I’m hosting a guest post today for Nicole Persun, author of “Dead of Knight”. Enjoy!
It’s Not All Mountains and Oceans
Whenever someone asks me how I started my first book, I tell them the story of how I was in the backseat of a car with a sketchpad, how we went over a speed bump, and how a coastline appeared on the page. Since then, not all my writing has stemmed from maps, but maps do play a large role in my fantasy novels; setting is a big thing to consider when writing in a genre that revolves around it. And I don’t just mean mountains and valleys and forests and rivers and oceans.
Early on in my writing career, I started reading books about setting. Perhaps the biggest thing I learned about setting—about all settings, not just those that are made up for fantasy and science fiction—was that setting is its own character. It may be a minor character, it may be a major character, but it plays a role in any story, and should be treated with the proper care and attention.
What do I mean by this? Well, like any character, setting has an appearance. Those are the mountains, valleys, forests, rivers, and oceans I already mentioned, the aspects of setting we usually consider. But setting also means history. Think of Italy and one cannot help but think of its history. The Colosseum. Circus Maximus. The baths. The theatres. They aren’t simply part of the appearance. They define the place. This leads us into culture, belief, personality…
When I sit down to develop a made up land for one of my novels, I take on many roles: cartographer, explorer, botanist, zoologist, historian, theologian, sociologist… Because it’s not just about mountains and oceans.
Dead of Knight
Author: Nicole J. Persun
After a night of turbulent starfall—a grievous omen—six individuals begin an intersecting journey that even the gods could not have predicted.
King Orson and King Odell are power-stricken, grieving, and mad. As they wage war against a rebel army led by Elise des Eresther, it appears as though they’re merely in it for the glory. But their struggles are deeper and darker.
Nicole J. Persun started her professional writing career at the age of sixteen with her young adult novel, A Kingdom’s Possession, which later became a finalist for ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year Award. Aside from novels, Nicole has had short stories, flash fiction, poetry, and essays published in a handful of literary journals. Her inspiration is drawn from the latest studies and findings in biology, astronomy, archaeology, psychology, and any other form of scientific, historical, or artistic discovery. She often speaks at libraries, writer’s groups, and writer’s conferences across the country. Currently getting a degree in creative writing, Nicole lives in Washington State. For more information, visit Nicole’s website at: www.nicolejpersun.com.
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