Status: Preparing for a booksigning on March 17
Our suggested blog topic for this month is descriptions and settings. Fits right in with MWV's online world-building class taught by Rebecca Lynn. (Good choice by our Prez, don't you think?)
The class is off to a good start, with a lot of discussion by participants and the instructor, and I'm looking forward to learning a lot. So my blog posts today and on March 17 will probably reflect a "before class" and "almost through class" comparison.
The instructor said she is going to take us through the process of building worlds a couple ways: lots of planning before writing the story and uncovering the world as the story unfolds. (She recommends planning your world before writing the story.)
I think it would have been very beneficial for me to have taken this class before I wrote my part of A ST. PATRICK'S DAY TALE (released March 1). Though most of the characters came from a previous novella, adding a time machine took me to worlds outside my normal expertise: history and science. So some of this world building unfolded as the story did--and as my critique partners pointed out places that needed editing. (Thanks, ladies!)
Fortunately, the series I'm currently writing keeps me pretty firmly in contemporary settings where I'm comfortable. I also made up a small town and had a lot of fun doing that. Most of this "world" was developed before I did much writing, although I am tweaking things as the stories develop.
What about world building beyond our books? Well, the three of us who wrote A ST. PATRICK'S DAY TALE are planning a booksigning with a very Irish feel. It will be on St. Patrick's Day (March 17) at a local pub, Your Place (3165 River Road N, Salem) that will be serving traditional Irish foods such as corned beef and cabbage. Don't know if they will have green beer, but we'll be wearing our wings to encourage the fae people--and their human friends--to join us from 5-7 p.m.
I also plan to incorporate the suggestions I learn from the world building class into updates I'm planning to my Web site to make these stories an interactive experience with audio, video and perhaps a game based on the books.
So where does world building end? Perhaps it doesn't! To paraphrase an earlier post, perhaps the worlds we create for our stories become more "real" than what passes for real life. After all, we do spend a lot of time with our stories and characters...
To close, I'm going to ask a couple questions our instructor asked us: How do you build the world in your story? Lots of planning before writing or do you let the world unfold as the story progresses and the character grows? And one more from me: Do you build a world beyond your story (such as on your Web site?) or have plans to do that?