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Status: Drafting the fourth book in the PERILOUS series!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Creation

I'm worldbuilding for my new novel.

I've never done this before, so it's kind of a new experience. So far, it's awesome. I realized as I started on chapter 1 yesterday that I am the god of this novel.

Wow. Once I realized that, I felt so much power. So invigorated.

For those of you who don't know, worldbuilding (according to Wikipedia) is the "process of constructing an imaginary world." In the world I am building, planet earth has gone through a series of disasters, called by the survivors as the Great Disasters. Those who survived the Great Disasters then had to battle of a series of illnesses brought about by the disasters, call the Three Plagues.

Those who made it through all that are called the Survivors. Since I created their world, I have absolute control over their story.

I outline when I write, but not much. I prefer to wing it as I go. So I started chapter 1 not even knowing the Great Disasters had happened. But as I constructed my setting, questions popped into my head like, "Why is the weather like this? What happened to all the people? If this is planet Earth, what could cause it to be so different?"

One thing led to another, and defining the Great Disasters helped me to figure out the climate of my world, as well as the geography and the government.

I've never really tackled worldbuilding this way before. I have a novel written in an alternate history which has some worldbuilding elements, but only for a brief period of time. This worldbuilding has got me excited. The trick to worldbuilding is to make it believable. Whether the imaginary world is fantasy, alternate history, dystopian (such as mine), every reader knows this place doesn't actually exist. But you want them to believe in it. There's some awesome websites out there to help, such as this one from the Sci-Fi and Fantasy group.

All novels require a bit of worldbuilding, so these are important skills to know. How are you using worldbuilding in your WIP?

11 comments:

Suzie F. said...

I'm in awe of writers who create incredible worlds from their imagination. I write contemporary so not much worldbuilding there other than the imaginary town in which my characters live.

Good luck with your WIP and have fun creating your own world!

David J. West said...

I love blending something real with something fantastic-keeping it grounded in something the reader knows while still taking them somewhere exotic and new.

Shanda said...

Wow, sounds intriguing. Sorry we didn't hook back up at Storymakers. Can't wait to interview you. Maybe next time you can tell us all about this book. :)

Serryphae said...

World building is so amazing! I love making new worlds, or dimensions. I've made one (still in progress) for Earth where it had a similar thing (kind of an apocalypse, end of the world as we know it theme) and the survivors ended up as totally new races as well. I hope you have fun building your world! Good luck! ^^

Elisa said...

sounds really cool! I think it would be exciting to build from scratch. Probably the biggest challenge would be to create something new that doesn't seem like what someone else has come up with. So much has been used already. That doesn't mean it is all out there already and you can't contribute a fresh angle, but I think it would be more challenging than one might think since obviously no one creates out of a void and unconsciously we are influenced by everything we've already read or seen. I'm eager to see what you come up with!

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

see, everyone does some worldbuilding! Even if it's just creating the setting where our characters live!

Emailman said...

Wow, Tamara, your post is a bit like the one I posted, with the God reference and building worlds :) All great mind think alike, eh!

Good luck, my friend. I'm sure your world will be fantastic!

Jemi Fraser said...

I'm in the middle of planning an MG sci-fi adventure that requires a lot of world building. It's a lot of fun. Of course I haven't written much down, but letting the ideas roll around in my head is great!

Krista said...

I'm doing this, too! I love it! And I'm really intimidated! Gah! Good luck, and enjoy!

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

We are all so powerful! LOL.

Shannon Lawrence said...

My WIP is the first I've ever really dealt with world building, and it is definitely fun! We get to make up the rules as we go along, answering questions that come up along the way. My setting is post-apocalyptic, so it's our world, but changed. The second book will delve much more deeply into the world building, so I'm already excited to start that.

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