East Side to da West Side… Of Wherever We Are…

Bonjour, gutten morgon, all of that good stuff!

So I am sure that many of my little American friends can remember hearing the Dr. Seuss book Oh The Places You’ll Go (by the way, the name Seuss is actually pronounced SOH-ees, not SOOS). Yes! Oh the places that you will go – when you are writing or reading a book. Destinations are extremely important, but first you need to create them. Now, you could think that I am referring mainly to cities, right? I actually am NOT. I am referring to those very potent yet mainly obscure places: geographical locations.

One of two ways to go is to just pick a place that already exists. Take The Hunger Games trilogy for example. Ms. Collins places the nation of Panem in the ruins of what was once North America, but many years after the ice caps have melted and the coasts have flooded. Because of that, it is original in its own right. But, the not-so-original aspect is the fact that she used the geography of North America.

I suppose that this unoriginal geography does add some fun to reading the story. It makes an American reader think,”Hmm, where am I in Panem? I think I am in District 1!” My English II class did this with the Writing Goddess and it was very fun to try and place the different districts. I am in Tennessee, and because most of the state farms, I could safely assume that where I am is part of District 11. American friends, that’s pretty fun, right? Friends from outside the country, my deepest apologies that you cannot experience this awesomeness…

thepanemfullmapmerged
A fan-made map of the nation of Panem

Personally, there are some districts that are in different places than in the map above, but that’s just my opinion. Here is why: I have done my research, and some of the facts don’t add up. Where District 11 goes up into the Appalachian Mountains, I would replace it with District 12 land.

The simple truth for that is to do your research. Geography has a major role in where aspects of your world are placed. The geography can even be the foundation of the people and the culture. Greece is a mountainous country with tons of islands. Where do the Gods live? On a mountain. Where were most wars fought? On the sea. See? Simple things like geography can set off the entire culture.

Let me use my world exempli gratia.

My world consists of an empire split into 12 kingdoms. The Empire is called Terrapaxus, and not only does it span the globe, it consists of every land mass on Earth (minus Antarctica). Every nanometer is ruled by one person. It is basically like Panem, but the only thing the two empires have in common is the one person ruling everyone with a hereditary heir.

Each kingdom is based on a Zodiac sign, and if you were to rearrange the names of the kingdoms, you would find the names of the Signs. Let us take Cancerians and the kingdom of “Cranec,” for example.

Cancer the Crab is the 4th sign. It is a Water sign. Caucasian Cancerians are typically more palid and have lighter eyes and hair, but sometimes the hair and eyes are very dark. Many Cancerians have an affinity for water and the ocean, of course, and those who live near the beach in warmer climates tend to be tan. Cancerians are very sweet and caring, but can be crabby at times. If they get emotionally hurt, they can retreat into their own private world like a tortoise into its shell. They are very family-oriented, have a love of cooking and antiques, and sometimes can be very bad packrats.

Take the given information of a Cancer. When I think of Cancer, I actually don’t think of that warm Cancun beach full of sun, and the sparkling blue waters of Hawai’i, though they are some top destinations of Cancerian tourists… I think of the balmy, rough beaches of the west coast of Ireland, and the massive cod slowly smoking away in an old Inuit hut. Therefore, I placed the kingdom of Cranec in the Northern Hemisphere.

Cranec consists of the French region of Brittany, the British Isles (the “United Kingdom” has been abolished), Iceland, Greenland, Canada, Alaska (the Last Frontier has been separated from the US and made into its own country), and the Russian subdivisions of Chukotka, Kamchatka, Magadan, Sakhalin, Khabarovsk, Jewish Autonomous Oblast, and Primorsky.

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Do what you will with your world. Make it millions of years ago with the ancient continent of Pangaea. Place it in outer space with some crazy new planet.

Have fun playing Creator Deity and start working your geographically molded mind!

– The Ollam

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You are a Writer in a Sandbox

You are a Writer in a Sandbox

Projects, admittedly, can be a pain in the butt. However, they can be an inspiration. In the 7th grade, I began a project for my reading class after reading The Giver. The task presented to the class was to create a utopian society, complete with transportation, laws, etc. I had recently been infatuated with the art of astrology, and used it as my basis. The Utopia of the Taureans! Got a good grade, no biggy. What happened next was purely imagination, and everyone has this same imagination. The following summer, I thought, Why not make this society for all signs? Thus was the conception and birth of the global utopian empire known as Terrapaxus.

Now, everything I have said seems like I’m bragging. Albeit, it is a little bit asinine. However, I have to say, everything I am going to display and share, yada yada yada, is to help you out and maybe inspire you to create your own world.

However, before you start, there are some things that must be addressed: the structure of y0ur world.

First, create the people. Are they all human, all beast, or a hodgepodge of creatures and man?

Second, choose the government. Are you a wild child? Make it an anarchy! You want to be revered as the supreme ruler? Make it a monarchy. You want to have total power and be feared? Make it a dictatorship. Do what you want.

Third, create your culture. What is the main religion? How do the people(s) dress? What do they eat on the regular? What are some of the ideals of the society? What are the languages like?

Fourth, make the lands. Where do the people(s) live: in the mountains, under the sea, on the prairie?

Fifth, names. Give the people and places names, along with this fantastical world that you have worked so hard to create.

Sixth, write the history of your world. How did everything come to be? Why are things the way they are now?

Seventh, last but not least, make a story to go along with it. Make the storyline to bring this world farther into the future, for better or for worse. Or, you can illustrate it!

Are you an avid MineCraft player? Hot damn, build your world. Do you love to draw, paint, and sketch? Grab a ton of canvases and get to work illustrating your fantasy. Is writing and reading a passion of yours? Cool, write some fanfiction about your world. Or better yet, if you want to, add something from your mind to my fantasy. Write, paint, draw, build, add on to your fantasy.

There is another person that started this stuff over 80 years, and continued for over 20 years: J.R.R. Tolkien, the writer of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and the posthumously published Silmarillion. Look at how much success he had! He wrote The Hobbit for his kids, and when approached by a publisher, he believed no one would like his work! Now, Tolkien’s work is known world-wide!

Clearly, if Tolkien can do it, so can you! Give it a try!

Good luck to ye!

-The Ollam

Photo Creds: vox.com


Dia daoibh! Hallå! Allô!

Hey guys! I am The Ollam, and thank you for choosing to take a look at my blog. I am a high-schooler with a massive and sometimes otherworldly intellect. I am Scots-Irish and Swedish, and I have somewhat of an obsession with mythology. On this blog, I am going to share the philosophies, myths, and thought processes behind my fictional world, as well as excerpts from the entire story. About 4 years have gone into the creation of this fantastical world, and I appreciate your taking time to learn about it! To keep up with me, click the follow button in the bottom right corner. If you want to leave your little mark, leave your opinions and questions in the comment section below. Thanks y’all!

– Torán, An Ollam

May God be with ye. Dia a bheith in éineacht leat go léir.