Monday, January 11, 2016

World Building

There's always a great feeling when the latest is sent forth to find a comfortable niche, hopefully with someone who will pay. Such was the case this morning as I sent off a long-developing novelette to an editor whose name shall not be mentioned.  Just as well; I was suffering from learning that there will be further delay in publishing one of the recently accepted.  The placement never seems real to me until I see it in print elsewhere than my own devices.

So, now that's done I can get back to world building, further enhancing an existing sketchy outline to make it  more fully realized.  I am doing this by building a scaffold for the novel (yes, another start on a novel) and seeing what the world will require of them as they boldly struggle for coherence.
I started with names, unusual name but based on other cultures than my own.  That led to family structures, customs, and a variety of cultural considerations, such as oaths and obligations. All of this was great fun before I started putting the pieces on the chessboard.

Characters always need to be grounded with a sense of place and places need to be named. Further, since I intend this to be a picaresque tale, the distances between those names and what lay between them required further thought. This led to the making of maps and considerations of boundaries, which brought thoughts of politics and governance, and mountains, streams and rivers, seas and deserts.  Rivalries might take place, as to loss and reconciliation. Love might play a part, as would conflict.  Emotions?  Do I need an emotional map as well? How do I chart the ups and downs, paced them to provide heights and depths, humor and pathos as the tale progresses?

Oh wait, I've wandered into the morass of the plot swamps, where I will no doubt thrash about for a while before I get down to actually writing the damn thing.

Yes, I will write, but first I need to make a few more adjustments to the world.



  1. Hi Bud. I'm doing a theme of world-building for this year's Atozchallenge, and thought of featuring Jupiter - as envisioned by you in Distant Seas - for the letter J. Please may I quote from this post in my blog, and/or would you be interested in a short interview for it? @jemima_pett

    1. Thanks for the comment, Jemima, and my answer is "Yes," to both questions. Contact me via email.


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