When I first started writing Changeling, the story was set on a single continent: Cyril. It was, like much fantasy, a decidedly medieval European setting – of the thirteen territories, five are based on England, one on France, one on Scotland, one on Wales, one on Poland/Czech Republic, one on Greece, and one on English colonies. Then as the story progressed, I added a second continent, which was based on Indian and Arabic settings of the real world; this was called Kriss.
Imagination progressed, as it is apt to do, and a third continent was imagined: Althaea. Although none of Changeling is set on Althaea, references are made to the culture to the east, and it is mentioned in passing. Althaea is based on German and Native American cultures, as well as English colonies, because the people of Cyril have shipped across the sea to try to claim it as their own.
So here I am, 70 000+ words into Changeling’s sequel, Abomination, and out of the blue while I’m working, I come up with a fourth continent idea, the tentative name of which is Thörstaag.
It, obviously, will be based on Norse and Scandinavian cultures.
I’m very excited to develop it into something larger. I’ve already got a basic culture for them, how their society will be divided, and what deities they will worship. Each continent has a sort of magical creature that is native to the land, and that of Thörstaag will be based on wolves – that’s all we’ll say about that for now, because they aren’t fully developed.
It’s interesting to see though. Even though I had this fully developed world of separate entities and societies and religions, it is constantly evolving and changing into something bigger and better. I’m honestly amazed I haven’t got to the point of creating languages probably because I’m not particularly linguistically gifted.
I think, especially for fantasy, this happens to many authors. Anything and everything around us can give us inspiration, and if we love a new idea we want to add it to something else that we already treasure. Changeling is my baby, and it just made sense to add such another badass historical culture to the already pretty motley mix. Of the four continents now existing in the world of Changeling, only Cyril is developed. Kriss, Althaea, and now Thörstaag, still have so much further to go until they’re at the same level.
Has this happened to anyone else? How much more have you added to something spur of the moment?
Also, I lied. Hairventures later.