Sign up for my newsletter to receive news and updates!

Posts Tagged ‘book view cafe’

New Worlds: Religious Sites

This week the New Worlds Patreon doesn’t just have an essay for you — though there’s that, too, on religious sites — but some news as well!

As those of you who follow this blog know, I’m working on a collaborative novel with Alyc Helms. Since it’s a secondary-world fantasy and we’re both anthropologists, we are eyeball-deep in worldbuilding and swimming ever deeper . . . and with Alyc’s permission, I’m going to be reporting on that process to my New Worlds patrons. Everyone at the $10 level and above receives a bonus essay each month, and for a while to come those are going to be focused on different aspects of the setting we’re creating for Sekrit Projekt R&R. So if you’d like a front-row seat to how I do this stuff — not after-the-fact musings but a look right down into the guts of how we’re creating the clothing and religion and geography and monetary systems of our world — this is your chance. Become a patron, and get a behind-the-scenes peek at what I’m cryptically alluding to in the progress reports!

New Worlds: The Social Economy of Clothing

The closest I’ve come to making an item of clothing from scratch was when I used an inkle loom to weave a very long strip, then cut the strip into shorter strips and sewed them edge-to-edge to make a piece of fabric, then sewed the fabric into a pouch. (It was for a costume. I couldn’t find any fabric in the colors I wanted.) It was very small, and I didn’t spin the thread myself, and it still gave me a strong appreciation for how much work went into making clothing before industrialization. This week’s New Worlds Patreon post is all about the labor involved, and how that affected the way people interacted with their clothing.

Comment over there!

New Worlds: Gratuitous Worldbuilding

One of the earliest funding goals of the New Worlds Patreon was a fifth essay in the months that have five Fridays. (The baseline premise of the Patreon is four posts a month, but the calendar does not always agree.) Rather than having these all continue on with the same kind of culture-focused topics, I decided to devote them to “theory” — by which I mean both discussions of concepts that underlie certain social structures (like liminality), and discussion of how one goes about putting these kinds of things into stories.

This week’s post, on “gratuitous worldbuilding,” is one of the latter. It’s an ode to the details that don’t matter: the little setting touches that are there just because they would be, and because they make the story more flavorful. Comment over there!

And if you enjoy the New World series, remember, this is all brought to you by my Patreon backers. You can join their ranks here!

New Worlds: Superstitions

It’s Friday, which means it’s time for a New Worlds Patreon post! This time we’re discussing superstitions: what they mean, why you don’t see them more often in fiction, and how to go about including them.

I’ll note, by the way, that if you’re not a patron then you’re missing out on some of the content. Every patron at the $1 level and above receives a photo each week — one that’s themed to that week’s post, if I can manage it, though some topics make that easier than others — along with a brief discussion of it and how it relates to worldbuilding. Today, for example, I sent out a photo of a gargoyle and talked about the architectural and apotropaic roles they play (and why it’s so interesting to find them on the Natural History Museum in London). Patrons at higher levels get free ebooks, the ability to request post topics, bonus essays, and even the chance to get private feedback from me. So if you’ve been enjoying the series, consider becoming a backer! Or recommend it to friends — that also helps!