World Building

Today’s word count: 584

While reading this article on the Fantasy & Science Fiction website, I came across this little tidbit:

Don’t like the world you’re living in? Create one in which you could be comfortable with all the bits and pieces. – Anne McCaffrey

When I create a new world, I manufacture the different bits first, the ones that are the most uncomfortable compared to reality. In Anne McCaffrey’s Pern, these would be the planet’s enemy, thread, and the dragons. These elements call to the reader that they are on a different world, wandering in a different reality. As such, the story pivots around these elements. After these bits are defined, I fill in the blanks. Who are the people and what are they called? What does the world look like? How is the world divided between people? What is their history?

I’ve been struggling with the notion of world building on my newest short story. Currently, the story is set in a world of my own creation. Does a short story allow the reader enough time to understand a completely alien world? Is too much time wasted on that so that the story is lost? I’ve been toying with placing the story on earth instead, either far into the past, and adding a steampunk flair, or far into the future. Still different worlds to the reader, but on the border of initial understanding. My instinct is to continue with the story as it is. As a reader, I always favor reading stories about the foreign and unknown. If the writing is good enough, readers of this story should be able to appreciate the story and also grasp the new world simultaneously. And, if the combination doesn’t work in a short story, perhaps I can parlay the idea into a novel concept for NaNoWriMo (only 118 days to go!).


Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops – This is post #7 in this series, and after reading this one, I had to read all the others. The exchanges are so unbelievable as to only be real. I can only hope that no one ever writes a blog about things people say in American bookstores.


I am now halfway through my re-read of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. Next is Path of Daggers and then I will be in unfamiliar territory, which is very exciting. Before I read another word, however, I have to take a break for Heartless, Gail Carriger’s fourth novel.


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