A quick additional post today to ask you all a question. Two questions, actually.
1. I’m finishing up my read-through of the copy-edited manuscript (the copy editor did a very good job overall). I’ll be sending it back to Orbit in a week and therefore will be making any final changes to the manuscript in the new few days.
In COLD FIRE I included an Author’s Note in the front matter of the book that briefly touches on the basic world-setting of the Spiritwalker Trilogy, lists the days of the week and the cross-quarter days used by Cat in order to clear up any calendrical confusion, and talks a little bit about the creole used in Expedition.
For COLD STEEL I’m cutting the discussion of the creole (although I will be writing a post about it that I will also post in the Extras portion of this site discussing the Antilles creole of my alternate Earth).
Technically, because of the way the layout works, I have a little bit of space remaining in the Author’s Note (because of what I have cut). I don’t have to add anything, but I can add another paragraph or two if need be.
So I wanted to know if you had any specific (world-setting and thus non-spoiler type) question you wish was answered in the Author’s Note that will be found at the front of the book, a short paragraph or two that can be read before starting the novel.
2. I have a number of weeks to fill in for the forthcoming Spiritwalker Mondays. A few posts are complete or almost complete and I have as well a list of posts/excerpts I would like to write. Plus a short story or two.
But let me ask you: Is there a particular question about the Spiritwalker trilogy you would like to ask me? If so, do so here, and I will answer it as one of the Monday posts.
On that same vein, as a reader of these Monday posts, are you most interested in posts that directly relate to the Spiritwalker books or are you also interested in more general posts about writing and worldbuilding that may only tangentially reference the Spiritwalker books, such as the one I posted today?
I appreciate your input.
1a. I would be interested to know more about your geography choices. It’s modeled on Earth, obviously, but has some significant differences. Why do you choose to alter the geography and how does it influence your storytelling?
1b. Another area to explore is how you start with a historical character/archtype (say Napoleon) and evolve the character into someone who stand on their own.
2. Either of the 2 above could be an entire post.
I love the updates on the writing/publishing process like today’s post. More background on other characters would be great too. I love reading an event I’m familiar with through a different character’s perspective. Hope that helps!
1. I’d like some on the general tension between worldbuilding and storytelling, when did you make a choice that altered the other in Spiritwalker? (like, for example, if you decided to alter events because of the worldbuilding you did, or changing some aspects of your world to allow something to work in story)
2. Bridging from Spiritwalker to general questions about worldbuilding choices, decisions, challenges and opportunities is what I would want. Also, I would love for you to share with us what you learned about worldbuilding in doing this series, and what you will take forward to your future series and works.
Dani, thanks. I am going to do a post on place names. But that reminds me that I need to discuss the Ice Age and the locking up of water and how it relates to Britain once having been connected to the continent.
I hadn’t thought of the Napoleon evolution . . . . hmmmmm
Yes, it does. Very much. Thank you.
I am hoping to write a few short excerpts from other characters’ points of view to get that other perspective, as you say.
Good questions. Thank you. They are ones I really have to think about, too!
I’m interested in what you envisioned as the history of the trolls- more the long-term history than the cultural history. Were they evolving on separate continents from those humans were evolving on, or have the two species always coexisted? Aside from the 4-winged birds, “regular” birds, and dragons, are there other dinosaurian descendents around? You’ve built a world with two (several? including whoever lives in the spirit world) sentient species interacting, so I’m interested in the dynamics of that.
Also, on the geography topic, I was wondering if you’d ever considered including one of the big North American glacial lakes in your world. I’m guessing no one else did this, but one of the first things I looked for on the Cold Fire map was what you’d envisioned for the Great Lakes or Columbia River area, with their Ice Age history.
Great question. There are dwarf mammoths seen briefly in Expedition and every one knows what a sabertooth cat is, so the Pleistocene mammals are also present. As for other dinosaurian descendents, I don’t actually know because I haven’t explored some of the other regions of the world. I assume there are some survivals in the Americas; I’ve just not “been anywhere” except the Caribbean.
But I will do a short post on my “vision” of the history of the trolls.
Lake Michigan and a combined Lake Huron/Erie/Ontario are present in the map in Cold Fire, as well as some other large glacial lakes farther west. They’re not named on the map, though.
But, yes, I will talk a little about that when I do a post on the geography of the world.
I agree with other comments above — I’m interested in Spiritwalker worldbuilding (curious in particular as regards the origins of the ghouls, and the history of human-troll coexistence in the Americas) but also the writing process more generally (especially revision, on which you have of course already written multiple times, and instances where you have had to change your original plans or add a significant event, and what in the story made you aware the change was necessary). Admittedly, like many others on this forum, I will happily don either my reader hat or my writer hat to enjoy your contributions.
The history of human-troll coexistence in the Americas could be its own book. I admit it is a subject I have not thought a ton about because I have not gone there in any of the stories. But I do need to talk a little about the Americas and world building.
As for the ghouls . . . book 3.