Really, it all started with a map.
I was still living in Angra dos Reis, Rio de Janeiro, I had caught up on my Daily Kick in the Pants blogs, read through seemingly endless pages of notes, and I still didn’t know where to start. Certainly there was a beginning, and and end, but what were they? I’d quickly realized that all I had was the dream and a bed of intentions.
So, I drew a map.
It started as a jagged blob, like I’d thrown an egg on a piece of paper and traced it. I threw in some jagged lines for rivers, and some pointy lines for mountains, a small circle for a city here and there, and some smaller blobs for forests, and suddenly the egg looked like a map.
Serendipitously, a friend from the Army had been practicing making maps on some software he had, and had been researching how to create realistic maps. So, he looked at my hand drawn map, fixed it, and made me a digital copy, which is what I use today. I researched Australia’s and the US’s varying climate zones, mineral and rock deposits, agricultures, livestock, etc., to develop my world’s unique demographics.
I think I spent the next two months developing the world, its myriad of customs, histories, two new races, regional cultures, political factions, named all the cities and towns, and developed the backbone of the story—the magic system.
I decided this world would be ruled by an empire, and the empire would be split into five kingdoms, and yes, the empire is bad, mmmkay! The aboriginal people (phaerians) were enslaved when the empire (fleeing from their homeland to find refuge elsewhere) landed upon their shores, and declared it New Torgier.
Now that my world was complete, I needed a hero! I looked at the map, pointed to an imperial city on the east coast. Nyatia. His name? Kael, practitioner of magic and citizen of the empire; and a villain from…Pegrans, a phaerian town. Her name? Makayla, a young phaerian girl given the power of a god to destroy the empire, and free her people.
And so I began outlining the hero and villain’s journeys. I’d like to say that I knew at that time that Makayla was to become the true hero of the story, but I don’t think I’m that clever 😉