Orcs kill because they are evil

 

For a writer, productivity is balanced against sociability. I had hardly any social life this past month, but I was insanely productive. I called it, “Unraveler History Month,” because I worked tirelessly on the historical background.

One thing I love about books like Game of Thrones and the Lord of the Rings is that sense that the world is lived in. There was history before the events in those books, and it makes those books feel real. I want that element in my book. I want to know about the wars that happened in my world, how particular cities got their names, why there is an abandoned castle in the middle of the forests, and how all of that figures into the motivations of my characters.
 

because it’s evil

Something that I don’t like in novels is mindless evil. Orcs, ready to kill and eat manflesh simply because all orcs are evil. Creepy men wearing black eye shadow that want to kill you for no apparent reason. A monster that emerges from the depths because it was prophesized to kill everyone because it’s evil.

Evil itself, I feel, is not a reason. Prophecy is not a reason. It’s not logic. Did XXX kill everyone in town simply because he’s evil? No. Often, though, creatures like orcs are willing to do their master’s bidding for no other reason than they have black hearts, but that seems like a cop-out to me.

My “evil” characters are driven by true motivations. My monsters have reasons. Even my environmental antagonists have reasons. Logic that reads more that, “Because it’s evil. Why else?”

 

So, my history.

I’ve been working on building a timeline that spans over 4000 years. It lists EVERY single King or ruler during that time period… for all five nations in my book. For some, it even gives details on how they died and why so-and-so replaced them instead of so-and-so.

So, I’ve been working on that, noting every major war, battle, triumph, gain, loss, marriage, event, etc, for a span of 4000 years. I’ve also been building my giant family tree, listing all of my major characters and their families (hundreds and hundreds of names). I’ve been preparing myself for a new read-through (I always make a giant list of things to work on as I read, and also mark up my document with comments with smaller stuff to weed out before the read). I’ve been reworking this system I had for mystical/magical stuff, too.

I might write more on magic later, though.

Hope your day is going well! Thanks for reading! Keep in touch; follow me on Twitter: @Oxyborb

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