World-building | Official Author Website of Melissa McPhail

Posts Tagged ‘world-building’

4 Steps to Writing Organically, Part II – Viewpoints, Mimicry and Imagination

Think of writing like sailing a massive ship. There are an enormous number of mechanical actions that synergistically combine to keep the ship plowing forward through the waves. It behooves you, as the captain of the vessel, to have an understanding of all of those mechanical workings. Yet if a ship’s captain spent all of. . . Read More


How Not to Write Yourself into a Corner (in Your Novel and in Life)

There’s something known as writing yourself into a corner. This phrase might be used to describe any number of authorial ailments, from the scene that mystifyingly “doesn’t work,” to the sinking realization—many chapters in—that your entire plot resolution hinges on something your protagonist can’t possibly know about. While trying to finish my third novel, Paths. . . Read More


Reviews, Writer’s Block & the Author’s Integrity – A Problematic Trinity

I’ve been struggling recently with a situation that arose from the number of positive—yes, I just said positive—reviews I’ve received on my latest novel (which, by the way, was recently selected as a Finalist for the ForeWord Book of the Year – yay!) It took me a bit to sort through just what I was. . . Read More


Some Thoughts On Maps

In my last blog post, I included updated images from Kentaro Kanamoto for the cover of The Dagger of Adendigaeth and expounded on my beliefs about the importance of your book cover. I’m now revealing the new Map of Alorin (which I am totally in love with) and saying much the same thing about fantasy maps.. . . Read More


What’s in a Name? Naming Characters in Fantasy Worlds

“What’s in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”  So says Juliet in her soliloquy about Romeo. As Shakespeare points out, names are a combination of symbols, associated with sounds, which are assigned to represent a person or thing in our minds. Often times in life, the superficiality of a name. . . Read More