Wednesday, January 9, 2013

World-building Wednesday Part 2 - Religion Overview

Welcome back to World-building Wednesdays, this week religion is the topic of focus.  My world-building process is very organic, the order I build things is rarely the same from one culture to the next.  I feel this gives a more realistic feel to the culture as opposed to using a standardized checklist.  In this case I went from generalities to religion while in another build I might jump to government first.

I see Ciall resembling Lady Justice, minus the sword and blindford
In Enessian religion they essentially worship Reason, but that feels a little too esoteric to have developed naturally.  Perhaps instead they worship an anthropomorphic personification of Reason.  A quick Google search for a Scottish Gaelic translator gives me two possible translations of reason*: the masculine “adhbhar” and the feminine “ciall.”  Since I for one cannot pronounce the first one, I am going to go with the second one and use the same gender.  This leads us to a mother goddess, named Ciall.  Okay, what is Ciall’s story?  What role does she play in this religion?  Personally, I do not see her as a “creator of worlds” but as an impartial observer.  Perhaps the Enessi
believe she came to their world in order to study it, and created the Enessi to aid her in that endeavor.  (Wow that kind of has an Ancient Aliens vibe does it not?  Just to be clear Ciall is not an alien… Or is she?  I see a plot point!)

How exactly do the Enessi worship though?  I feel like they would do so through learning and teaching.  I see their temples as being libraries and universities; their priests, teachers.  Of course all of creation is a very broad subject so people would have to specialize.  Each “specialty” could be a different sect that follows one of Ciall’s children.  What sect a person chooses to belong to would have a strong relation to their occupation.  Government officials would probably study history, whereas farmers would study flora and fauna.

Next week I think I will explore the different sects in a bit more depth.

*Keep in mind that I do not actually know Scottish Gaelic so any translations I use may or may not be correct and I will not know if they are or not.  Since I am only using them as naming tools, I do not have a problem if they are "incorrect."

Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy New Year!

So this is a few days late but Happy New Year everyone!  I hope you all enjoyed yourselves.  I'm on winter break for the next three weeks or so so I actually have time to spend here on the blog.  Earlier in the week I already started one post series where I world-build a culture.  Next week I plan to start another one where I do chapter-by-chapter commentary on The Hobbit, kind of like I have with Once Upon a Time in the past.  I don't want to make to many promises on that however; I want to write the entire series before I start posting them.  Speaking of Once Upon a Time though, that comes back this Sunday which I am very excited about.  (So does Downton Abbey but that is not as important for this blog.)

Thror's map anyone?
Anyways, back to the New Year.  Do any of you have new year's resolutions?  If so I would love to hear them.  I am usually a big proponent of them but this year I have three.  First is to finish my first novel, which is fairly self-explanatory.  The second is to read at least 85 books and review them over at Goodreads, you can check on how I am doing at my profile.  The last is an idea I got from this Kristina Horner video on Youtube (The part I'm talking about starts at about 2:55).  Basically I am keeping a "Why Today is Awesome" Journal, each night writing down a few reasons why my day was, well, awesome.  It is not quite a "real" journal because I'm not putting down any negative things, it forces me to look on the bright side, which really would not hurt if I did more often.  The best part is the thing I am using to record everything in is this sweet limited edition Hobbit Moleskine journal I got for Christmas.

Oh and don't forget to be awesome, and have a great year.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

World-building Wednesdays Part 1 - General Overview

Welcome to a new series of posts where I world-build a culture.  This is part of the MythicArchipelago Project over at Mythic Scribes.  I plan on this being a glimpse into my process.

When I start world-building a culture I start with the broad generalities, often this includes the stereotypes other cultures have concerning the culture I am building.  I also grab an idea to act as the, for lack of a better term, condensation nucleus of the culture at large.  (A condensation nucleus is the tiny particle of whatever around which rain drops form.)  The nucleus for this culture came from one of my history classes where we covered the French Revolution; when Maximilien Robespierre seized power he endeavored to convert France from Christianity to a religion that was described to me as essentially worshiping Reason.  I found the idea for the religion interesting so naturally I appropriated it.  So we have a culture of people that worship reason, but what else does that say about the culture?

One show I enjoy watching is Bones, one of the main characters, Dr. Temperance Brennan, is a supremely rational person.  She uses reason rather than emotion in her decisions, earning her the reputation of being a “cold fish.”  There is one of my stereotypes, the people of this culture are known as being cold fish.  Now I do not want to turn these people into Vulcans, so they do not totally suppress their emotions.  Perhaps showing and acting on emotion in public is taboo to these people.  That could suggest showing emotion to someone is a sign of intimacy (but not necessarily romantic intimacy).

Before I get too much farther into this I want to name this people.  Part of that is going to be deciding what kind of naming scheme I want to use, in this case I decided I wanted a Scottish flare.  The people are called the Enessi, from the island nation of Enessia.  The root I used for those is the “ness” from Loch Ness.

Next week I plan on delving a little more into the religion.