Thursday, September 18, 2014

Coat of Arms for your Fictional Worlds

Building up the world of Tiaera has become a bit of a hobby for me. When Jack and I were working on Realmwalkers, it provided a great creative outlet that helped us with our story. I didn't know about the term "Worldbuilding" years ago, but now I do and I have discovered some great sites and tools for developing the world of Tiaera. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, here is the Wikipedia definition: Worldbuilding or conworlding is the process of constructing an imaginary world, sometimes associated with a whole fictional universe. The resulting world may be called a constructed world. The term "worldbuilding" was popularized at science fiction writers' workshops in the 1970s.

If you have a fictional world to base your stories on, have you ever thought about adding some flags or coat of arms to the various guilds, countries, families or cities? If your stories include graphics or illustrations, think about adding a flag or coat of arms. As a graphic artist, I was able to research the rules about heraldry, crests and coat of arms.  It took me some time to design something with my Photoshop program for the Order of the Royal Mystics, but I was very pleased with the result. Here is the grey-scaled version I used for the book Realmwalkers.

Now that I have started working on my third book -- 117 pages rough draft so far -- I have decided to add a few more such regal decorations to enhance the imagery of the medieval fantasy world of Tiaera. And while I was doing this, I thought I should share with you a few of the many links I have discovered for free coat of arms and crest online generators to made the job easier.

I have tested out a couple that I hope might inspire you to use for your own world:

Uplink RPG Site Generator  This was the best I have found so far. It gives a lot of options and colors for you to pick from. It certainly sped my work up for making several coat of arms for my world. I didn't like the font for the banner so I left it blank. I will import these into Photoshop and use another font and perhaps do some tweaking to complete these shields. It only took a couple of hours to learn how to use the tool and come up with appropriate designs.

Naelos Coat of Arms

Vawdrey Coat of Arms

Sangrey Coat of Arms
Coat of Arms/Family Crest Generator  This site was more informative about what the symbols and colors mean and the rules about how to create a realistic design. I found it very interesting, but rather limiting and so I couldn't make a design I was happy with. I still think it a good place to research and learn about heraldry in a fun and artistic way. Give this place a try. 

Make Your Coat of Arms: This was another site that is fun and easy to use. In just seven steps you can design a very attractive coat of arms. You don't have to be an artist and it's also free to use. I started a couple of shield designs and stopped so that I can complete these using another program. I'll post these when I get them finished.

My This site looks fun and easy to use. I haven't tried it yet, but I think it's worth listing here. I may try this out in the future.

My Tribe 101: Another site that's free, simple and fun. I haven't tried them either, but I may check them out soon for other crest designs.

Once I have the coat of arms done, I will look into the prospect of creating flags for the various nations of Tiaera. If you know of any good free online flag generator sites, let me know. I'm sure there are a number of them out there, but I would prefer some recommendations from you who have tried them. Leave a comment here or email me.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Archaic Words and Phrases

Hello all!

Summer is so ending and I eagerly await cooler temperatures as days begin to grow shorter. I find I have more time to be at my laptop and it's been a while since I did some archaic words and phrases, so let's see what I have here. As in the past, I chose words that are archaic and originated before the 16th century. The English language is ever changing but as a writer, I am still interested in these old terms from long ago. I hope you can use some of these in your writing!

Askance - Origin Unknown - First Known Use: 1530
: in a way that shows a lack of trust or approval
:  with a side-glance :  obliquely
:  with disapproval or distrust :  scornfully <they eyed the stranger askance>

Troth - Middle English - First Known Use: 12th century
Loyal or pledged faithfulness :  fidelity <pledged my troth>
One's pledged word <I don't remember the details or, by my troth, even the gist — Stanley Elkin>; also :  betrothal

Dingle - Middle English, deep hollow - First Known Use: 13th century
A small wooded valley :  dell
A deep hollow, usually shaded with trees
Fraught - Middle English - First Known Use: 14th century
a :  laden
b :  well supplied or provided
Full of or accompanied by something specified —used with with <a situation fraught with danger>
Causing or characterized by emotional distress or tension :  uneasy <a fraught relationship>

Damsel - Middle English - First Known Use: 13th century
A girl or young woman who is not married
archaic :  a young unmarried woman of noble birth

Wist - alteration of wis - First Known Use: 1500
transitive verb
archaic : to know
"Wist you not that I be about my father's business?"

There is not overmuch to do here.  (too much)

She showed pluck in getting up on stage.   (courage & determination)