Thursday, 1 September 2011

World Building

So I finally got the chapter done that I've been moaning about for the past few blogs.

*Waits for sea of congratulating comments*

*Waits a little longer...*

Well, let me be the first to say 'Well done Ian.' Now that we have that out of the way, lets go onto my next problem!

The good thing about this currant problem is that it's one I know I'm going to really enjoy working out. I started the next Chapter, a very different beast to the previous one given the lack of crazy sword fighting. I'd call it one of those chapters that tells the reader a lot about the world outside of the main characters' lives, a point which will become apparent in the next paragraph, which I assure you will be a great one.

So I was writing a line of dialogue that said something like... "And to think we dismissed those reports from last (BLANK) as hearsay..." The BLANK is the day he is talking about. And suddenly I was confused... I've never really needed to mention a specific day of the week before. Do I say 'Saturday?' or 'Tuesday' or something? But that's for days on earth?! This isn't earth! Do they even have a seven day week? Do they even have 24 hours in a day? Do they even have a 365 day year? What time systems do they use? What religions do they have? What languages are in use and where? And so on...

So some of these things I have actually thought about, but only in reference to The Provinces of Dolindium, where my entire first book takes place. I know what their stance on religion is, I know roughly their time system, but there are still a lot of blanks. A Song of Ice and Fire is cool because of it has this idea of really drawn out seasons (I haven't read the book but have watched the tv series. Seriously, watch it! Best tv series I've ever seen). Another book I have yet to read called The Way of Kings has storms over the entire surface of the planet (this is going off the blurb). Whilst I won't be doing anything quite as extreme as those two examples, it would be super cool to make my world a little less... earthish.

Shush spellcheck, earthish is so a word. Speaking of which, apparently spellcheck isn't one... Conspiracy!


So I decided to take a break from this chapter, and make what I call... Ah Hem...


Cool right! No...? Well, shush you!

I'm going to spend probably about a week on it, just fleshing out my world. It seems almost embarrassing that I don't know all these things about my world after 7 years of working on it, but to give me some credit, it is a BIG story! Much bigger than it would seem from the first book. And most of these things I haven't thought about just haven't been relevant to the story. And it's a BIG story! Wait, did I say that already?

But these things are important. My favourite author, Patrick Rothfuss, summarised it pretty well when he said:

The key to good worldbuilding is leaving out most of what you create.

That quote is from a great interview about world building that you can find here

So I started with geography. Would you believe I've never named the continent my book takes place in? Sounds crazy right, but to be fair I can't imagine ever naming it in the book, but it's a cool thing to know as an author. I now know the name of the desert in the south, of the two southern rainforests, and much more. Just to have their name set in stone is awesome! Who knows what more I will discover about my world in the next week? Whatever happens, I can't wait :)



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