Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Setting in a Fantasy World

Woman of Honor is set in a medieval fantasy world. It originally started as a historical novel, and I did a fair amount of research as far as weapons, training, female knights, etc. But once Aislinn's dead brother wanted a speaking role, the novel turned fantasy. I kept the historical pieces tucked within the novel but the fantasy aspect opened up a whole new world for my story.

The Kingdom of Arnhem. Medieval. A large castle with a market place inside its stone walls. Many surrounding villages that fall within the kingdom's lines. Arnhem is separated from Speica by a river. Whereas Arnhem has bountiful, fertile land, Specia is a hot desert where nothing lives. By living in the desert for generations, the Speicans have a reddish tint to their skin, almost as if their skin appears constantly sunburned. The close proximity of the two neighboring nations causes a lot of friction and tension that flares up and settles down from time to time and serves as a point of conflict in the second half of Woman of Honor and will be revisited throughout the series.

This world that I created has many fantasy creatures despite its realistic medieval setting. There are dragons and even a wingless griffin. Many more creature will have roles in later novels. When reading Woman of Honor, you are transported to the Middle Ages, where good and noble magic is used by monks and the dead sometimes find a voice in visions.

Setting is not only location, but also time. Woman of Honor begins in 1155 AD and ends 14 years later. The rest of the series will not cover such a long span of time as quickly as this one, namely because Woman of Honor is Aislinn's tale, her journey to knighthood, and her training, a coming-of-age story that needed that length of time to come to fruition.

Woman of Honor is a blend of history and fantasy and its setting plays a key role in the novel. If you could write a history/fantasy blend novel, what setting would you choose?

This blog post is part of the CRR carnival. Here is the link to the CRR post for other SETTINGS - SIMPLY SCENIC OR SPECIALLY SIGNIFICANT? posts. Hope you enjoy the carnival! Note This is a Classic Romance Revival GROUP event. You MUST have commented on EACH and EVERY blog in order to qualify for a prize.

37 comments:

The Egypsy Speaks said...

Hey Nicole, great topic! It's nice to hear an author talk about how they develop settings!
Patti
(P.I. Barrington)

lastnerve said...

Hi Nicole. I haven't read much fantasy but can't wait to read Women of Honor

val
lastnerve2000@gmail.com

Sir John said...

Very interesting article. I'm thinking of writing a reincarnation fantasy that would span several centuries, this article has me thinking of the project again. thanks

Johnny Ray
www.sirjohn.org/bloglist

laura said...

Nicole-
Great blog. Interesting to see how the story evolved and pretty much took on a life of its own.
Hugs,
Laura
LJ Garland

Pamela K. Kinney said...

Great article.
Pamela K. Kinney
http://fantasticDreams.50megs.com

Debby said...

I have read some fantasty and I enjoyed reading your article. i would love to read rthe book.

kissastarling said...

Great post. I love hearing about how stories come about and this time period/setting is one of my favorites.

Kissa

Lindsay Townsend said...

Super post, Nicole! I love the way you have create another medieval world and one that makes perfect sense.

Linda A. said...

Great post. The book sounds intriguing and the cover is fantastic! Congrats!

Nicole H. said...

Cool post! I do love the cover! It is very sweet! What setting would I use? Hmm, That is a tough question as I prefer the here and now, or future in my writings.... But if I was assigned a historical/fantasy tale then I would probably have to go with for me the Mayans. It was a "new world" with alot of old history and still had some of the amenities of the here and now. If I had to go further back in time I would probably need to go try to "live the life" with no running water, no toilet, no...... Ugh, lol.

RachieG said...

Settings aren't a big deal to me...the story always wins out..and hey, if the setting matters then it matters to me. :) Otherwise, it's kind of background noise.

fun post today!!

rahie2004 @ Yahoo (DOT) com

Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

What a nice post about your writing journey. Don't you just love characters who won't shut up and speak their minds?

Jacquie Rogers said...

I love fantasy--the worldbuilding is so important and touches every detail in character and conflict. You've done a marvelous job!

Deb Hockenberry said...

Nicole,
'Woman Of Honor' sounds like a fantastic read!

Savannah Chase said...

