Welcome back to another blog hop, with #OpenBook. Here’s this week’s prompt.
Talk about the setting of your book. Is it entirely imaginary or is it based on a real-life place?
My adventures mainly play out in a place that doesn’t exist. My characters live, love and occasionally die in a world entirely of my own construction.
It might be a planet at the far end of the Galaxy. Or a space mine orbiting Saturn. It could even be a quasi-Victorian society not unlike the England of the late 1800s.
Or something completely different to any of them.
Where and whenever it is, I have created it, dragged it into being from some part of my subconscious. I’ve given it form on the page and set my heroes loose in it. Largely, they act as if they know the place, to them it is as familiar as your own hometown.
Which is not to say that the worlds I create are unconnected to where I have been in my life. I was lucky enough to travel the world, back in the days before the internet, before instant communication and well before the homogenisation of culture that was the result of our (pre-Corona) global economy.
This experience showed me many things, all of which were filed away for future reference.
When I wrote my first novel, I managed to fall into the trap that a lot of people do.
I assumed that, because I was writing about the future, I had no need to research anything. All I had to do was make it futuristic. Of course, that’s wrong, you need to have a basis in fact before you can expand it.
That was where my past came in. I had seen many worlds, witnessed the way of life in places which at the time were as remote as another planet. There was enough there to use as a starting point. I could see how the things I saw and experienced fitted together to make a society. How, with a little tweaking, I could make them into a new world.
But the biggest revelation came when I realised how everything fitted together, how one place and another were connected, even though they were separated from each other. I saw how a world, or even a universe, could be constructed and expanded, ad-infinitum. Just by following a few basic principles.
I used these methods to create the worlds for my novels. Reviews the books got said how readers liked the way I had created the setting for my stories. Things like,
“This is a fabulous example of world building “
“There’s some fantastic world building too, Richard Dee takes the normal and the not so normal, to create the planet Ecais, it was so vivid I could almost picture it in my head.”
“The author establishes a sense of period so convincingly in the opening chapters that I felt transported to his world, mind, body, and soul. “
“The world building is original and complex, opening the reader’s imagination to the vast possibilities of life beyond our own world.”
I mentioned the comments, and my theories, at my writer’s group. Before long, with their encouragement, I was holding workshops on Sci-fi world-building at literary events. Which all seemed a little surreal.
Last year, I published my world-building workshops in an expanded form, with examples and exercises. In what I hope is a simple guide to world-building.
Do you want to write Sci-fi or Steampunk adventures?
Are you struggling with World Building?
Do you want to create a world: or even a universe, but you’re put off by all the science you think you need to know before you can start?
If the answer to any of those questions is yes, I’ve tried to simplify the process by showing you another way.
This guide is based on the World-building workshops that I hold as a member of the Exeter Authors Association. The aim is to show you an easier way of doing things, with chapters on such subjects as Location, Characters, Sidekicks and Steampunk. I’ll tell you the method that I’ve used to create several universes in the future and in an alternative present, maintaining realism without getting bogged down in the technicalities.
Creating a Sci-fi World contains exercises and suggestions, as well as examples from my novels, there are even some short stories to illustrate how my methods can be applied.
Which all goes to prove that nothing is ever wasted.
How about you, where do your literary adventures take place? Let me know in the comments, then go and check out the other great blogs in this hop.
Just follow this link.
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