Wednesday, March 2, 2011

World Building Wednesday

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That's right. Instead of WIP(work in progress) or WCOA (Word Count Obsessors Anonymous) Wednesdays, I am going to switch things up and start a new weekly posting options. The word count obsession is still present and will be posted on weekends along with work in progress posts when we don't have blogfests to get in the way.

Wednesday is now dedicated to World Building.

Honesty first: in most of my novels so far, even the epic YA/adult fantasy mutant series, I haven't done anything in the way of world building. I just wrote the drafts and hope it was good enough. Because I am really not much of a planner in the way of making notes before writing. That includes character, plot, and setting. Even though I have some idea of the fantasy world in the series, I don't have things figured out on paper like government, language, class, etc. So, why the heck have a weekly post dedicated to something I almost never do? The almost part.

I started world building for a fantasy novel last year and with the 6 other novels in progress it has gone very slow. I want to figure out this novel so that once I'm done with umm 2 different drafts that are in progress maybe I can start writing the first draft to it. (Yes, I may be a bit insane when it comes to how many novels I have going at one time.) And I need motivation. What better than a post once a week about the world I'm working on?

Makes sense right? I mean, people are seeing the first draft of the Cinder type story as it unfolds through blogfests so they might be interested to see a world created on the blog as well. Or I hope. And if they aren't interested then I guess I'll have a weekly post with no comments, but that's okay too. It's partly for me, the weekly world building thing, anyways.

So that is today's post. The announcement of a weekly post that will come umm, next week.
Check my other blog for my post on world building in general: On World Building

For now:
Do you do world building before writing the first draft?
Second then?
At all?


JEFritz said...

I have a rough idea of what the world is like in the first draft, but I don't get into it until after the story is complete. Then I start imagining non-story days in the characters lives. From there, I can add and subtract things from the next drafts.

I can't wait to see a world built on a blog. That sounds like fun!

Sophia Richardson said...

For a fantasy book I would definitely worldbuild before drafting, otherwise I wouldn't be able to give setting details (when they sit around a table are they on chairs or cushions on the floor?) and I'd want to know the political landscape and recent international history and the class and gender rules and and and... By knowing the general I'd learn more about specific characters. To take a cliche, if girls aren't allowed to learn swordplay then I can't have my female protagonist being a master swordsman without some serious explanation, and not the kind where she dresses up as a boy.

With my YA contemporary I'm wondering whether I need to research macro-settings (e.g. the landscapes of different states) or whether it would just be a form of procrastination since I'd be making up the micro-settings (e.g. a diner) and I could insert things like road/state names at a later date without needing to edit like crazy.

I'll be interested to see your worldbuilding series.
- Sophia.

Christopher S. Ledbetter said...

I've just started on a historically-based fantasy where I *had to* World Build first... becuase there are such nuances and idiosyncracies to the world and I needed to have the world *built* before I populated it with characters. For me, I needed to be able to see the world through my character's eyes ahead of time.

Susan Kane said...

Writing realistic fiction about a time period with which I am very familiar makes my word building fairly easy. However, I have to check out the trends and lingo of the time period, the commercial products, etc. I do write pretty comprehensive character studies before I include them in the book. I think I could publish those all on their own. Susan

Angeline said...

I am totally addicted to making maps. I love creating them, spending hours moving icons of houses and trees around them, using online generators to come up with place names. I love writing pages and pages of history, reasons for the place names, battles, monarchies, religions, celebrations.
Of course, once I start writing, my characters usually take over and decide they want something totally different. Bye bye all my hard work planning!

Dawn Embers said...

JEFritz - I like your method. I'm all for getting the first draft down then thinking about stuff that happens outside the story.

Sophia Richardson - You have some good points as to why new worlds could benefit from pre-world building. Research is important and readers can tell if a writer forgot to check on something like women and weapons.

Christopher S. Ledbetter - Historical based I can see having a research first type of structure. It's harder to plough through a first draft when not having the information figured out before.

Susan Kane - Character studies are another aspect. I have started some of that for the novel I'm world building. Those parts are fun because I write character based stories and always know them first.

Angeline - I know some fantasy writers love the map making. I've never done that, not even for my epic fantasy. Might be fun with this one since it has different worlds/lands that are reached with flying ships (but not space ships). Would be interesting.


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