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Shankbot de Bodemloze

Of Souls - Behind the Scenes: In the beginning...

Rating: 5 votes, 1.80 average.

Welcome back to my 'Of Souls - Behind the Scenes' blog, where I plan to dig deeper into the individual chapters of my creative writing serial 'Of Souls' and look at the writing and world-building that went into each chapter, as well as offering some of my own thoughts on the posted work. I have already failed miserably at my assertion to update this blog every couple of days or so, but as I was sitting round twiddling my thumbs during what can only be described as an uneventful Easter Sunday, I decided I could do something mildly more productive than the rest of day so far and allow this blog to claim 'weekly updates' at the very least. So, today's update will look at the origins of the Of Soul's world as well as the opening post and the beginning of the beginning. If you have any interest in reading my first blog post you can do so over here, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think!

I have always been a fan of the mainstream fantasy genre, I don't want to profess to have a great understanding of the entire genre, which in its entirety encompasses a vast range of things, but I always enjoyed 'popular' fantasy when I read it. When I was young it started off with Harry Potter and The Hobbit, and that only developed as I got older into Lord of the Rings, A Song of Ice and Fire, Wheel of Time, the big names of the field if you will. At some-point along that development, probably soon after I discovered Brandon Sanderson (who's works are a major inspiration to my story, but I'll look into that in a later update), the idea of creating my own 'world' intrigued me and thus began an on-and-off relationship with world building and creating my own high-fantasy setting. (I refuse to use the other coined term of epic-fantasy on the basis I don't feel I seriously claim my work as 'epic' in any way, shape or means!) As I mentioned in the 'Of Souls' opening post, I had been flirting with the idea of posting some of these minor creations in the form of a story here in the Creative Writing section of TWC but never got quite round to it for one excuse or another.

Anyhow, my latest spat of world-creating fused together with an old attempt at creative writing (more about that when we look at the first few Alfonso chapters) led to the foundation of what would become Of Souls. This later creation developed from multiple drafts of creating a magic system that had a strict structure, otherwise known as 'hard magic', instead of a 'soft magic' system examples of which can be found in LotR or ASOIAF. If you are interested in reading more round this subject I can recommend a good article to give you a background into the spiel I'm going on about. With this I had a basis I was finally happy with and began expanding out, eager to build upon it. Not for long. I soon ran into the problem that without actually writing a story I had little inspiration in what to create, and more importantly, in what direction to take it. But this was something I was finally happy with and something I wanted to grow, so using what I little I had actually built I wrote up a short prologue and pressed post here on TWC.

It was the best thing to do. The response was positive and it gave me the drive to start writing chapters, which in turn allowed me to create more and more background for this largely blank slate. Volume 1 was almost entirely written off the back of an adapted old piece of writing and this hard magic system I had created. This meant each chapter largely developed the whole story on the fly and only until the end did I have an idea of the direction I wanted to take it. Here keeping to short updates worked, and helped me greatly - I could get away with not much detail and instead focus on writing about what I actually had information for, hence why Gavier's escape takes up virtually five chapters instead of being written in one, which could easily have been done.

Only when I came back from the hiatus Of Souls had taken and began updating again did I actually go deeper and have more detailed world building, which is perhaps reflected in the greater difficulty I had in keeping those latter chapters as short as the earlier ones - for a change I had detail, extra information, and an actual plot in mind. There was so much more I felt I had to share! Admittedly, I do still think short CW updates are the way forward on TWC, but it is a mantra difficult to keep to. Now I am at the stage where the detail I have for this world is far greater than what I could ever include in the story - and I am yet to find out if that is a good thing or not. On the plus side I feel more confident when I write, because I have the world there and ready to support my story instead of the story creating the world. A negative is now the course of the plot is far more limited and planned out, which is of some benefit, but making changes is difficult and entails a lot of work in keeping things on the same page, especially when it involves changing something that has already been posted.

Looking back I feel like I've just rambled for nigh on 1,000 words, but like the beginning of my story this is being written on the fly so I will have to ask for your forgiveness. Still, I shall draw this blog post to a close and wrap things up for now. I hope you have enjoyed what you have read and that it has given you some background into the background of Of Souls. In later updates when I look at specific chapters I think I will ask you guys to post some specific areas you'd like me to look at so I remain on track. Let me know what you think of that idea, and this update as a whole, in the comments section below. :)

The next update aims to look at the prologue, but who knows what I will end up waffling on about. If that fills you with suspense then subscribe to this blog and stayed tuned. Until next time. :bow:
Creative Writing


  1. Hitai de Bodemloze's Avatar
    On the subject of both world building and short updates, have you considered writing other/multiple short stories set in the world, other than the 'main' storyline? That's the approach I've been taking, which is really easy and beneficial for me personally. I can sit down, churn out a TotW length story, then use it as a mini-glimpse into the world, without getting bogged down in a major plotline/deadlines. It's a lot more erratic and hard to follow perhaps, but it's a potential world building tool.
  2. Shankbot de Bodemloze's Avatar
    My original idea was simply to developed a main plot and expand it as the story goes with different characters, settings etc. so I guess I would have multiple arcs, eventually coming together, but not really independent stories. It sounds quite daunting actually. :laughter: I like the idea though, and it could work well especially with keeping the update length down. I'll have to give it a try, thank-you.
  3. Veteraan's Avatar
    Seems your code behaves a bit strange, as in being visible as code.