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Free Book, New Book, and TV Show

What, a second blog post in as many months? It must mean something’s brewing, and indeed that’s the case. As I said last time, I have not been idle, which is why I have a whole slew of news for you today.

Firstly, here’s a FREE BOOK aimed at fantasy worldbuilders. In it I’ve compiled 101 worldbuilding prompts that I’ve compiled over the last few months working on my big, overview book. In truth, there’s a lot more than 101 questions since the vast majority of them have subquestions underneath them. For instance, if you have added fauna to your world, what does it look like, what abilities does it have, what weaknesses, etc.? In all, it’s 35 pages worth of questions to fill out your world.

I also managed to throw in some minor theory as to top-down versus bottom-up versus inside-out worldbuilding. And the fact that most fantasy conceits (anther theory I threw in there) exist as either exsecting, unchanged, divergent, or additive. Want to know what the hell, I’m talking about? Well, the book is FREE to download over on my BOOKS page. Too lazy to click on that link? Then you can download it here as a PDF file, MOBI (Kindle) file, or EPUB.

On to other news, I am putting the last editing changes on my next worldbuilding book, which compiles and synthesizes worldbuilding theories and approaches. This has been a three-year journey for me, and I’ve scoured academia and the internet alike for all this information. I think the most quoted books in this are Mark J. P. Wolf’s Building Imaginary Worlds, Tolkien’s On Fairy Stories, Brandon’s Sanderson’s three rules of magic (secretly four), and N. K. Jemisin’s worldbuilding presentation. But I’ve also drawn from Orson Scott Card, Neil Gaiman, Ursula Le Guin, Steven Erikson, Blake Snyder, Jared Diamond, Ryan North, and… well, that’s all I got off the top of my head.

I’ve even done the unthinkable and worked on some infographics, which is definitely something I never expected to do when I sat down to write my first fantasy novel five years ago. But I think they’ve turned out pretty well, as will the surveys on fantasy worldbuilding once I do one last push the next few weeks to get some more answers.

Anyways, the book is up for preorder, and is due to come out July 31st.

I also swear I will never, NEVER write non-fiction again after this series. There’s far, far more effort that goes into making you points, ensuring they’re properly cited, and then fact-checking those points to make sure they’re accurate. Plus I had to dust off some mathematics that I haven’t used since high school, which was… unpleasant.

That said, I have finished the rough draft on the follow up book to Worldbuilding For Fantasy Fans And Authors, which is more focused on applying all the worldbuilding theories for authors. Plus it has over 750 worldbuilding prompts and is focused on making sure you only use the ones that apply to your idea. This one is roughly slated to come out some time in October. I would like to say I could give a hard launch date on it since it doesn’t really need nearly as much work as the previous book, but something has come up in my life. Something potentially good for a change.

I come from a screenwriting background, but have mostly given up on it a few years ago after far too many close calls to name. I did however make a show with some Chinese producers, which was a godsend for us at the time. Well, they have a movie they think is funded and would like me to write it. And as much as I’d like to say this is a done deal, I’ve been at this far too long to make any assumptions. Basically, I won’t believe it’s going to happen until after I see it up on the big screen. But I’ve worked with these folks in the past, and they did get that show made, so here’s to hoping this will go through (and most likely throw off my book three release).

Anyways, the show we did finally showed up on Youtube of late, and it’s below. I will note that I’m not listed as a writer in the opening credits, and am instead a “script consultant” or the like in the end credits. This was due to a censors issue in China that I won’t get into here. But rest assured I wrote each and ever word in that show (well, the English versions that got translated). I even have photos of us outlining it somewhere, as well as the scripts itself. We had a LOOOONG discussion about this, and I’ve been assured I’ll get top writing billing this time around, but I’ll believe that when I see my name on the big screen.

So there you go: a free book, a new book, and a Chinese sci-fi show I wrote. 2020 may be a trashfire for the world, but it’s already better for me than 2019.

Dammit, I’m sure I just jinxed myself by saying that…


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MD Presley is a screenwriter, blogger and occasional novelist… which basically means he’s a layabout.  He has written two books on fantasy worldbuilding, and teaches worldbuilding techniques, tricks, and tips at Forging Fantasy Realms once a week on YouTube. 

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