What I did in the background (and not-so-much background) in May. I got a lot done!
May was an incredible month as far as updates for TCC went! I did a lot of work in the background to smooth things out to make things run better for you and for me. Here are the main things I did:
I've wanted to offer a worldbuilding service for some time, but I had a couple of problems with this: first of all, while I'm well-trained in personality types, behaviour, and child development, my knowledge of, well, everything that makes up a planet, is less comprehensive. In short, I can't offer expertise.
Secondly, worlds are far more complex than people. My longest character No Frills can be around 6,000 words, but a decently-detailed worldbuilding project can be much longer. This one, for instance, is 24,000 words, and that's just for 1/5th of that particular setting. The depth to which worldbuilders want to work on their worlds varies widely. That means that a set price for writing a No Frills wouldn't really work - the potential word count varies so much that working out an average cost (and I don't even know what the average is yet) would work out badly either for the smaller worldbuilders or for me.
That wouldn't do.
Instead, I came up with a system that's effectively pay-as-you-go. I charge per 1,000 words written by you for me to process, and you can add to the word-count as time goes on. That allows you to work on your worldbuilding bit by bit, and to spread the cost over as long as you need.
Going back to the first problem: not being knowledgeable enough to offer expertise, I have a way around that: counselling skills.
For those of you who have been for counselling or therapy, you'll know what I mean: a counsellor listens to you, supports you when you feel overwhelmed, strives to understand what is important to you and what your goals are, points out oversights or biases that may be holding you back, and helps you organise your thoughts so that you can face the world with a clearer head.
That's what I do for my worldbuilding clients.
I started teaming up with artists a few weeks ago, but wasn't sure exactly how receptive the artists who affiliated with me would be. By the time this month rolled by I had a better idea, so I streamlined and improved the process. Now new artists have a decent chance at being picked for an art project, and I've shifted the points system (see half way down the page) to be less work for the artist and to benefit me better.
I'm always looking for more artists to join, so if you're interested in joining, why not read the terms and sign up? The registration form is near the bottom of the page.
Remember my earlier comments about counselling? This is where I get to use that to best effect.
I should say that I don't offer a counselling or therapeutic service in my capacity as the founder of TCC - I am an advanced psychotherapy trainee, but when I'm working for TCC I only use my training for the purposes of critique and the entertainment that comes with learning about some truly interesting fictional characters.
Several counselling skills translate well to consultations for worldbuilding enthusiasts:
Why not try an hour with me just to trial the service? I run a calendar that you can use to book time in with me.
And then, last but not least, is this blog!
I'm going to use this blog to write my thoughts, talk about issues related to character design and worldbuilding that I hope you will find interesting, and to signpost you to other services, resources, and people.
At the time I'm writing this it doesn't have a comments section yet. Sorry about that, guys - it's because I wrote this entire web site myself and don't know how to include a comments section.
So that's pretty much all of the updates for now! I've got other plans for June and I really hope to have something new to show you by this time next month!
Hayley is a trainee therapeutic counsellor and has been an administrator for far too long. She lives in Bristol, UK with her boyfriend, and no dogs. When she's not completing her training and building TCC she goes hiking, and bakes too many cakes.