The Becalmer by Nick Wilford


The Becalmed  by Nick Wilford GENRE: YA Sci-Fi

The Becalmed

by Nick Wilford 




BLURB: Harica
is gifted with the ability to defuse conflicts using her mind. When she is
recruited to assist in resolving a war via an arranged marriage, she discovers
that the reluctant bride-to-be has similar powers. Princess Jasmila doesn’t use
her powers for good and when Harica arrives to help with the marriage
arrangements, she fights back and sends Harica into a coma.

 It is through this comatose state that Harica
discovers a mysterious liminal space populated by others who share her gift. In
this new realm, she learns to do things she never believed possible, but soon
things spiral out of control.

In the face of a terrifying and seemingly
unstoppable adversary, Harica wrestles with the decision to come to terms with
the dark side of her gift.

 Will she take ownership of it or turn her back on it



The Becalmed  by Nick Wilford GENRE: YA Sci-Fi
I tried to get
a handle on the energy and interplay between the two minds. Jasmila’s was, as
I’d expected, much stronger, practically drowning out Narbert’s signals by
sheer force, but that didn’t put me off. There would be something I could latch
onto, a vulnerable side, even if it was buried deep. Obviously, I would have to
concentrate on Jasmila first.

 The princess’s
complacency was what I was counting on. If she already thought she had me beat,
hopefully, her guard would be down.

wouldn’t be the watchword here. I didn’t want to give her time to sense her plan hadn’t worked because then she would fight back all the more. I charged
like a battering ram but quickly realized this wasn’t going to work. Pulling
off something like this was a delicate operation that needed both parties to
play along. The “bull in a china shop” approach wouldn’t cut it.
Although there was a bit of give from Jasmila at first, once she rumbled my
attack, her mind turned into a brick wall that I bounced off like a tennis
ball. I tried to come back for more, attempting a more measured approach,
looking for a crack somewhere, even a hairline one, but it was hopeless. It was
like trying to tunnel under a mountain with my bare hands. Somewhere in the
vicinity, I sensed Narbert, bobbing haplessly about, buffeted by the slipstream
caused by the battle between me and Jasmila. I couldn’t help him. And we were
both caught up in her orbit now, spinning helplessly.


Worldbuilding in

When writing
sci-fi, one of the best ways to immerse readers in your story is to build a
world that’s watertight in terms of its norms, conventions, rules and so on. Everything
should seem natural to the characters because that is the world they’ve grown
up in, it’s what they’re used to. How can such a seamless immersion be
achieved? Well, the obvious answer might be to plan everything out in
meticulous detail beforehand, and I’m sure that works well for a lot of
authors. However, I can’t speak to such a technique because I’m not a plotter.
I’m not a pantser, either; I’m somewhere in between, so I like to start with
something of a concept, and usually a lead character who wants their story to
be told. So, if you’re this sort of writer, how do you go about creating an
intricate sci-fi world?

 For me, the answer
lies in the characters. Everything starts with a great main character, and as
you follow the character along their journey and observe how they interact with
their environment, things should fall into place organically. It’s often said
that there shouldn’t be a single word in the book that doesn’t advance the
story in some way, and that goes for the worldbuilding as well. Only reveal as
much as you need to serve the story. There’s a lot to be said for letting
readers fill in some of the blanks themselves, and in fact that deepens their
involvement. For example, say in your world the technology has been developed
for clothes to clean themselves automatically after becoming dirty, and your
characters are in a restaurant scene where someone spills red wine on their
expensive shirt, which cleans itself on the spot. This might serve as character
development, with the other diners laughing about that character being clumsy,
something that is an important part of their interactions with the world. But
if it doesn’t do anything to serve the story, there’s no need to shoehorn it

 Of course, with
this approach, you might find that some things don’t completely add up once
you’ve got to the end of the first draft, and that’s perfectly okay. The first
draft is the messiest, loosest version of your story you’re going to get, and
the worldbuilding is no exception here. This is the time to take stock, see
where things connect or don’t connect, take note of what you can lose or
change. This is all part of tightening the story, pulling loose threads
together. You might find that some aspects play a bigger part in your story
than what you had originally thought. For example, in
The Becalmer, my
protagonist Harica has the power to resolve conflicts by entering others’
minds. In the beginning, she doesn’t know where this power comes from,
neither did I! She thinks she is the only one who has this power. As the story
goes on, she meets others who share it, including the villain, Princess
Jasmila, although she actually uses it to deepen conflicts and cause chaos.
Finding out where her power comes from becomes central to Harica learning how
she can better wield it and strategizing on how she can defeat Jasmila. All of
that is character development because it makes her stronger and more resilient
as a person.

 In all, although
the idea of creating an entirely new world in your story might seem like a
daunting prospect, it really needsn’t be if you stay attuned to how your
characters are moving through that world and how they are going after their
goals. Treat worldbuilding as another aspect of storytelling and you’ll find
it’s one of the most fun and satisfying parts of writing sci-fi or fantasy.


AUTHOR Bio and Links: 

Nick Wilford is originally from Brighton, England
and now lives in a quiet town in Scotland with his wife, three daughters and
six rescue dogs. Wanting to make a career from writing, he trained in
journalism but soon realized that the fictional realm was where his true
passion lay. He enjoys writing speculative fiction, exploring the things that
cannot be seen and “making the impossible reality.” Nick is the author of the
Black & White YA dystopian series and has also published a collection of
shorter fiction as well as curated, edited and published a fundraising
anthology featuring a diverse array of talent. By day, he works as a freelance
editor, and he also enjoys travelling to inspiring locations with his family,
listening to music and helping unwanted dogs find loving homes.

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Post a Comment


  1. Thanks for featuring my book as part of the tour today! It's great to be here. Readers, do you have a favourite sci-fi or fantasy world? What is it you like about it?

    1. you are most welcomed fam. It was a pleasure to host your book.

  2. We appreciate you sharing today's guest post with us. Thank you.

  3. I'm also part plotter and part pantser too. Great tips on world building, Nick. Congrats on your book.

    1. I think it's good to keep it organic, as much as possible. Thanks, Natalie!

  4. Congrats again! You've worked hard for this. I hope you enjoy it. :)

  5. This sounds like a very interesting book.

  6. I enjoyed the excerpt. Sounds really interesting.

  7. This sounds like a really good story.