I love fantasy...it is something I have wanted to write more of.I wrote something many many years ago....

your story sounds real good....

lainey bancroft said...

Good job, Nicole! Fantasy is so...freeing. I've never really tried my hand at it--not sure why--but you've made it sound like such fun.

orelukjp0 said...

Hi Nicole. This sounds like a great story. I have it on my to be bought list. Can't wait.

She said...

I love the medieval time period. It is such a fascinating time and the things that were developed during that time that we still use are amazing--our law system, writing, the churches built, etc. Wonderful, interesting times.

Katie Hines said...

A wingless griffin? Cool. Sounds like you've done lots of work. Hope sales go well for you!

Connie Northrop said...

The story looks really fun! I love fantasy stuff!

MarthaE said...

Interesting blog Nicole! I like how your setting even flowed to the skin color of the characters as effected by the desert! Also I like dragons and other neat/magical creatures!

If I were to write a historical/fantasy (not likely!!) I think maybe a land and time of dinosaurs would be fun! Then I think it would be scenic and significant!
mesreads[at]gmail[dot]com

Carol L. said...

I enjoyed reading your blog Nicole. I am looking forward to reading Woman of Honor.
A female knight. It sounds incredably interesting. I like reeading about Midevil times and the times of the Scottish Highlanders where men were warriors,lovers and heroes. Thanks.
Carol L.
Lucky7450@aol.com

MAGGI said...

I marvel at fantasy writer's world building. In my historical books I have history to help create the settings for my characters. Fantasy is entirely your imagination, I find that amazing.
Maggi

Bryn Colvin said...

I think historical research or exploration of other cutlures can really enrich a fantasy novel.

Desirée Lee said...

I too enjoy weaving real history in with my imagination. I love reading books where the author has done so.

Carpe Noctem,
Des


Desirée Lee
Putting the Romance Back in Necromancy
http://www.desireelee.com
des@desireelee.com

Kathleen O said...

Great post Nicole, your fantasy work is something I will want to read. I have become more into this genre since a reading a world created by another fav of mine..
I already have this on my tbr list..

kimmyl said...

Great post Nicole. I have never read about a female knight. Something different and I love reading new stuff.

Kelley said...

I also prefer to write historical/fantasy. I use actual places such as Roman Britain, northern Scotland and ancient Greece, but some of my characters are Fae, Greek vampires or gods and goddesses so that's where the fantasy comes in to play.
Good luck with your new release. I will add it to my TBR pile.
kelleyheckart.com

Danielle Thorne said...

Good luck with your series, Nicole.

Raonaid Luckwell said...

I love a good fantasy. I read such authors like RA Salvatore, Elaine Cunningham, the belated David Eddings, jennifer Roberson to mention a few authors.

It's good to take a break sometimes from the romance and paranormals I read for a good fantasy.

Good luck with the series..

PhyllisC said...

It was interesting to hear how you came to use this time for your story, especially the details that go into it. Historical stories are my favorite. I like the medieval time period very much. I've read some fantasy, but the two combined is interesting and appeals to me. I certainly want to read this one.

Julie Robinson said...

Hi Nicole,
So true what you say about setting being time and locale. I like that your fantasy world is reality based. It makes the story easier to believe and yet be carried away.
Julie

Linda Banche said...

I like a combination of history and fantasy that emphasizes the history. The history grounds the story, and makes the fantasy more real.

Babyblue22 said...

Great Post Nicole! I love the picture of Geoffrey off to battle, Woman Of Honor sounds great.
My choice would Be Soctland in the Highlander times...I love me some Highlanders.
~Afshan
Afshan522@aol.com

Monya Clayton said...

Hi Nicole - I love historicals but I get upset if I or anyone else gets their research wrong. So, if I had an idea for a historical that didn't fit into a 'correct' time period, it'd be a lot of fun inventing a whole new society.

Continue to enjoy your writing!

pams00 said...

Nicole, great post. It is interesting know how the story evolved. I enjoy reading the time period covered in Woman of Honor and hope to read the story soon.

Pam S
pams00@aol.com

E.A. West said...

I love that you combined fantasy with historical research. The facts must add a sense of realism that might otherwise be missing. Very cool.