Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Creating The City State of Velli

by Shona Husk

Desire to Fall takes place in the city state of Velli on an alien world. There is nothing quite like a shiny new planet to build on. But I don’t build first and plot second. I plot and build and make the characters all at the same time during my pre-writing phase. I like to call it organic world building. Others might not be so kind if they saw my note books…yeah I plot and build with pen and paper. I then have to stick tabs on the side of the pages so that I can find important details fast.

When I started planning this book I knew 2 things:
The women had wings and the men didn’t.
Ménages were biologically necessary.

Those two things would direct my world building as I had to answer why and how those things worked. How did men and women get together if they didn’t occupy the same habitat (I might have gone a bit overboard and delved into the pre-history of my aliens back to when they were hunter gatherers). If the women have wings they aren’t even occupying the same evolutionary niche as the men.

Is my science background showing? Maybe just a little

So my tribes of women would swoop down and grab a man…the men in return would hunt down a women…but women are dangerous and conception needs blood (something in the blood triggers ovulation). No sensible man would get with a woman on his own.

Biology and back ground established my next big decision was how advanced do I make my people?

The story I wanted to tell was about the upheaval surrounding a major engineering project (oh dear now my engineering background is showing.) So I gave them a level of technology about the same us….only different because they wouldn’t have invented everything that we have because their biology is different.

Why invent cars, when half your population flies?

Gun powder never happened so there are no guns.

With a population that is fairly stable (given the complexity of breeding) their world is very different.

When world building it’s also important to look at what the taboos and crimes are. How have they effected civilization? Wing clipping became very important, as did the flip side of the trafficking in male blood.

While I did give them a religion it doesn’t play a huge part in the story. A bigger issue the way they form breeding bonds and marry. There are rules in place for what is acceptable. Of course my characters went the unconventional way.

The world I created for Desire to Fall has become my biggest world to date. Everything from sports games to fad foods to music. The things we enjoy in our lives they also had to have.

I never realized when I started how big it would get—and as with most world building I have pages and pages while the reader gets just a taste—but without putting in the effort to really know my world the story wouldn’t have been nearly as exciting.

***Views expressed are solely those of Shona Husk and not the SFR Brigade***

Desire to Fall

Kya Hawl is an architect on the Precinct One redevelopment, a prestigious and contentious project in the city-state of Velli. While she is happy with her part-time female lover, Judge Elmi Chadee, she wants more. She wants a family and children, for that she needs two men willing to put their life on the line to breed.

Tref Xant and his partner Dru Macon seem like the right guys; however, Tref has secrets and Dru is about to deploy to Precinct One, one of the roughest precincts in Velli. The redevelopment can’t come soon enough. Tref would like to see the place burned to the ground. But even that wouldn’t be able to erase his memories of growing up there.

With Dru away Tref finds himself falling for Kya. Jealousy sparks between the men. A triad can never form as Dru wants Elmi and she has sworn off unions after her sister ran away to join the Terrin Sect.

As riots erupt and the redevelopment is threatened Dru realizes he has to fight for what he wants--something Tref learned long time ago. A four-way union--while unusual--would work. But will the women agree when they learn of Tref’s past?

About the author:

SHONA HUSK is the author of the Shadowlands, Court of Annwyn and the Face the Music series. You can find out more information about Shona at www.shonahusk.com or follow her on Twitter @ShonaHusk, Facebook www.facebook.com/shonahusk or join her newsletter: http://mad.ly/signups/119074/join

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