Where No Mind Has Gone Before

September 1st, 2004 · 4 Comments
by Booksquare

We think we’ve finally gotten accustomed to having a guest in our house. She rises early and posts while we’re snoozing. Sweet. If only we weren’t conditioned to hit the keyboard before our first drops of caffeine hit the bloodstream, life would be ideal.

Besides, we’re sure someone would miss us if we disappeared completely. As the meeting gods are (temporarily) sated, we can return to our normal life of sloth and snark. Not necessarily in that order. We’re sure we have lots and lots of things to say, but first we have to toss out the question that kept us awake half the night (the kitten keeping us awake the other half):

Okay, enough with the birthday celebrations. We remain in charge here, and we demand more information. You talked a bit about world-building, but, frankly, we want more. We have a hard enough time making the current, non-magical world believable — what do you have to do to get to the point where (and we quote) “The civilization rules are pretty much drilled into my brain.”

We have heard rumors that you work with other authors who also write paranormal — how does your method of world building differ from theirs? Yes, it’s okay to give away friends’ secrets if they don’t know about it. What, in your opinion, is the most important factor in world building? We’re going to assume you don’t do charts and planet maps and such, but where do you focus your efforts and where do you let the world develop organically?

Seriously, did you really think we believed you when you said you wouldn’t be neurotic today? We are working hard to ensure your focus is anywhere but Amazon. You will thank us when you’re old and gray


File Under: Wrapped Up In Books

4 responses so far ↓

  • Gena Showalter // Sep 1, 2004 at 9:07 am

    For me, the best way to handle world and creature/alien building is to ground the reader in reality by using the five senses. We all identify with how things taste, feel, smell, sound, and look. When you talk about those things, suddenly the place or person in question comes alive. Also, get to know both character and planet intimately. And no, I still don’t use character charts or world maps, but I do hold conversations with the characters in my mind. (My mother tells me this makes me schizophrenic) Where was he/she born? Or how was he/she created? What motivates your character? Their past can actually reveal details of the planet’s past. Whether you actually end up using all of these details in the actual plot matters little. But if you understand the character’s history, you can build a believable present and future for your readers.

  • booksquare // Sep 1, 2004 at 5:50 pm

    Okay, the good news is that you’re not schizophrenic. Unless I am, and I know I’m not. At least I’m pretty sure I’m not.

    One of the problems I see in the work of others is where the author does so much work that he or she can’t resist sharing the fruits of their research. This probably speaks more to editing and being ruthlessly honest in your work , but how can an author gauge “too much” versus “too little”?

  • Gena Showalter // Sep 1, 2004 at 6:35 pm

    While I’m writing a rough draft, I always try to write too much detail. It’s so much easier to cut then to add. If, while I’m polishing and editing, I find myself wanting to gloss over a particular section, I know I’ve got too much. If I can’t visualize the scene, then I know I’ve got too little.

  • arabic chat sexy // Mar 1, 2005 at 11:52 pm

    Very entertaining read.