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The Adventure Begins!
Written by Paul   
Sunday, 31 August 2014 23:26
First Chapter of The Forbidden Island is posted, and we're off!  We'll be crossposting to the free zone for the first 10 chapters or so, so we can get any account problems ironed out.  Come on by and taste the adventure!
 
Signs of Life!
Written by Paul   
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 19:13
Sorry to be quiet here so long, but the campaign is always kind of exhausting, and well, I had other stuff to work on too.  Anyway, posting on The Forbidden Island will (should) commence on Monday the 1st (Labor Day here in the States) and we will cruise on through the end of the year.  But in the interim, here's a little thing I wrote about some things that bother me.

This is called "Things to Remember When You Write Fantasy" - or history, or anything set in a pre-technological age.

Where is the light coming from?  Remember that this is an era when the only light comes from open flames or the sun or the moon or something.  There are no electric lights, no flashlights, and certainly not the big studio lights we see filling in the illumination in every TV show and movie.  Anybody who has ever had their power out for a while can tell you exactly why people went to bed at night in the age before electricity - it was dark, and even reading by candlelight can be a pain in the ass, not to mention doing anything that involves moving around.  How is your super-assassin sneaking past all the guards?  Forget that, how can they see to do it?

Remember that there is weather.  We see so many movies and TV shows shot in California, we tend to sometimes forget that weather is a thing.  Don't have every day be sunny, or just forget to mention weather at all.  What is the climate like where the story is?  Does it rain a lot?  Is it hot out?  Cold?  Remember there is no such thing as air conditioning.  Getting inside out of the sun will not make it all better.  A lot of architecture and housing styles were developed to help cope with uncomfortable weather.  I don't even mean the weather has to be dramatic or dangerous, but it should exist.

Travel and Information.  There's no phones, no internet or even trains, so news is going to take time to get around.  Whole countries can be invaded and conquered before anybody next door even hears about it.  Keep in mind how far apart your locations are, and keep in mind how long it can take to get from one to another.  And however long it takes people to travel it, that's how fast information can move and not much faster, even with unreliable methods like pigeons and such.  The Mongol Empire had a relay news system that could span Asia in about a week, but that was a huge feat of organization for the era, it regularly took caravans months to travel the same distance.  Weather can factor into this too, as well as technology.  Before the invention of lateen sails which allowed sailing into the wind, it could sometimes take months to get a fleet across the English Channel - a body of water that you can see across in good weather, and that human beings have swam across singlehanded.  I guarantee if you put that in a book nobody would believe it.

Sanitation.  This one may have been overdone, but really think about your super-cool fictional city.  Where does their water come from?  How does it get from whatever the source is to places where people can use it?  Are there wells?  Fountains?  Piping?  Where does the water go when you are done with it?  Where does the poop go when you dump it out?  How does garbage get collected?  How is it disposed of?  Think about how much smoke there will be, in a place where everyone uses wood for heat and cooking both.  Where does that come from?

If you don't think about these things, then you end up with a city in your imagination like Minas Tirith in the LotR movies.  Looks pretty doesn"t it?  Where are the fields that produce their food?  Where does their water come from?  How do they pipe it up onto this massive hill?  Where does their sewage go?  And why, for the love of Morgoth, is there no ROAD leading up to their massive gate?  Riddle me that Batman.
 
The End!
Written by Paul   
Monday, 28 July 2014 02:19
Here we have it, the very last bonus scene for The Shadow Princess.  Sorry it's a bit late, but I have been trying to space out the content here and avoid having too long a dry spell between this and the presumed opening of The Forbidden Island sometime next month.

Speaking of, we have had a good weekend, donation-wise, but we are still just at 59% with 8 days to go.  So we have some ground to cover.  Please help if you can, and spread the word if you can't.


 
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