Posts tagged ‘world building’
Doing the last of my LTUE summaries instead of talking about the craft this week and next week, because they are quite a bit about the writing craft. It’s one of the reasons I love LTUE as much as I do.
Friday, 14 Feb. 2014- Sessions Attended
- Reading: Sandra Tayler
- Query Workshop
- Writing Fantasy: Using Words to Build Worlds- A paper presented by Douglas Whittaker (a good friend of mine, yay!)
- The Rules for Writing Magic- John Brown, Al Carlisle, Teri Hartman, Brandon Sanderson, Natalie Whipple, with Emily Martha Sorensen moderating
- Mass Autograph Signing
Best points picked up from Sandra Tayler’s reading:
- It’s okay to treat yourself kindly.
- It’s okay to do your own thing.
- It’s okay to pursue a life of creativity.
Best points picked up from the query workshop:
- You have three sentences or less to grab attention.
- Watch out for wordiness.
- Use the RIGHT words.
- Have a really clear idea of what you’re pitching!
Best points picked up from Using Words to Build Words:
- World building is what separates speculative fiction from all other genres.
- Conflict is what makes writing into a story (Dan Wells).
- Iceberg theory: Show 10% of what you’ve built, but know the other 90%.
- Geography affects the way culture and society develops.
Best points from The Rules for Writing Magic:
- “Been done before” doesn’t mean anything- be creative.
- A story with great characters and weak magic will sustain better than strong magic and weak characters.
- Set your rules early on.
- Maintain consistency.
- Know your limitations (geography, cost, genetics, range, etc.).
- Know the purpose of your magic (scale of sense of wonder to plot tool).
- Magic should be grounded in reality.
- Magic should be AWESOME.
- Focus on one thing and dig in deep- have a deep system rather than a wide one.
- What does magic teach us about ourselves and our worlds?
I have to blame this post on Tor.com for getting me started on a massive distraction.
Now, it’s not really a distraction from the Soldaris project, as the map that I currently have isn’t an accurate enough depiction of the world geography that I have in my head. I am very pleased with the way the map I made a year and a half ago looks, but it’s not the right map for this world (I will be saving it for another project, though, I think.)
I would be lying if I said I hadn’t tried to make maps to go with earlier ideas that I had while in high school and college and whatnot. But they weren’t good maps. Then, about two and a half years ago, I took a physical geography class at university. I’ll be completely and brutally honest here: I took it because it was the easiest lab science class possible that the university offered, and I needed another one for progress toward my degree. (I love science. Love, love, love it. What I don’t love is all the math that goes along with some of it.) Little did I know that it would open my eyes up to a world of possible worlds and more effective world-building, or that I would develop quite an interest in the subject. Nor did I think that it would set off a passion (albeit rarely indulged) with creating maps for my worlds.
I’m discovering that maps, as much as books, go through multiple revisions. This is, thankfully, a little easier with digital construction via Photoshop or the like.
Every once in a while, you get this one project that makes you sit back and wonder “what the hell have I gotten myself into?” What started out as a simple attempt to make up a background story for a role-playing character has turned into an epic fantasy saga. The tentative length of this saga (as my very vague outlines dictate) is seven novels, and it’s demanding to be written.