I haven’t done one of these in a while (mostly because it’s a big thing to take on).
You ask me, then I’ll ask you if I can think of something.
The (Other) World Setting: Magical realism fantasy world inspired by the 1820s to 1850s of real-world countries Major locations: Lwendolen, United Arcan, Iptaj Species: Humans, a few demons and evil gods, angels (no one can see them) Books written: 3 Featured characters: over 30 of them because omniscient Interesting characters:
Fernando (a conniving mastermind businessman)
Richard (immortal assassin with a demon)
Charcoal (the demon, a prince)
Mallord (retired legendary detective)
Michael (detective’s son, kind of a dog whisperer)
Will (hair like burnt broccoli, gang leader, cult follower)
Mufakor (a seaman for illegal things. son of a rich noble. perhaps has psychic abilities? not sure)
You can literally ask me anything. The name of the world, the characters, setting, inspiration, my writing process, the lore, my favorite or least favorite whatever…anything you’d like to know or want me to say to have it on record
What’s your most favorite part of this story? It can be out of context.
Personally, yes. I read the one translated by Henry Reed during an English literature class. Years later, I went out of my way to find that same translation again. I just feel like Henry Reed did it justice. I did look at other translations, but, there are differences the closer to modern days the translation is. Instead of saying “woman” they might say “female”, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, I just feel like the story loses that historical 1820s vibe the more you modernize translations.
I fell in love with the setting, the characters, and the almost beautiful sense of despair. There are these incredibly descriptive sentences setting the stage in the beginning like when describing the smell of the lodging:
“A chilly commingling of the stuffy, the moldy, and the fusty, it is damp to the nostrils, and it penetrates the clothes; it evokes the staleness of rooms where people have just finished eating; it is the stink of sculleries, pantries, sickbeds.” (Honoré de Balzac, translated by Henry Reed)
I mean it’s just wonderful. I need to use “commingling” somewhere. It’s such a good word. So, I adapted this style of writing in my own stories. Maybe the sentences don’t go on for this long, but I do go all in setting all the stages.
There’s also these descriptions of characters that almost poke fun at them because of the omniscient perspective. Russian classics do this, too. I also put this style into my stories when introducing characters
There’s this scene in Alive At Crepusculum (book one of Their Posthumous Lives duology) where Mallord and his son who were not speaking, come together again. I had half the scene focusing on Michael who locked himself in his room, terrified of what he’s gotten himself into. The other half shows Mallord calling to his son, but giving up when there’s no response. He says “I’m here if you need me.” and is about to leave.
But then Michael comes out of the room and dives into his father’s arms, apologizing and then Mallord apologizes, and then the wife comes out and everyone hugs