Please be patient while your world is built… Thank you.

For the first time, pretty much ever, I decided to put a project on the back burner (said project is already around 40-45k words) and go forth with a new idea.  That other manuscript was just not flowing right for me.  The premise, so simple when I started, got lost in the muck of new ideas and a shift in what I really wanted to do with it.  Then, the stagnation of the character annoyed me so I decided I was going to take my ball and play with someone else.  Who might that someone else be, you wonder?  Someone I never thought I’d create but somehow encompasses everything I’ve been wanting to write about.

I don’t know how it will be categorized, although I suppose some would consider it sci-fi but, honestly, it would be more appropriate to say it’s just a dystopic tale.  No, not fantasy, not other-worldly either, just our world but in the future.  This only came about for one reason:  I whined to my husband one too many times about the other work and was told putting it on the back burner did not mean I wasn’t going to go back to it.  And so, without much further ado, I sat at my keyboard and typed two pages of a new world.  Sounds great, right?  Then I hit page 5 where I promptly realized I wrote something different than I had planned for the world.  Being the ever diligent, anal retentive, author I went back and “fixed” it – then I realized it probably worked better/made more sense the way I had actually written it.  Now, I haven’t added any words to it because this seemingly benign issue is a cornerstone of the world I’m writing and so I’m stuck in limbo.  Yeah.

One would think when creating a world things would be so easy – I mean, you’re making it up so what’s the problem?  The problem is all these decisions I’m making about the world are integral to the bloody plot and so I feel like the ante has been upped.  I did it to myself, that’s certain, but it hardly comforts me when I’m lying in bed and the issue continues to plague me.

For people who read books where the worlds are relatively new (outside the realm of what we’re used to seeing/experiencing on a daily basis) – what sells you on it?  What annoys you about it?

Authors – how do you go about constructing your new world?


5 responses to “Please be patient while your world is built… Thank you.

  • Jan

    Three of my favorite authors are/were Marion Zimmer Bradley, Anne McCaffrey, and Robert Heinlein. Oh, I think to balance it I would add Spider Robinson. What I noticed about them was that their worlds depended upon what is known. They would then take one thing and alter it. That one piece created a new world. Even Heinlein’s depictions of Mars were created with what is known about deserts. Zimmer-Bradley expanded the idea of psychic power and suddenly people were meeting on a whole new plain of existence. McCaffrey imagined dragons that were originally tiny and genetically altered into beasts large enough to ride. Robinson uses the cities he knows in Canada. Asimov delved into the human body, and then pushed his concept of the possibilities of artificial intelligence. But they all stayed within world concepts that readers could identify pretty much.

    • kimberlyloomis

      Jan -I’m actually reading “Exile’s Song” by Marion Zimmer-Bradley right now. She did great world building and truly weaves a wonderful tale.

  • Natalie

    Lately I’ve been writing in the real world so I don’t have to do too much world-building. But I love fantasy too and I’ve heard people say that when you write fantasy you just have to come up with your world’s rules and stick to them. So your first 5 pages are the most important ones to get right because you are writing the rules that you’ll have to follow for the rest of the book.

    • kimberlyloomis

      Thank you so much for sharing that, Natalie. It gives me some measure of comfort that I’ve been stymied where I have been in the manuscript. I finally started asking “how did this world get here” and am coming up with the things I need to tweak. I’m thinking forward momentum is just around the corner. 🙂

  • Muppet Monday! « The Perpetual Writer

    […] serial, but as I am contemplating some big stuff about the future as well as being caught up in my dystopic new world I just don’t know if/when that will happen.  Rest assured, I will make an announcement should […]

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