One of the big projects I am working on is creating a universe from some very bad fan fiction mashups in my past. See, much of what I wrote for NaNoWriMo in the first, oh, 10 years, was me writing elements of a story I had in my head, but was primarily my version of other stories. For example, I am 99% sure I can fix Edward Cullen as a character. So, I wrote that one year.
My plan was to never let it see the light of day after that. Basically, I needed to get it out of my head so I could move on. Well, I did and I did… except not really at all. As I grew more confident with my writing, I have realized there is an original idea buried beneath all the fan fiction. I just have to strip the fan fiction and get to the heart of my story.
For the past year I have been playing with how to do just that. It stays in the background of my mind. When I have moments to think about it, I make huge leaps forward. Last week, while sitting on the couch with Cedric Doggery, I had one of those moments and decided I needed house mottos and sigils for five ancient, magical families. It turns out that HBO has a webpage that helps you do just that! No, really! It is freaking awesome, too! I obviously can’t use these in my own stuff, but it gave me something I could see. When it comes time for me to actually have these created, I can give them to the artist as inspiration. After 2 hours of messing around with it I had 5 family mottos, sigils, and types of magic. Since the entire universe focuses on these families, knowing how they function in the universe will make it easier to organize and plot.
Before I left, I made my own house sigil and motto. Clearly, it’s not real. In fact, I suspect my parents won’t like it as much as I do. Still, it may give you an idea of where my head is with this universe.
Do you have any suggestions for webpages like this? Fellow writers, what do you use to help you visualize characters and universes? Don’t tell me you write out profiles… I want something fun!