Tag Archive: Culture


Intern Number One, signing on.

My daily purpose in the peculiar Novel Ninja family is a little hard to describe. Hannah and I are being trained side-by-side, but with very different specialties. Hannah, with her love of flow and passion for the written word, is spending her days gleefully working through documents sentence-by-sentence to polish the beauty in them; I, for the most part, am playing in my own little sandbox, learning how to stitch together inconsistencies and help chains of events feel realistic and alive. One of the tools Bowman and I use to keep ourselves entertained and our minds fluid is a little thing I call Culture Chess.

Culture Chess is an exercise that developed very early on in my career as a mook. It’s a way that Bowman-Sensei and I play with our shared love for big-picture thinking. It’s a mutual thought experiment; starting with nothing, or nearly nothing, we slowly build the workings of a story. Continue reading

Victory-Cigar-Congress-Passes-DST.jpegIt’s that time of year again. It’s time to wake up an hour early, only to look at the clock and be confused because it’s an hour later than it feels like it should be. It’s time to grumble and moan and ask yourself and anyone in earshot why do we do this ridiculous thing!?

That’s right. It’s Daylight Saving Time.

It’s a peculiar practice that supposedly saves energy, except it winds up causing far more headaches than benefits, makes scheduling things weird, and is generally a pointless exercise that may or may not save a few bucks.

This time, though, it made me think of a different topic. Strange peculiarities that may or may not make sense but always seem weird from a different perspective are what make a real-life culture seem, well, real. What kind of things can we learn from that for worldbuilding?  Continue reading

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