*****The Story AYA (Ask You Anything) [Now: Culture (religion, food, clothing, etc.)] *****

I ask you anything about your story because I’m nosey and curious :grin: I might bring up my own story details as examples. You can ask me back if you want.

I’ll make topics. Some of these are going to be from my Worldsmiths | Fantasy World-Building Resource Book on Wattpad, and some will be from the top of my noggin.

1: Inspiration

2: Setting

3: Culture


What inspired you to write your story? How did it all start? How did you come up with the setting, the characters, and the initial plot idea?


Oooh! Pull up a chair; this may take a while. (♯^.^ღ)


So one day I read Song of Achilles and was blown away, and so I wanted to read more books like that. But no one could recommend anything even close. They just kept reccing books about ancient myths, ancient Greece and Rome and stuff, and I have no interest in that. It was the tragic gay romance that got me.

So I gave up on that and read either Jane Austen or Georgette Heyer after that, I can’t remember which. Whatever it was, it was good in a different way. And so I started thinking, why aren’t there any gay Regency or Georgian romances? You’d think they’d be really popular now with Bridgerton and whatnot.

Unfortunately, finding any deep gay romance of any historical period is even harder than finding deep het romance. Evidently romance readers only want books that are pretty shallow, quick easy beach reads. Nothing wrong with that, but I don’t happen to like those kind of books, except for Heyer’s. Hers at least are funny. I mean intentionally funny. So many other romance authors write silly, stupid romance. Okay, I admit I’m not a fan of romance for this reason. I like thinking man’s romance – romance with layers and a message and heavy themes and depth.

So I thought back to that quote by Toni Morrison that if you want to read a book and it hasn’t been written, then you must write it. And that reminded me of that quote by Disraeli or whoever it was that was even better, who said, “Whenever I want a good book to read, I have to write it my damn self.”

And so I decided to rewrite Song of Achilles, only about a different time period and without all the Greek gods and crap.

And yet…

I do actually like books about ancient Greece and Rome, when they’re realistic instead of mythological. And I needed some sort of tragedy that the romance would revolve around.

Then it came to me: the rediscovery of ancient Pompeii and the other towns buried by Vesuvius in 79 AD happened during the Georgian era. The first discovery was in the 1600s, but nothing was really done to excavate until the 1700s when my story takes place. It’s why the fashions changed during that era. Previously, European clothes had been hoop skirts and powdered wigs, but an interest in neoclassicism arose when the ancient cities were uncovered. Hence the more natural gowns of Jane Austen’s time.

So I decided to make the discovery of the ancient city the focal point of the story, when I suddenly thought, Why make the characters go to Italy when I can just bring the volcano to England?

So I decided to make it an alternate universe where many of the same things happened and many of the same people lived, though with different names and locations. So Lord Byron becomes Lord Dryden, and so forth and so on. And a renamed Vesuvius moves to England, now renamed Angla Londe, so that it can erupt again at the end of the book. Huzzah! Now I have my tragedy.

But wait, they had other tragedies then. They had the French revolution and guillotines and anarchists and the Buggery Act. Let’s use all that too!

And so I am. (>‿◠):v:

TLDR: I decided to rewrite Song of Achilles since I can’t find any more books like that. ¯\_(ﭢ)_/¯


It’s been so long that I don’t remember those specific details. Probably other books, dreams, nightmares, certain topics. And if I had to guess it was a way to keep me occupied.

But I do know what inspired me to publish! I had a lot of teachers throughout the years tell me I should never do anything arts related because I “lack the ability to be imaginative”. So I published a book and rubbed it in their faces :relieved:


I probably wanted to focus on Faust Thornwood’s family and their drama, but it ended up taking a weird turn.

Now, I like it and can’t stop writing it.


This is me everytime. :joy:


When the truth hurts…



I’ve seen people say this, but I haven’t seen people actually doing it, so it was interesting for me to read how your book came about :blush:

I usually just wait for people to write what I’m interested in because I know someone will :stuck_out_tongue:

Yeah, why not? It’s your story :grin: You play god. You can do whatever you want. That’s the beauty of being a writer.

Let’s goooo! :grin: Sounds like a fun story to write!


Those are horrible teachers! Why would anyone in their right mind say such things? :roll_eyes:

And look at you now! That should show them.


Awesome! :grin: That’s the best feeling, isn’t it?

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My inspiration for Between Roses is a funny story in a few layers.

First, there was this contest on Figment (dead writing site) of retelling a fairy tale or popular story and on that list was Alice in Wonderland. Oh, sure, there were so many people who chose this one. I could have. But the thing with me and contests is that I always write the most absolutely cringe stuff and I do horribly each time.

I did write something using Rumpelstiltskin in the end because I was trying to be different, but it failed so hard. I can’t even look at that story today.

