Thursday, April 14, 2011

Being "All Knowing" when it comes to your stories

You came up with the name, setting, plot, and drama that resulted in a Novel, now you step back and ask yourself where did it all come from? If you have a preexisting creature then you'll sift through the stories and/or myths about them and try to carve out a unique element that no on else has thought of. But what do you do when the creature you're writing about has never existed before? How do you make yourself and expert of something that only exists in your head? The answer: WORLD BUILDING You need to write the history of this species/breed/creature you've created. If they are set in the real world then layer their history through time. This might not be something your readers will ever see, but it will make you the expert on the subject. Melissa De La Cruz turned her World Building in to Keys to the Repository so who knows what can happen. This is my current mission for Undisturbed, Soul Stones, and True Beginnings. I might be making my life unbelievably complicated by writing originals, but the benefit is in knowing no one else will have this idea. So where do I begin? Where else but the 5 W's:

Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How?

But I intend to go deeper crafting a detailed history that will act as a personal reference guide that will be very handy when it comes to writing sequels. Here's a few of the things I'm working on for UNDISTURBED: · Family Tree · Map of Origins · Historical Moments · The Evolution of Abilities · Population Census · Case Studies and More I've been under the impression this whole time that I should only know what my MC knows. I personally hate knowing things my characters don't, especially when it's something bad. I feel like I want to warn them, yell at the monitor "Don't go in there!" or "If you get in that car you're life will forever be altered." but none of that has do with their history. This could also be a tool for story development. If you want to write a novel, but are worried about where to begin, takes a page from the good book "In the beginning..." Building the world of your story could build your confidence in your ability to write it. How do you know how much world building you need?
The answer is up to you. If you can answer the 5 W's and can manage to convince other's that they might actually exist, then you might have everything you need.

My only rule for myself at the moment, which will help me with world building and development of future projects, is:

"It's fiction don't be afraid to depart from reality completely."


  1. Well said!

    In what I've been writing, it's very much a real-world setting. While the various leaders I've weaved into my narrative have fictional names or no names, they have to feel as if they could be real. The same with the situations I'm writing, so it involves a lot of attention to detail.

  2. Wow! My Soul Stones is similar where one of my characters is weaved through major historical events.

  3. I know that World Building is one area where I'm a little weak. This is why I've held off on my YA project--I have a couple great premises, but it's not enough.
    Honestly I don't think you can ever have enough world, except in the actual narrative. Be gentle on the reader and introduce it a little at a time.


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