As I set off into writing the sequel to DOORS, I come face to face with one of my favorite things. World building. My imagination runs wild!
I love making stuff up. My writers’ group couldn’t believe all the weirdness in my head. But there’s so much more to creating a new world than mere stuff. The world has to live, exist, it must breathe even when you aren’t reading about it. It must be real.
In DOORS, my main character Bryn spends time in multiple places. Don’t ask me to name them all, I’m not sure I could as there might be at least twenty. Not only do I get to return to quite a few of them, I get to set foot on completely new ones.
I have to admit the whole if I can dream it I can make it real scenario is very appealing. If I want a world with an orange sky and blue trees… BAM! There it is. The visual is important. What do we see? Make the reader want more. Being an artist, I love painting the picture of each new world. I love playing with colors and textures in the landscape. Colors accompany emotions, a palette of blues and greens give the feeling of calm, until you let a heard of bright yellow monsters crash through the scene. Or maybe that blue world is filled with haunting tunes that come from a rock.
Maybe a bit mad, but it’s okay. It’s fun!
The animal and plants, if any, bring a planet to life. Ever watch a movie that takes place on a different planet and notice all the little things going on in the background? THAT. It’s not a backdrop, not window-dressing, but real. The cries of hidden birds or beasts. The way a plant changes color or suddenly moves. When all we can see is rolling hills of grass, but a tremor makes us wonder what lurks underground… or maybe somewhere the grass ends at a black pit.
I know! Just go with all the craziness.
The people, if the world is inhabited this brings it all together. Every world has it’s own residents with their unique culture. For every religion, or system of beliefs, there are hand movements (like the sign of the cross) or prayers. Their slang or phrases to show joy or love can settle in the minds of readers forever. (After reading Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series, I said thankee say for months.) The way the people dress or wear their hair (if they have any) all weave together to form a cohesive race, a living, breathing reality.
The history of the world sculpts how the people speak, what they say, how they act or react. The past gives us concrete reasons for how the world is. It’s so important.
Anything is possible in the realm of fantasy, but every world has rules and those must be set. Or no one will accept it. But if they do, it can live on in their minds forever.
The world of Solun is complicated. I still have more to reveal of its history and people. I will travel back to the Gether world to check on the nots and journey to other unseen places. But the undiscovered worlds call to me… who lives there? How do they live? What can Bryn learn from the people she will meet? What can she teach them?
When writing made-up worlds (except that’s not quite right, for they become real) take the time to build it so readers can be transported. Like Star Trek, Star Wars… like Dr. Who, give us what lurks in your imagination, give us what we have never seen before, give us worlds to change our perspective on life… on everything.
As Bryn says, “Keepers shine!”