At some point while working on In Honor’s Shadow I began TAKING notes in a 70 page spiral notebook. The first 15 pages are filled with notes about Japanese swords, their cultural significance, and my own ideas of how I wanted to have that reflected in my setting. There are details on everything from the etiquette involved with swords, to the process of their construction, to the societal rules that revolve around them.
Keep in mind that what follows applies to my setting only and should not be used as an example of Japanese culture. Much of what I present here is simply made up an intended to emphasize various details that come up with traditional Japanese weapons.
Now that November is half done it seemed a good time to make a progress update about how things are going with my “break.” Surprisingly, better than I expected. I’m currently slightly more than 50% done with the goals I set for myself which is fitting. Just going to keep this pretty short as I doubt anyone really cares about this stuff, but I want to document it for my benefit.
One thing I love about World Building is how as things flesh out new questions naturally begin to arise. When I first fleshed out the social structure that surrounds my story I based it off of what I had read about feudal Japanese society. If you look to social pyramid to the right you will notice it looks very much like what I laid out in my last world building post.
Although I already knew why merchants were considered the bottom of the social order historically, I found myself intrigued by the idea. How do these people survive when they are mostly viewed as a necessary evil?
What challenges do they face? Are the stated reasons for their place in society the same as the real reasons? Are shop owners considered merchants if they sell goods they haven’t produced themselves? For that matter, with so much stigma how many merchants exist and how successful are they?
This is a lot of important information for me to know. True, my story focuses on the nobility, however knowing at least the basics of the empire’s economy is a good idea. At the very least I need to know who makes what, and how goods get distributed. Perhaps I have no immediate plans to use the information, but by virtue of having it at my disposal I now have more tools for future stories should I need them.
So, as a fun exercise, I’ve decided to do a very basic outline about how I think things work and post the result of this early work. Things won’t be set in stone at such an early stage, and I may decide to revisit this at a later time. If so I’ll likely share the changes I make as well.
The first law decreed by the new Emperor simply stated that no kingdom under his rule could contradict his laws. Each King was free to oversee his demesne as he saw fit, however he wouldn’t have the authority to thwart the Emperor’s wishes. This first tenant of our budding society established the notion of Imperial Primacy.
To ensure compliance with the first law, the Emperor then made a second decree: Henceforth every Kingdom was required to maintain a record of the Imperial Laws within its capital, available for public viewing, engraved upon slabs of granite. Refusal to comply was treason.
Since I am doing a bunch of work pre-writing for my next book and a few other projects this seemed like a good time to share some of my world building. There are actually a bunch of different things I could talk about on that now, however with all the effort I’ve put into getting things ready to publish, I’ve been in a mood to share details that aren’t really explicitly addressed in the story.
I’ve actually got this whole notebook full of notes. Some of it isn’t usable, either because it spoils the story itself or reflects ideas I’ve moved away from, however one thing that has remained more or less consistent is my image of the social structure of the society.
Just recently (Halloween Day, in fact) I finished what I hope to be the last draft of my book that I will do personally. That’s actually what I’ve been up to all of October for the most part, so now that it is time to hand it off and let someone else proofread and edit for a while I have some time to look forward. Figured I’d share a bit of a road map for what I hope to get completed in November.
Finally, after 3 posts, I get to finish this little tale. So far I’ve already covered the first “book” which I tabled before making massive changes, in addition to my tendency to let the story sit for absurd lengths of time. This is where I actually get to the real work.
If you missed my last post, and don’t feel like reading it, the short version is I talked about my first major attempt at a book-length project. There were a lot of problems with that story, but it ultimately convinced me that writing books professionally was a realistic possibility. In the end, I put the project on hold to re-examine my goals for it and where I wanted it to go.
So I’ve just recently started what I hope will be the last round of proofreading for my first book, In Honor’s Shadow, so I’ve been contemplating my journey from the story’s beginnings to here. Getting this first book out has been a long time coming, in large part because I procrastinated constantly. Granted, I’m also hampered by this being my first book and thus trying to muddle through without knowing exactly what I should be doing. Regardless of how long the trail has been, sharing it seems a nice start.
Since I’ve gone through the trouble to set this thing up I should probably use it. Realized I didn’t actually address the point of this blog in my last posting and only announced it’s existence, which seems a bit of an oversight.
This blog will be a place where anyone can reliably find information on the writing projects I’m working on in addition to any news about myself that seems worth sharing. No doubt there will be other miscellaneous stuff that gets posted as well, though what that may be I don’t know yet. Once I see a pattern I’ll be sure to share.
Although things will certainly change as I blog more, for the present I expect to have 3 main types of posts:
Background information on my story worlds. This may take the form of my story notes, edited for clarity and consistency, but I intend to experiment here as raw notes probably aren’t very interesting.
Updates on the projects I am involved with and any thoughts my creative process has brought to me. I will attempt to stay away from the technical side of writing (I don’t want this to turn into a blog about how to write), however some posts of that nature may arise.
Announcements. Similar to “updates” from #2, although technically that should be a sub-set of this. I just wanted to set them apart more clearly as I believe they deserve to be addressed separately. When I launch a new book, or a sale starts, or anything else important happens I will make a post. That said, if you want to be sure to never miss anything you should probably sign up to my newsletter.