Then, in 2013, for NaNoWriMo, I decided to challenge myself at a retelling one more time because I did think I could do it. I chose Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I know it’s super popular to use this for a retelling, but I wanted to do a version myself. So, I did try. And failed. I deleted about 1500 words and said, “FORGET IT! I’m going to write a wonderland story MY WAY and not the way so many other people are doing”.

So, the story begins with Eryn strutting down the hallway going after the nerd in the plaid shirt who should have done her homework for her.

And that’s how it all began. While I did use Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland for inspiration, it was more my stubborn will-power that created this story :stuck_out_tongue:


Between that and the Wizard of Oz, it feels like Alice is more favored than Dorothy, in terms of story and worldbuilding.


I think it’s because the original world lore is more solid for Wonderland.

You see, even Wikipedia is confused with L. Frank Baum because he did not set out to write Oz into a series, so any books after the first one are not connected lore-wise, and people tried so hard to connect them after his passing, but it’s still all over the place. Dorothy’s role in the series changes a lot, too. There’s a lot of inconsistencies with the plot, too. There’s a ton of characters each with their own inconsistencies.

Totally a mess.

It’s a lot harder to know what to do with it compared to Wonderland.

The good thing about it being confused is that those who do retellings have a load of creative freedom to add whatever they want. I know because I have an Oz-inspired world.

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You know what, I never knew that in all honesty.
Seriously, I always wondered, but I didn’t know that was the case.

Thanks so much for explaining.

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You’re welcome :wink: Going through all the articles related to Oz on Wikipedia for inspiration was confusion XD I’ve never seen Wikipedia being so confused. I had to really pick and choose what to keep and what to add, and also figure out a lot about the lore of Oz as a fantasy world because L. Frank Baum did not expect people to like it so much, so he didn’t make a lot of it.

It’s like he hastily put something together and was like, “O-oh yeah, sure, totally wanted to turn this into a whole big series with lots of lore. Sure! Totally!” (he probably didn’t use those words, but you get what I mean? :sweat_smile: ) So, what he put together was filled with holes.

He didn’t leave much behind either, so when his family tried to pick up after, this guy comes in and says he wants to continue the series. They said sure, go ahead, so he did…rather, he tried.

Then someone else tried.

Then another person.

Then someone made a play.

All kinds of things were twisted around and added and changed…so messy.

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Ah, that makes sense.

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Because my family works/ed in the STEM field so obviously, by default, that somehow means I’m incapable of creativity :woman_shrugging: And those teachers really didn’t like me


This may have been covered in other threads, but here’s a ‘brief’ summary.

Goddess v2.0 began as a university project for a creative writing (Young Adult) subject. The story is set in 2016, when I was studying the subject, and the story is set in Israel, where most of my other stories are set.

My initial story idea and general plot came from the anime Gunslinger Girl and Armitage III, and the Paul Newman film Exodus. My characters called Dov and Lander are a reference to the Exodus character Dov Landau, but I misspelt his name (decided to keep the incorrect spelling regardless).

Some of the themes I intended to use in my story are adoption / new companionships (and the associated new life) as a form of healing old traumas, and as a form of shock therapy (for the same goal); relationship dynamics between age groups, and how age is not always an indication of maturity or wisdom;* child-hero archetypes; and a reversal of typical character roles, the young characters (i.e. Krista) command the adults, and they’re often more intimidating / fearless than the adults* (again, see Krista).

*Israel’s environment leaves little room for childhood ~ Shimon Peres.

Main character inspirations:
Krista: A mix of Karen from Exodus, Asuka from Neon Genesis Evangelion, and Treila from GSG. And a generous dose of hormonal Israeli teenager / spoilt Germanic baroness thrown into the pot.

Dov: Keith Fennell (Warrior Brothers), Cameron Bard (The Commando), Jose from GSG, and Ross from Armitage III. And also the usual ‘gentle giant’ stereotype. Dov is not passive and forgiving because others scare or intimidate him (well, maybe the girls), but because he has nothing left to prove.
I’m not begging for my life, I’m begging for your life ~ Dov (probably).
Lose the attitude, avoid the pain ~ Zohan (Adam Sandler).
The more dangerous I became, the nicer I became ~ Jocko Willink (former Navy SEAL).

Freyja: Henreitta from GSG, and the Norse goddess she is named after…Freyja is a soothing presence and a guardian angel to her companions…Several books about adopted orphans and foster children, most by Cathy Glass, were also valuable research material for Freyja’s personality and nature. Freyja soon develops the manner of an adopted orphan who is quite appreciative of her rare fortune to be in Dov’s care.

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Sounds like a fun character to write :grin:

Setting! Where does the story take place?
breaking down this question,

  • What is the name of the world, continent, country, state, city, town, village…that the story takes place in the majority of the time?
  • What does this world look like? Square like dice? Round like Earth? Flat like Discworld?
  • What does the landscape look like? Barren, wet, arid, dry, bleak, populated, fancy, made of glass, underwater, volcano, floating in space…?