Saturday, October 8, 2011
Writer's Workshop~Lesson I: World Building
Let's be honest. The stories that stick with us through the ages are stories with a little extra touch of magic. Think about it. Examples of books later turned into movies because they were so loved are The Wizard of Oz, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter. All of these are stories within their own world. Highly imaginative stories that truly took us to another world, a world with objects and creatures completely made up from the creator's/author's mind. This is true world building at it's finest. The first rule you need to learn about world building is: 1. There are NO RULES!
HINT FOR NEW WRITERS: Aside from the regular rules of POV (point of view), 1st person, 3rd person, etc....only because most every editor will chunk your manuscript if you head hop or flip from 1st person to 3rd person...anything else goes. Remember this: One POV per scene. This is a hard lesson for beginner writers to learn. Do not stray from this one thing. Head hopping screams, "I'm an amateur writer!" Just don't do it.
NOW BACK TO WORLD BUILDING. Whether you're writing Sci Fi, Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal...remember, this is your world. You can make up new words for nouns, such as creatures that live in the world or really anything your heart desires. Wow...just think of all the amazing creatures in Lord of the Rings...and all the names J.K. Rowling gave to hers as well...even the unmagical beings had a special name. Remember? What about the Wizard of Oz? The Ompa Loompas..and I have no idea if that is spelled right...lol.
What is MOST important to remember is that this is YOUR WORLD. You make the rules, the laws, the morales and let me tell you...IT IS SO MUCH FUN! And if you're a Panster like I am....whoa...there's a new surprise every day.
WORLD BUILDING TIP: Start a Glossary. A planner would create a glossary before writing but I keep adding to mine as I go along. I keep my glossary open on my computer screen and minimize it so I can refer to it when writing. I'm nearly half through a full length novel right now and every day, my glossary grows with new terminology for rituals, objects used by my characters, names of clans, titles given to characters within the world, gods within my world, names given to servants, etc. And when my book is published, I plan to have the glossary published in the front of the book as well. Without the glossary, a reader could still follow the book fine but I think it's a good idea, especially since this is a series. If a reader chose another book within the series to read first, the glossary will come in very handy. And now days, more and more glossaries are showing up within books to aid the reader along. Just as some authors like to have a drawing of a map of their world. Also, another great idea.
If you're starting a new manuscript and have been looking for something different to do. If editors and agents have told you that your writing is good but the manusccript just wasn't that different from everything else out there in your chosen genre, you may want to try World Building.
You never know. You could create the next BIG THING....a new world for your readers to fall in love with.
I'll leave you with one more excellent example of SUPREME WORLD BUILDING. Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse Vampire Mystery Books. Sublime. This lady really knows how to world build. My God...she created Civil Rights for Vampires. Charlaine...you rock! I bow down to your greatness! I am not worthy!!!! *snicker* But seriously...have you watched True Blood on HBO? Scrumptious...all taken from Ms. Harris's fascinating world of vampires who live and mingle with humans and drink synthetic blood. Wow!!!
Well...I'm off to write some more! World Building...here I come!
Happy Reading and Writing!
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