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A Creator of Worlds

There are few things as satisfying as creating a whole world. It’s an activity that pays you quickly back for your time, effort, and imagination, and yet if you start the activity thinking that there will be an end to it, you would be wrong. Creating a world would be more than a lifetime of work, even if it didn’t change, but once you start setting stories in it, that detailed culture and history you created begins to change. Develop. Ideally, evolve.


The map mostly stays the same, though if your world encompasses more than a decade in time, paths should turn to roads in some places, settlements to hamlets, hamlets to towns, towns to cities – and any of these, in some cases, to ruins of scorched earth.


The politics and religions should change too. Leaders come and go, factions war with each other and sometimes regime changes bring sweeping changes to the institutions, too. In the outside world, rising forces of usurpers, natural disasters, shifts in weather, plagues, and rivals of all kinds bubble up and fade away, sometimes clashing and sometimes creating a new and more lasting force in your world.


There will be songs too, legends, tales perhaps true at one time, but which grow and bend and get increasingly fantastic and purposeful as they are retold by various groups with various goals in the retelling.


You don’t need to create all of this at the beginning – but the more of it you have, the better.


In the case of Tisal Thulu, I was considering rewriting the first couple of books, written years ago, when I decided on something new – but connected. I used those books as the legends and histories that underpinned the new stories I would tell. The Heroes of Tisal Thulu is a series set three hundred years (or so) after the events in those older novels, with vague references to events long passed by. After I wrote the new novels, I revisited those older ones, the Legends, and will bring them into shape soon.


Those Heroes novels will be released starting this week, and not long after that, The Legends of Tisal Thulu will follow.


And through it all, I will continue to build Tisal Thulu, to develop it and, ideally, to watch it evolve as I do so.

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