Creating My World
In any fantasy novel or series, creating the world is crucial. One of the reasons that Rise of the Red Harbinger took over six years to write was because I had to build a world. Then, within that world, I had to build cities, cultures, landmarks, myths, and a history behind all of that.
From early on in the writing process, I had a very basic map developed. It helped that the first two chapters are set in a closed off portion of the world. As the story developed, so did the map. It was surprisingly fun, yet tiring, to create the civilizations of the world. You’d be surprised as to how many intricate things need an explanation, including how cities are laid out. There were times when I even used old Legos to design cities, just to get a 3D visual on how a layout would look.
Throughout Rise of the Red Harbinger, we only explore a handful of cities, say about five or so. I focused more on characters’ journeys to a single common destination for a majority of this book, so most of the time they were outside of heavily populated areas. In doing this, I was able to familiarize the reader with the geography of my world, but not overwhelm the audience with too many details to remember about every culture. However, Book 2 will thrust the audience into several different settings because the main characters will be starting off in numerous cities and they’ll have no choice but to navigate and notice the cultures.
The map itself has evolved quite nicely as I’ve written this first story and then more so as I’ve worked out what will happen in the sequel. Here and there, I’ve needed to add forests or mountains, and maybe a river wasn’t necessary anymore. It’s kind of fun to be the creator in that sense that you can decide what your world needs or doesn’t need.
By the time I was satisfied with my world, I realized that I wasn’t satisfied with my map. It was essentially a pencil drawing on a sketchbook page, and there was no way that was going to be in the book, looking like that. I decided to hire one of my students to create a more realistic and official looking version, which is what you see here. I remember thinking that she would do a good job, which was why I asked her. However, when she showed me the final version, I was floored. Even my publisher was amazed! The color version of this map appears in the book, and it looks even better than this. I’m so proud of what it has become and I can’t wait to explore more of it in the rest of this series. I’ve created the world that I wanted. It looks great and it functions perfectly for everything I want to do with this story.
Rise of the Red Harbinger
The Drowned Realm Series
Publisher: Open Door Publications
Date of Publication: June 6, 2016
Number of pages: Around 400
Word Count: 180,000
Cover Artist: Genevieve LaVo Cosdon, LaVo Design
Thousands of years ago, the realm of Ashur was drowned by Darian, Harbinger of the god Orijin, to save it from the evil Red Harbinger, Jahmash. But the prophecies say Jahmash will return—and only Darian’s chosen Descendants, those who bear a black line on their face, can save mankind.
Baltaszar: An untried lad from a hidden village. He must find the House of Darian to learn how to use his mysterious powers.
Marshall: The last of a race of warriors slaughtered by Jahmash’s army. Will the other Descendants help him avenge his family and his race?
Prince Garrison: He spent years following his father, the king’s orders to kill all who bear the mark of Darian—even though he bears it himself. Can the other Descendants accept him? Or will they kill him?
Time is running short for the Descendants. Hunted by the people they are supposed to protect, can they save Ashur from its greatest threat: The Red Harbinger?
About the Author:
Khalid Uddin’s credits his creative beginnings to comic books, specifically “The Amazing Spider-Man” and “X-Men”. Throughout middle school and high school, his predominant hobby was drawing his favorite characters, original characters, and just about everything that was put in front of him. Once his college roommate introduced Khalid to Robert Jordan’s “The Wheel of Time” book series (later completed by Brandon Sanderson), his imagination evolved. He had already been familiar with Tolkien’s vivid world, but Jordan’s was something new and far grander. Khalid saw the beginnings of his own fantasy world coming to life, thanks to these authors and to many of his own coming of age experiences.
When his head is not stuck in the fantasy world, Khalid spends his free time with his wife Jen and adorable one year-old daughter, Emme, who have both been incredibly generous with giving him time to write and finish his novel. He makes a living with literature, being a high school English teacher in New Jersey.
Khalid regularly posts updates and news about his novel and the writing process on his website, www.khaliduddin.com