NaN-Row and Making Money


Sunday I was just not in the mood to write but I sat and forced myself. There’s a lot going on in my personal life that’s giving me the “much overwhelmed” feeling. Sunday was one of the days I couldn’t keep it at bay. I also fell into the NaNoWriMo forgetting to shower hole of darkness and started offending my own nose. So, that may or may not have played a part in the self-depressive state.

So I’m writing, writing, writing and I claw up to just over 500 words and I realize that my hero needs to buy something but guess what? I have no economic structure in my story. OMG. Just a side note, if you look up something along the lines of “fictional economy creation” you’ll get a whole lotta political stuff regarding our current government here in the US. While I could have used that as a fairly decent model it really wasn’t what I was looking for.

money, money, money, mah-nay

I found this post from FARP (Fantasy Art Resource Project on Ok so first question I decided we’ll have a three part economy using Barter, Medium of Exchange (MoE) and finally Coinage.  On Ibius (the remote island my hero/heroine hail from) they have no need for pieces of metal (coins), they don’t have a way to mine them and they get by just fine with Barter and Medium of Exchange. Plus they’re not beholden to the mainland rule of the kings and don’t need gold to pay taxes. Since they (on the island) have some pretty rare and special items you can’t get elsewhere, the mainlanders are okay with the MoE or barter with these guys.

But then they leave the island and travel to a land where there are warring kings, the greedy kind of kings, that like to measure their wealth in coins and get their taxes in coin. So on the mainland they utilize coins for lots of things but the lower classes still deal in Barter and MoE.

So… I’ve just complicated the heck out of my fantasy world. Sigh.

Which brings me to types of coins. We can’t just have gold because it’s hard to have somethings be just 1 gold, pair of socks, cup of ale, tup in the back alley, etc. and how would we earn just 1 gold piece? If it was that easy to come by we’d have an economic surplus and a country reminiscent of a dollar store and the point of using gold (because it’s rare, not just pretty) would be moot. And then have other things costing 10-25 pieces because well, that’s just a heck load of gold to carry around on a being (hence the introduction of paper money). But we can’t do paper money here because they haven’t come up with that yet, pre/mid industry here. No printing presses, paper mills, yet. Are you still with me?

So I get to play around and I created four distinct types of coins in varying sizes. You know, to keep it simple:

The Dub -smallest coin

The Mark- 25 dubs to a mark

The Spade- 10 marks to a spade

The Haef – 15 spades to a haef

They’re all gold but varying sizes the smallest like a dime and the largest around a half dollar. A Haef is a heck of a lot of money so we’re not going to be carrying a bunch of those around. Those are for buying houses, horses, small villages and the like. Dubs are the easiest to come by, light weight and easy to earn, so our hero is going to be good with these. Maybe even he gets a couple Marks here and there. Spades are like the equivalent of $50 in today’s economy, definitely not pocket change, a bit more substantial but not completely difficult to earn.

Ok for all of you that stayed with me through that process (thanks by the way) you earn a little treat. Here is an excerpt from Chapter Three of Midnight in the Hollows. It’s my favorite so far I think. Feel free to dissect it in the comments. But gently, with some Novocaine.


Ryche was quiet as he closed the chest, then picked up the long iron pike to stoke the fire with calloused hands. His job required him to keep the furnace fire burning hot, always. The light from the flames flickered the long shadow of the boy against the wall. The boy reminded him so much of his lost son, Eron. He, too, had been eager to join the king’s ranks. Ryche pushed through the cold blast of pain in his heart turning his attention back to the heat at hand. “It’s late, boy. I’m tired. Come back tomorrow if you truly want a weapon and we will talk.” He left the boy standing in the forge with the worn sword in his hand and his mouth gaping. He couldn’t deal with this now. The doorway covering flapped shut stirring up a cloud of dust from the dirt floor. It was that rising dust that caused his eye to tear, not the memories stirred up by a boy he couldn’t allow himself to call by name.


How’s everyone else doing this week?

14 responses »

  1. All that monetary systems stuff? That right there is why I never tip my hand toward fantasy. I love it, but if I tried working all that stuff out, I’d walking around talking to myself within a week. Oh wait . . .

  2. I love the excerpt, Crystal! Great paragraph ending. As for creating a financial system….good luck. My brain is hurting just thinking of it. Ha! I think with NaNo, my Christmas promotion work, my typing of the completed WIP…my brain is fried…lol. Have a great weekend! (It’s almost here again!)

  3. This is the fun and drudgery of fantasy. I almost flunked out of high school (many, many moons ago) because I got more interested in setting up my fantasy world for my homegrown role playing game – so I know how deep this can go :).

    Keep up the writing.

  4. I ran into a problem in the middle of my WIP. I’m a pantser, so I didn’t know part of the story would take place in the Amazon rain forest. I had to stop in the middle of the story and do some research. LOL. Like Ryan said, who said writing was just about writing? 🙂

    I’m glad you were able to work through the monetary problem. Now you’re back on track!

  5. Going well here. Love the detail abut the economic structure, I had never considered this when starting to write but my character has decided one for me!? It just came out naturally as I was writing one section with a certain character – very pleased about that! lol

  6. HA, I was hoping the treat for sticking around would be a dub of my own! I love this post; well thought out and I haven’t done any technical details on my fantasy world in so long, that this post really makes me miss it and want to hurry up and get the office organized so I have time to sit and hash out details that no one but the incredibly awesome will care about. 🙂

    The excerpt is beautiful! I want more now! Damn!

    Wonderful post! You got me all inspired!

    • Thank you so much! I’m glad you liked the excerpt and don’t wait until you’re organized, pick up that pen and paper and start planning!

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