Friday, April 8, 2011

World Building

I follow Rebecca Russell's blog, The Elliott Review. Her post about World Building got me thinking about my own stories. I love horror but I I also love fantasy because it gives me more room to stretch my imagination so I tend to blend the two. I create my own world then have the horror happen in that world.

Up until I read that post, I figured out my world and the characters' race as I wrote the story but her post got me thinking about all the aspects I hadn't fully fleshed out. As an author, you should know everything about the world and the characters even if some information doesn't appear in the book. I knew this but I guess I was being lazy. I'm inspired now. 

I went to Barnes and Nobles and bought a spiral notebook to be used only for fleshing my world- the type of terrain, how the characters power works, their culture, history, the structure of their society and so on.  I have to say, I am really enjoying this and kicking myself for not doing it sooner. I love working my mind and my imagination and  love doing research. World building lets me do both extensively. I want to write a book that's chilling and filled with supernatural elements. Jotting down the specifics of the world is helping me do that. 

I realized the town I created in one of my novels wasn't very realistic for its location so I need to fix that. This is also helping me get organized. In the past, I had notes for different stories spread throughout several journals. For a scene from a story or specifics on one character, I'd have to consult two or three journals.  With this, all my notes on the world will be in one place! It's a spiral notebook which is important to me. You find inspiration for the worlds you create everywhere. A notebook I can fold back makes for easier on-the-go note taking.  It took me awhile to choose the right journal. It has to speak to me. If it doesn't, then I don't feel inspired when I write in it. It's the same thing with my pens. It is better for me to use laptops, pens and journals that I have an emotional connection with. I get better results that way. 

I'm really looking forward to this new take on world building and how it will affect my stories. I'm now working through the history of my characters' race and how their powers works as well as strengths and limits.