Continuing my personal crusade to introduce everyone to great books, I am honored to have Mark Gelineau and Joe King stop by Bookwraiths. Having heard of my love for worldbuilding, they have been kind enough to put together a short guest post explaining how they set about creating the amazing world highlighted in their Echo of the Ascended novella series.
World Building: Echoes of the Ascended
For us, story is world building.
And our favorite stories really have two great stories within them. The story that was, and the story that is.
The story that is, is what’s going on right now, the tale that is unfolding as you race through the pages. But how the world came to be, how the confluence, and often the consequence, of a great many things that came together to put our characters in the current pickle they find themselves in, well that’s the story that was.
For Echoes of the Ascended, everything begins with our world’s Origin Story. In an unforgiving world of demons, mankind makes a stand and rises from the darkness. Those first heroes, the First Ascended, and what they did in those dark days, set the stage for everything to come after.
Our story starts a thousand years later, and the world is much changed. Humanity no longer cowers in darkness. They’ve banished the great demons, built sprawling cities and citadels, and the powerful magic of ancient days has long been lost.
Or has it?
And the answer to that is all a part of the fun.
We built our world like we built our characters. Each new story develops our characters a bit more. You learn more about their current struggles, and you learn more about the way they came to be who they are today. The same is true for our world.
Each new story adds something new to the world that you are exploring and experiencing for the first time, along with our characters. At the same time, each novella reveals something deeper about all that’s come before, and what’s about to come again.
Each of our series is set in a unique part of Aedaron and in their own way, each reveals pieces of the story that was. In A Reaper of Stone, Elinor comes face to face with ancient spirits of the old world. In Rend the Dark, Ferran secretly hunts the very same demons from the time of legend that remain hidden in the world.
Alys is embroiled in a conflict between the King of Aedaron and the king of the capital’s underworld in Best Left in the Shadows. And in Faith and Moonlight, Roan and Kay find they can call upon the spirits of the First Ascended themselves, and they are trained to become Razors, the magical warriors of our world.
Our protagonists in each of the series are connected through their past. They all grew up together in an orphanage. Though they take different paths in life, they soon find their stories will be connected once again.
And for us, when we set out to build any part of our world, that’s the guiding principle – everything’s got to be connected. If we can’t connect the world piece we’re building to the story today or the story before, we drop it for something that is.
I started by saying our favorite stories are really two stories, but that’s not the whole truth. Our favorite stories start that way, but somewhere along the way, you realize you’ve been sucked into one big, grand story. Everything’s connected.
That’s what we’re after as well.
The story of our characters and the story of our world are one in the same.
Because for us, above all else, story is world building.
Joe King spent most of his childhood doing what he loved most – building things with his friends. He built friendships, stories, worlds, games, imagination, and everything in between.
Joe believes in the power of stories, dreams, family, friendship, and getting your ass kicked every once in a while.
More than anything, he wants to tell a good story, and, for him, Gelineau & King is the constant reminder that it’s never too late to start building the things you love.
A most interesting post. But in addition to the story that was and the story that is…is the story beyond. I find that the books that stay with me the longest are those whose character live on in my life, enriching and extending my own world view.