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Word of the Day #7 - Harsh

The word of the day is: Harsh

Harsh is an adjective, defined as - unpleasantly rough or jarring to the senses.
Or, cruel or severe.

I don't know if I have mentioned this previously but fantasy-adventure is my forte and without fail the world's I create for my stories always include some sort of harsh environment of some description.  Sometimes it's an arid desert, a vast wasteland or some other unbearably exhausting terrain but it'll be there somewhere.

The problem I always come up against when I write my characters in these environments is events to keep the story flowing but also compelling at the same time.  For example, how to have your characters traversing a desert for an entire chapter or even two while keeping the reading engaged with events and conversation but also depicting the monotonous repeating landscape.

Create a harsh environment and give your characters a reason to be there.  The reason for entering a harsh environment has to be convincing so that the characters don't have a reasonable excuse to avoid travelling through it.  A great example of this is the journey through the Mines of Moria in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring where the fellowship have to travel through the mines because the safer path through the mountains was made too treacherous.

Try to write until your characters get out of the environment which can be challenging; stick with it, every time I write a scene like this it takes several revision before I am remotely happy with it.

Signing off for now,


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