Saturday, June 05, 2010


Current Project: Unnamed Fantasy
Status: Creating Maps

I had a hard time with this post. Not because I don't have anything to say. Nope, quite the opposite—for once I have too many topics rambling around in my head. Since that's sort of my problem with my current project, I thought I'd stick to talking about where I am right now. And where's that, you ask?

I'm stuck in Worldbuilding 101*.

I'm currently doing the Fluctuating Fox-trot with my story's setting. Here are the things I know. The story is a fantasy; Magic exists, but so does Science. I have a good idea of the inciting incident, though I'm leaving myself some wiggle room on the details, some of which will depend on, you know, the setting.

In some ways, the traditional High Fantasy genre would fit, but I really don't want to write yet another story in a world stuck in Medieval Stasis. Nor do I want to create kingdoms/societies that are really just a bunch of Planets of Hats. Okay, I thought, do a paradigm shift and set it in a more recent time frame, like the Victorian era (though I actually prefer the US period name of the Gilded Age), but then I realized to my chagrine that I'd be careening perilously close to writing Steam Punk. Don't get me wrong, I adore that genre—I just have no interest in writing it at the moment. So Victorian times, it seems, are out.

I (very) briefly toyed with using a contemporary setting, or even the near future, but the story that seems to be gelling in my head really doesn't work in those settings. I'm also not sure I want to write a story where the Real World(tm) is oblivious to the magical stuff happening right under it's nose.

I know, there are still a lot of possibilities I haven't explored. One setting I'm toying with is the Edwardian era, either at the start of or just before WWI. Another is the late 1920s-early 1930s—I've wanted to try my hand at Decopunk for awhile, though I think I may hold off on that for now.

Ah, well, at least it's a nice day, with clear skies and no rain. I think I'll go take a drive and mull things over. Maybe some fresh air and sunshine will air out my brain.

How was your week? Inquiring minds want to know. And if you have any suggestions on setting, they'll be cheerfully accepted!

* Why yes, I have been spending a lot of time lately reading TV Tropes. Why do you ask?


Deborah Wright said...

First comment in order to get comments by email! :-)

Alice Sharpe said...

Debbie -- I've meaning for some time to mention to you that Eli fixed the blog -- quite awhile ago now -- to automatically empty into my email without posting anything. Let's see, that didn't make sense. She worked it so that the responses to all the Mid Willamette blogs go automatically to my mailbox (and others) so you don't have to stick something in there to gather responses. It's also nice on days you don't blog because other responses to other blogs on this loop show up and remind you to check in and see what's up. I believe she did this before you got involved and I have no idea how she did it.

Meanwhile, I worked on the first book with the working title of Deadly Deception which I can bet money won't make through the process and frankly, that's a good thing. I really suck at titles although the next two books, Dead and Buried and Laid to Rest I like better. They won't make it either, however, or at least I doubt they will. I'm on pg. 90 so while I haven't been tearing up turf, I'm ahead thirty pages from when I sold it two week ago and that's okay.. The plot is getting exciting and that's always fun. Murder! Mayhem! Per chance a fire?

As for you and your time settings -- I KNEW there was a reason I write contemporary!!! Ack! Good luck. I can't imagine how you can write and plot this without settling that factor first. Is that your plan? It sounds like a fascinating project.

Genene Valleau said...

Hi, Debbie! I'm with Alice--I'm glad I write contemporary romances. Just the bit of historical research I've done for my novella with a time machine was making me crazy. I can't imagine doing the research required for a full historical novel. Even though I research careers and other things I start out not knowing much about. Sounds like you enjoy writing in many different time periods!

Alice, congratulations on the progress! I like all three of your titles. So glad you're back in the writing groove again!

I only worked on my nine-book series a few days this week. Another project took longer than expected, but it's almost wrapped up now so I can focus on writing in the evenings again. I'm gaining more and more insights into my characters and their individual stories as well as the overarching plot thread that connects all the books, so I'm pleased with that. My goal for the upcoming week is to devote more time to the series so I can move forward faster!