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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Building a New World

I've learned a few things in the past couple of weeks about world building. I've done it for futuristic, including a proposal that I put aside and never pursued very hard, and I find this comfortable to do. Maybe because I can look around and extrapolate what I think the future will be. Or at least one possible version of it. The proposal that's sitting on my hard drive had some pretty interesting world events, including a water shortage among other things. That, unfortunately, I can see happening far too easily--but I don't want to talk about the real world or potential future problems.

I've also done world building for my Light Warrior series. But by and large, the Gineal live within human society and their council and magic is merely an extra layer. Their world is somewhat different, but not hugely so because their focus is to blend in and remain unnoticed. Yes, they have a council that rules them and their own particular societal hierarchy, but their world is much more a part of ours than separate from it. This is deliberate, BTW, so if anyone is expecting some hugely elaborate world building, it isn't happening in this series.

Besides it was Ryne who did the world building here. When she first came in, she talked for weeks nonstop about her people and told me nothing about herself until later. I had the basics of the world down before I had just about anything else, including her name or who her hero was.

But now I'm world building a very different society, one that operates on completely different rules and paradigms. Unlike futuristic world building, I can't look at now and project forward in time. In fact, I wasn't even certain what questions I needed to ask, but I had a couple of friends come through with suggestions and I've been thinking about them. What I'm finding is that it's complicated.

I'm still mulling, but yesterday the heroine from book 1 began to explain a few aspects that I hadn't considered, things associated with the job her "people" do. The thing that's interesting to me is that I didn't realize I needed this kind of information until she started sharing it. Why did she have to go into detail, though, on the commute home? It's not like I can write while I'm on the freeway and I don't own a digital voice recorder. I kept talking about getting one, but never quite did it. I hear the iPod Touch has one of those, though. Doesn't that make it a writing-related expense? ;-)

The other interesting thing about all this? I had this idea more than 2 years ago, but I was already committed to working on the proposal for Edge of Dawn. For all this time, the characters have largely been quiet. Mostly distant, even, but now they're awake. Well, at least the first hero/heroine are. I also have a handle on the second and third heroines, but their heroes are still vague. Working on that along with the world.

Back to mulling.