Katherine L. E. White

Creator of Worlds

Author: admin

Writing when uninspired

file000643944419There are times when writing comes easy–easy peasy.  Then there are time when it like pulling out my eyelashes one by one with pair of tweezers that don’t hold the hair follicle very tightly.

It is called “Writer’s Block”.

Writer’s block isn’t a real thing, per se, it is rather just the lack of the genius speaking in one’s ear.  However, when that little voice isn’t there, whispering the words into your brain, it makes hitting the keys much less palatable.  But as a writer, you have to hit the keys anyway.

I sometimes get overwhelmed by my many projects, and think I need to scale down, that would help with my genius speaking to me again.  But in reality, it is simply one of those ordinary times when one’s mind isn’t as obviously active.  This is when the workhorse mode comes in, always waiting in the wings for when the inspiration fairy has flown the coop.

So into workhorse mode I go, attempting to entice the inspiration fairy back onto my shoulder.  I usually take a walk around the neighborhood with my dog, Sweetie Belle, make myself a cup of tea, (with two sugars and milk, please), find a pleasant area in the house or yard, and start pounding the keys, as Bradbury used to say.

What do you do to fight the dreaded Writer’s Block?

WIP: Children of the Phoenix

When working on a series, or even a stand alone book, it is easy to forget about titles.  Most writers have working titles, and some are lucky enough to have the working title end up being the actual title.  I stink at titles.  I always have, even when I was a baby writer.  In this series, that is dear to my heart and yet to come out, the first book is called Ashes.  I didn’t even come up with that title, but rather a dear friend of mine wrote a poem about the series, and the title came from it.  Here’s what she wrote:

Ashes were all that was left

forgotten, Rising, left to

Smolder until they turned cold,

needing only
a little nudge
to once again Ignite
Blaze to life
and bask all around it in Light.



Darkwood Feathers Episode 4: Rent-To-Own-Feather now available

The next installment of the DWF serial is out and available at most online retailers!


Senna makes a risky move in an effort to find the abducted children. Meanwhile, Lively is forced to deliver the kids to Ross. She’s done all she can, but will the rogue show in time to save them?


Smashwords.com (free until May 13th with the code XG82K.  We ask that you please leave a review on Goodreads to return the good karma).



WIP Wednesday

I get to talk about a work in progress that y’all haven’t read yet–It’s called The Children of the Phoenix.  It’s a sci-fi series, and I am totally in love with it.  Book one is in the editing phase, and book two is in the works.  It has anthropomorphic characters in it, which is super fun to write (and think) about.   The world in which it takes place is rich and full, and sometimes overwhelming.  I’m brimming to share with you, my loyal readers!  I’ve got a little of the information on it at www.childrenofthephoenix.com, and shall add small bits and pieces as I get a chance to.

Music on Mondays

Inspiration comes to us in many ways, and one of the ways it comes to me is through music.  So I will share songs every so often on a Monday, that struck me when I heard them.This song reminds me very much of when Senna and Leslo started their life together.  (Don’t forget to follow Senna Hawkman on twitter @senna60460127)Counting Stars by OneRepublic

Creating the Setting

Often times, when one thinks of the setting of a book, one thinks of  time and place.   Writers, especially of fiction, know better.  When setting the stage of the story, an author is to use all of the senses.

We are moving house, so our house has been cleared out of any items that would denote someone actually lives there.  Oh, it is still livable, it has furniture and the beds and dressers, but nothing personal.  Nothing  that shows actual people are there.  It is, for all intents and purposes, a generic house.  My best friend was over, and she told me, “Your house doesn’t smell like your house anymore.”

I will admit that this slightly worried me.  Did all of my cleaning and clearing make the nasty smell, that I had, perhaps, become nose-blind to, disappear?  “Is that a good thing?” I asked with trepidation.

“No!” answered by BFF.  “Your house always smelled like bread baking, and all thing little things you were growing.”

Admittedly, I lean a bit toward the crunchy side of life, so I usually have sourdough starter and kefir brewing in the kitchen.  Since we had to make the house saleable, those items are now in the freezer, hopefully hibernating peacefully until they reach their new home.

“It doesn’t smell like that anymore.”

Smell is the sense most associated with memory.  Something that a visual could never bring to mind, a scent can bring to the forefront of one’s brain.  As an author, my BFF’s comment reminded me that I must be mindful to put scent into my writing.

Creating Darkwood Feathers

Darkwood Feathers was one of my worlds that I created from the  bottom, up.   MK and I started small, very small in fact.  We started writing not knowing much about our world, other than we were going to have two kicking heroines who had their DNA messed with and were manufactured as weapons.  That’s it, pretty much.  Darkwood Industries wasn’t very developed, other than it was the manufacturing facility.

Now, MK is fabulous at taking notes, so as we discussed the larger aspects of the world that Senna and Lively, she started making our world bible.  As of right now, we have more details than we do the big picture, but more of the big picture happens every day.

Starting Big and Going Small or Starting Small and Going Big?

People world build in one of two ways: they either start from the small, mundane things and work their way to larger ones, or they start from the creation of the world, and finally come down to earth.

World building can be seen as a funnel, with the epic ‘and the land was parted from the waters’ at the large end and the ordinary ‘the decor the privy’ at the spout.

worldbuilding funnel

You need to know how your world was created, or at the very least, some idea of who your characters think the world was created.   This helps to understand why your characters think about the world in the way they do, on a collective consciousness level.  Was the world created violently or in a loving and peaceful manner?  What effect does this belief have on the way the people, as a whole, live in the world you’re building?

But you also need to know the decor of the privy.  Well, not this exactly (but maybe, depending on the story), but knowing how the toilet is decorated says a great deal about the character and the world in which they live.  What kind of toilet is it?  Why is it that way?  Is there any decoration in it?  Why or why not?

Knowledge of both of these things is essential.  It makes your world a real place, filled with real people, doing things for real reasons.  Either way is appropriate.  But both ways must serve the story.

What Is World Building?

This is such a simple question to ask, and it actually has a simple answer, but the answer has not-so-simple implications.

Many people want to answer the question with “setting”, but that is only partially correct.  Setting is “the time, place, and conditions in which the action of a book, movie, etc., takes place” (Merriam-Webster).  It is only the within the story you are writing.

But there are other things happening that do not take place in the time, physical space, or conditions of your story.  Things have happened before the story, they will happen afterward.  People exist outside of the story you’re telling, in places that exist outside of the story you’re telling.

It is these empty spaces, the ones you don’t tell us about in your work, that is world building.

World building is everything that happens in the reality of your story, both inside and outside of it.  And I mean absolutely everything.  No matter what world you create, people have to remove waste from their bodies.  How do the characters do that?  How does the society handle it?  This is a very simple aspect of world building, what you’re characters are doing, no matter who they might be, off-camera.

There is more to your world than your story.  What’s happening outside of it?


Welcome To My Worlds!

Welcome to the many worlds of Katherine L. E. White.  Whether you’re here for the Chicago inhabited by The Phoenix and her children, the Feathers of Darkwood, Inc.,  The National Libraries of the world and their underground divisions, or the many planets of those stranded behind the Curtain, you’re sure to find something to entertain you.  Explore the site, see what your favorite characters (and author) are up to.

I’m always interested in what you think, so drop me a line.

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