Hello, and welcome back! There are a lot of changes brewing in Lands Uncharted, as Laurie mentioned in her post a few days ago. I’m very excited to be starting my own category, “Storytelling Magic!” It has gained a spot in the heading above so you can easily find all of my posts as they go up every other Friday.
What inspired this change? In short, I love writing about storytelling. Storytelling is my passion, especially when it comes to fantasy and fantasy worlds. “Storytelling Magic” is dedicated to just that. I will be using my own story world of Ruavaen as a base of operations to explore other lands and stories, or speak about storytelling in general. (Naturally, I am not trying to say my story is a perfect example. However, since it is mine and I can control it, I am going to use it as sort of a setting for my posts.) I have recruited an experienced world traveler from Ruavaen to be my “reporter in the field” of sorts, an up-close, in-universe perspective.
She goes by the mononym Reni, and she will be your guide through “Storytelling Magic.” I will let her introduce herself…
Hannah - erm, - recruited me to do this. That’s an interesting story in itself, actually… but one for another time. Yes, I am a storyteller. I’ve spent many nights around a dying campfire filling the silence with tales of all the magnificent lands I have experienced. I’m a world traveler, you see. A modern nomad, of sorts. I can’t stay in one place for long – just enough to get my bearings. Then I move on, always seeking something new, something I’ve never seen. Perfection and power are overrated, after all. I would much rather be free.
The land of Ruavaen is a living, breathing thing – not sentient, like a person, but full of mystery, wonder, and magic. Most of the Airaloth population is contentedly settled in the lush prairies near the center. They go about their lives without even imagining what it is like to travel beyond their borders. But I’ve seen it.
I’ve always been better off on my own, out in the woods or under the blazing sun. Even the frigid winds of the north are comforting to me. I’ve traveled all over Ruavaen, you know. I’ve seen enough to sketch my own map. It’s much more reliable than the officially published ones, since I know the back trails, the forgotten outposts, the lairs of dangerous people. Maybe I’ll show you my map someday.
But for now, all you need to know is that I am the very best guide you could find east of the no-man’s-land they call the Garavan Highlands. I can answer any question you have about the landscape, the wildlife, or the other people who roam the same paths. The people… I’ve met so many over the years of world travel. They’re as varied as the landscape itself. I have contacts all over, so I’ve seen more than most. From the most exclusive palace to the dark and dangerous lower ring of Airen City, from the thriving port metropolis of Jassin City to the most remote outpost, and from the most beautiful tourist locations to treacherous abandoned ruins. I have plenty of stories to tell, and I’m sure you will hear many of them if you stick around long enough.
Why am I here, you ask? If I love travel so much, why have I consented to linger here to do blog posts with Hannah? The details of the contract are not necessary – they may or may not include arguments, haggling, and no small amount of overdue favors being called in – but in the end, Hannah promised me unlimited, all-expenses-paid travel as long as I contribute my experiences and opinions every two weeks.
But even more important than her pledge to fund my wanderings is her promise to show me lands uncharted – places outside of Ruavaen I would never have found on my own. In short, she showed me the universe beyond the fourth wall. Few characters even become aware they are in a story, and even fewer are ever given the chance to travel beyond their own native universes. Hannah offered me a golden ticket, and there is no way I am going to turn it down. She will take me out of my own story and use me as her “reporter in the field” of sorts, an in-story point of view for realms both real and imagined. It’s an adventure I could never turn down.
So here I am: your guide to Ruavaen and every land beyond. Fun, huh? I’m excited. I hope you are too, ‘cause you will be stuck with me for a while.
Hannah: Careful, Reni. I could easily hire someone else to fill your spot.
Um… right. Well, I suppose there’s been enough about me. What can you expect for this new “Storytelling Magic” category of blog posts? Here are some of the changes:
1) They will be significantly longer than others on this blog, running between 1,500 words and 2,000 words – or how much most people can read in about 5-8 minutes.
2) They will be geared directly toward writers and others who are interested in understanding the inner workings of storytelling.
3) There will be a heavy focus on worldbuilding and other fantasy elements. After all, the whole blog is geared toward “lands uncharted” – fantasy realms and what makes them special.
4) Hannah will be in charge of what gets said in the posts, but quite a bit will be written in my voice – I am, after all, the one who is doing all of the legwork.
Hannah: Right, Reni, and who is enabling you to do all of that “legwork,” as you call it? A vacation by any other name is still a vacation. Remember that I’m the only one who can bring you across the fourth wall.
Heh, yeah… Ahem. I think maybe I’ve said enough. I hope to see you back here on Fridays, and if you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or thoughts, Hannah will be happy to answer them in the comments below.