Peakwatch Keep Redux

Earlier (last week), I posted a little something that had appeared mostly formed in my mind but which I had no idea what to do with (ug, awful sentence, it’s been a long day).

Anyway, it’s been percolating.  I think Peakwatch is going to become a story within a story.  I’ve been considering two locations: the Sapphire Palace and the Blue Mountain Inn.  I’m still figuring out which world they are best suited for (LME [Earth], LCP [secondary medieval fantasy], or AoP [multi-world fantasy linked to LME and LCP]), but I think someone at either the palace or the inn is telling a story about Peakwatch Keep and whatever is bound beneath it.  I think.

Earths, Magipocalypse, The Realm, & The Keep: Thoughts and Merging

After some thought, I decided to take the prologue I posted weeks ago and run with the magipocalypse inspiration that’s been floating in my head for months. However, I didn’t want to start an entirely new setting while in the process of working on The Keep. Fortunately, my madness worked things out preemptively.

I’d already written in a way to include two Earths in one setting.

The basic Keep setting idea focuses on two worlds: Earth and The Realm.

Earth is a hidden magic world with a variety of species and magic, as I discussed briefly previously, centered on the fictional city Newtown.

The Realm is a secondary world, where the Keep is located. The Keep is a structure and entity founded by Earth magicians on a peninsula on a continent on The Realm.

The Realm has two major continents: Lesyan and Niversi.

Niversi is less important right now, but it is where the majority of the native Realm populace lives. This continent is tied up with its own nations and problems. Its residents have no contact with or knowledge of Earth or the Keep.

Lesyan is where the Keep and its associated city, town, and nature preserve are located with a couple hundred thousand Earthers. Lesyan is uninhabited, as far as natives go . . . now. But, like all places, Lesyan has a long history. In this case, the continent’s history is loosely based on Chinese history: seven major kingdoms become three, become five, become a single unified empire. Then European history kicks in with a dark age after the empire collapses (yes, historians don’t use the phrase Dark Ages anymore). The dark ages end, new nations rise, history moves forward into a new age of magical experimentation and advancement.

Then something happens. I’m deliberately being unclear as to what (whether war magic, experiments gone awry, or whatnot). Regardless, everything on the continent is destroyed. The magical forces released change the continental geography. The fabric of magic on the continent is warped to the point that it adapts to what magic wielders expect. More importantly, perhaps, the barriers between The Realm and the multiverse become strained.

The end result is that inhabitants of many worlds have appeared on Lesyan (only around the coasts, for some reason; the interior is still basically wasteland). Among these is Earth and The Keep. But, given the properties of multiverses (see some of my earliest blog posts) and ultraverses, there’s nothing to stop the continent’s magic sink from drawing people or being opened to people from multiple alternate Earths.

Defining Literature

I was thinking about “literature” again today, in reference to a discussion elsewhere.  Obviously, after 17 years studying the subject, I think about it a fair amount.  To date, I’ve found “literature” is a term that becomes more difficult to define the more I study it.  Every definition I’ve tried out to date has had significant exceptions.  In some ways, I guess, defining literature is like defining art or pornography (“I can’t say what it is, but I know it when I see it”).

So far, the best I’ve come up with is: literature has layers of meaning and the potential for longevity (or already has longevity).

To rephrase in Jungian terms:
Literature draws on the collective unconscious (the source of myths and legends; e.g. the things that affect us on a very deep level regardless of culture, era, etc.).

Non-Literature draws on the collective conscious (the source of fads and cults; e.g. the passing fancies that die out after a short life).

I tend to reject the idea that “literature” must be boring or pretentious.  For example, I consider Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Lois Lowry, Harper Lee, Terry Pratchett, and C.S. Lewis to be literary (and certainly not boring or pretentious).  I defy anyone to call Shakespeare or Chaucer pretentious (the former filling his plays with bodily functions and innuendo for humor, the latter making judicious use of fart jokes), the same for E.A. Poe.

On the other hand, Stephanie Meyer, Danielle Steele, William Shatner . . . none will be remembered for their fiction 30-40 years from now, I think.

On another hand, it’s been my experience that many who set out out be “literary” come off as pretentious.

But, then again, I just don’t see why some “literary” authors out there are considered “great” (ex. Fitzgerald, Melville, Faulkner).

Introductions

So, yet another blog about writing.  And another about worldbuilding.

Great.

Lots of writers and others have been discussing both on the web and in print for a long time, so what’s the point?  Most, if not all, I’ve seen present their views or method as the only way.  Due to teaching, I try to present multiple views, methods, and explanations.  After all, what works for one person doesn’t work for everyone.  For instance, J.R.R. Tolkien and Terry Pratchett made worlds as they desired for their stories, other writers are more scientific in their worldbuilding.  Likewise, R.A. Heinlein knew the beginning and end of his novels but filled in the rest as he went along, while Chelsea Quinn Yarbro and J.K. Rowling mapped out an entire series before writing.

My goal is to present my views, my musings, on the subjects as one (or two or three) methods of many and to try to note other options as well.  Maybe more to pose questions and my ever evolving thoughts and approaches to writing and worldbuilding.

My primary purpose in creating this blog is to collect my thoughts on the subjects.  I do worldbuilding as a hobby (or compulsion) and write (and teach writing) professionally.  Along the way, I’ll probably include some links and quotes that I find helpful for both activities.