Worlds are Built with Small, Specific, Unexpected Details

There’s a line in Hannah Kent’s 2014 novel Burial Rites that describes the windows of a 19th century farmhouse. Instead of glass in the panes, stretched, veiny sheep bladders protect this Icelandic family from wintry elements. Kent paints a stark picture of rural Iceland circa 1828 using such descriptions—imagine dried seaweed stuffing your pillows!—and it … Continue reading Worlds are Built with Small, Specific, Unexpected Details

Bad Air, Good Writing: An Argument for the Consideration of Medical History when World Building

Nature is weird. Let’s get that out of the way. The universe we live in is full of odd things growing odder by the day, but these curiosities aren’t confined to the ocean depths or deep space. The human body—and the fantastical history that comes with it—is a weird unto itself that rivals even the … Continue reading Bad Air, Good Writing: An Argument for the Consideration of Medical History when World Building