I’ve been reminded of a few things lately: write what you love, write what you know, and try new things. And I’ve been thinking, how can I do all 3 all the same time? First two yes, but all three!
And I’ve realized last night that not only am I doing all 3, but I’m doing the very thing I’ve been trying to avoid for years: Writing YA and writing other-worldly fantasy. And I’m having a blast! Who knew. Magic is what I love, Fantasy is what I know, and the Other-World thing is very, very new. I just didn’t think I had it in me. Every time I “went there” in the past I talked myself out of it, convinced I didn’t have the skills to do it convincingly.
I read a blog entry a month or so ago (couldn’t find it again if I tried) where the writer was making a very convincing argument about world building and how ALL writers world build whether you’re writing fantasy, romance, contemporary, western, whatever. I couldn’t agree more. World building is the world the author makes for their story and for their characters. We ALL world build. We’re all just making crap up.
Oh, why has it taken me so long to try a story like this?! Why have I been so afraid? Although, if I realized this was an other-world story at conception, I probably would have pulled the plug on it, but now it’s too late. It has me in it’s talons and is determined to make a meal of my brain. ^_^
So here’s my philosophical definition on world building:
World building is what you do whenever you come to a who? a what? a when? a why? a where? or a how? (And this is also where many stories will start to fall apart, when you can’t answer one of those questions.)
I just watched J.K. Rowling’s virtual author visit at hpread.scholastic.com so I have Harry Potter on the brain.
Who: Harry Potter
What: Magic Powers
When: Modern Day in a world existing right under our noses
Why: Dark Wizard needs defeating
Where: At Hogwarts
How: With a Magic Wand
Last night I was introduced to Plot Cards! You can find Plot Cards here: http://www.storyforgecards.com/ developed by one of the masterminds who worked to make The Sims one the bestest games of all time! They’re like tarot cards and they are freaking awesome! I did a “Once Upon A Time” spread last night. I already have my idea, but it’s amazing how it still helped me solidify (word of the day) a lot plot points in my story. I’m going to get some. Maybe next time it won’t take me 2 months to settle on a new idea. That was my second spread, so you can just keep flipping over cards until something strikes you and you can flip them over any which way you want. I also got a couple cards out of order (not on purpose, but I did leave them that way because it was a better fit, Lol!), so you can bend them however you want. And if you flip a card and it doesn’t make sense with your scenario, you can just keep flipping until you get one that does make sense or that you like better. (I didn’t do this, but it’s nice to have the option.) I think they’ll be fun and great for coming up with ideas or minor plot points whenever I feel stuck or need a boost. You can also do character backgrounds, sci-fi trilogies, disaster scenarios, love stories, to name a few. ^_^