Stir the Plot

Inspiration & Information for Writers

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What do they eat?


It’s my favorite question of all when it comes to world building. People need an awful lot of stuff when you get right down to it, food is probably on top of the list.

It is such a huge part of any culture that it seems unwise to skip this step. There are many interesting things you can do to add *cough* a little flavor and realism.

What kind of food?

It depends on many, many factors such as climate, region, culture, population size, time period, technology, knowledge, discoveries or trade as to what kind of food they’ll be able to produce or even consider.

Things like class, gender, type of work, access, difficulty to make, religion, time of year, holidays, might also play a factor in what people eat or are allowed to eat or deem appropriate.

What do your monsters eat?

Generally speaking, fantastical creatures need to eat as well and if they are offered a relatively easy source such as your livestock, they are probably getting interested. But even ignoring that, you should have a rough idea, though the more the better, how these creatures interact with your ecosystem.

You could say something like: My world only supports X dragons; their consumption is just that high. It’s just that I tend to roll my eyes when I have a story with loads of giant monsters while the ecosystem looks to be perfectly unaffected by it. Those things will make a dent.

Where are the goods coming from?

Ask yourself, can your world even produce silk? Is it imported? How can a tiny country in the middle of bloody nowhere support itself, let alone get its hands on these luxury items?

It’s just another tiny thing that will weaken my suspension of disbelief. That said, you don’t need to lecture me for page after page as these things can be woven into the narrative and drip-fed to me over the course of a book.

Play videogames.

If you are a gamer, that is. While world building is one of the things you can learn reading and writing, I find it is very interesting to literally walk around in somebody else’s to have a closer look. Fallout 3 did it differently than Fallout: New Vegas. You can look at Skyrim versus Dragon Age: Origins.


(via characterandwritinghelp)

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3 Quick Cures For Common Writing Woes

  • Writer’s Block
  • Self-Doubt
  • Impatient Attitude

Sooner or later, every writer comes down with a case of the blahs. Whether it’s just a touch of writing feverishly or a full-blown rash of rejection letters, you — and your writing — both suffer. Fortunately, for the most commonly diagnosed writing ailments, there are quick cures to combat what ails you.

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Having trouble coming up with your own post-apocalyptic hero(ine)?  Try out this generator! I tried to include options that would help with building both the character and their world.  I’d love to check out what you make with this generator if you wanna tag it “characterdesigninspiration”!

To Play: click and drag each gif or take a screenshot of the whole thing.

(Source: awaywardmind)

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Writers And Personality; What Makes A Writer Successful?


Like so many professionals within the publishing industry, Writer’s Relief loves to work with writers who have certain key attributes that point to success.

There are a few widely recognized characteristics that make for stardom in the publishing industry. Find a list below. Editors and agents love to see these personality attributes in creative writers (and we do too!).

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Creating Secondary Worlds

One of the great pleasures of writing a fantasy novel is creating the secondary world in which your story will inhabit. 

In the contemporary fiction genre, the writer knows the religious, political, historical, and cultural background of the society already. A fantasy writer must construct the society from the very foundations.

[Fantasy] compels us to make an adjustment that is different to an adjustment required by a work of art; [it’s] an additional adjustment. Other novelists say “here is something that might occur in your lives”, the fantasist says “here is something that could not occur”.

A good writer of fantasy is one who constructs their impossible world with great care. They must know the spiritual beliefs of their people, and the tension which inevitably arise between those who believe differently. They must know the history, the language, the culture, the landscape, the flora and fauna – and it is not enough to call a rat a “sleghg” or some other unpronounceable made-up name!

In order to create this vividness, this intensity of feeling in the reader, a writer must spend the time getting to know their created world as well, if not better, than the world in which we all live. 

How they would speak, what clothes do they wear, have they discovered how to magnetise lodestones yet, and do they know the recipe for gunpowder?

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