Monday, February 27, 2012

World Building

By Michelle Church, Faery Rose Editor

I don’t feel like writing. I don’t feel like worrying about my word count or if what I’m saying makes sense to anyone other than me. I don’t want to think. I want to be outside in the sunshine, ideally by the lake enjoying the warm weather. However, I live in Michigan and its February. Enough said. Although, the sun is shining today. But it’s sooo bright. I’m not used to the reflection of the light off the snow. Holy cow, do I sound like a whining three year old or what?
I still don’t want to write. Or revise. Which is what I should be doing instead of complaining. I do have to say my house is pretty clean right now, which makes my husband happy. I did the bathrooms and the laundry. The kitchen is clean and dinner is cooking. I debated on washing some windows, but I’m not feeling that motivated. So I headed into my office to straighten up my desk a little bit. Which I did. I also dusted off my book shelf where I found my world building folder.
I love world building. Creating a world that didn’t exist until I put it on paper. I found myself getting excited. I hadn’t opened this folder in a while. I didn’t need to. My story is written, I just need to revise. I know everything about that current world inside and out. I pulled out a couple maps, one a general survey of the area I was writing about and one more in depth. I found the map of the house my heroine lives in and one of her town. There was a map going from her house to the hero’s and another to his sister’s house. I had to location of the schools highlighted since the hero has a young daughter. I had the coffee house in a prominent location since my heroine loves coffee and spends quite a bit of time there.
I found another map from another story, on an unknown planet with a new race of people. This story never really developed and looking at this map, I can see why. It was too general. I had a basic idea of the planet and where I wanted to go with it, but didn’t. I didn’t explore the area beyond the very small potion where the heroine lived. I didn’t even know what she did for a living or where she did it. I knew who her hero was and the villain, but that was about it. I think I completed three chapters before putting it aside and not looking back until now. Four years later. I wonder how much time I spent on that planet. Must not be much.
If J.K. Rowling didn’t spend much time developing Hogwarts, The Leaky Cauldron, Diagon Alley, or even the Dursleys house would Harry Potter be the phenomenon it is today? Or George Lucas and the Death Star. Frank Baum and the world of Oz. You get the idea. The world you create will have a huge impact on the success of your story. I love fantasy. I love everything about it. But one of my favorite parts of a good fantasy story is the area it takes place. It doesn’t have to be elaborate; a forest will work as long as you develop it. Make me feel the moss under my feet. I want to smell the damp earth mixed with decomposing leaves. To hear the leaves blowing in the breeze and the birds singing in the trees.
Okay, for not feeling like writing I got a fair amount done. I also got out of my funk. That folder got me thinking. I jotted down an idea and got to work on my revisions. I don’t like to start another story when I’m revising; it just screws up my thinking. But it made me want to finish so I can start my new story. I still want warm weather and sunshine. I still want to sit by the lake. But for today I’m going to revise my current story that takes place during the summer and be content with what I have. Maybe.


Kelly McCrady said...

These are beautiful musings about going back to the beginning of our process. Thank you for sharing.

Hywela Lyn said...

I'm just catching up on my 'blog reading.' As a fantasy/futuristic romance writer (Faery Rose) I can well relate to the world building - in fact that's one of my favourite parts of writing.

Isn't it great how revisiting something you'd almost forgotten about can be so motivating!