reason for this is that the building that housed the founders (and now houses the Artisan's Guild) is circular and rotates during the day, making a full turn by the next day. The building is essentially a clock.

And that's my world-building rambling for the day. :)

~Meri

May 4, 2015

Starting to draw some maps!


After three years of working on this series, I've finally started making some maps. (This fact makes me giggle because my main character is a cartographer and he's been bugging me about maps the whole time.) These are very rough and aren't much to look at yet, but this will eventually be the layout of the Artisan’s guild, which is where most of book 2 takes place; the series returns here every so often. I am in love with this building! It’s huge- each of the visiting artist bedrooms on the second floor (the tiny line spaces in the bottom left circle) are only slightly smaller than my own tiny apartment. The center circle area is a grotto that's more like a small forest. The building itself is neat because it changes appearance with the seasons and it serves as a giant clock. The reason for that is because it slowly turns as the day progresses so the artist studios (the rooms at the top of the top-right drawing) always face the sun for the best lighting. It's so much fun writing a culture of artists and inventors!

I still have to polish these up, then I'm going to start working on the layouts of my carnies' wagons, the map of the capital city, and the map of the country. I probably should map this portion of the world, too, but that’s probably getting ahead of myself. ;) I'll share better pictures once I have them more finished.

~Meri