Doing what you love and doing it well.

Welcome back to another blog hop, with #OpenBook. Here’s this week’s prompt.

Don’t forget to click the purple button to see what everyone else has to say.

What part of writing are you best at? Not compared to everyone else, but compared to you?

As an aside, I once worked with a man whose appraisal said: “he performs the job entirely to his own satisfaction.”

I think my forte is world-building. It’s certainly the thing I enjoy the most about writing. I love to take a fresh, blank document and create a setting, whether it’s here and now, in the far future or in some alternative reality. It might be a city or a planet, it could even be a whole Galactic civilisation.

It’s the place where my characters will have their adventures, so it has to be somewhere that they can live and work in, as well as be a place that enhances the plot.

I’ve always thought that, in a way, the setting is another character, it has all the attributes of one except speech, but it can make up for that by creating an emotion or controlling the way that everybody has to behave.

More importantly than that, the world you create all needs to fit together, the science has to be sound and it must be realistic enough to convince the reader that it really exists (or at least could).

Over the course of my nearly twenty novels, I’ve had quite a bit of practice in creating environments. My readers seem to like what I’ve done, judging by the comments that I get in reviews. Here are a few,

The worlds of Skander and the Syk’m’s realm are superbly crafted, demonstrating Mr Dee’s undeniable skill in world-building

This is the third book that I have read from this author, and each time I’m more amazed by Mr Dee’s ability to create worlds that feel real, as if they may already exist.

The planet descriptions are one of my most favorite aspects of this book. I was transfixed with the beauty of it all. Mr Dee enraptures the reader with his poetic descriptions and the pictures he painted swirled in my mind deepening the stories impact as I read.

The author establishes a sense of period so convincingly in the opening chapters that I felt transported to his world, mind, body, and soul. You can barely go a paragraph without some devilishly clever steampunk device implicating itself into the story. The grimy, sooty, coal-infested cities of a steampunk age are felt no less viscerally.

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.

I’m incredibly grateful to everyone who leaves comments like that, it makes me feel like it’s all worth it.

How do I build a world?

I have a very simple method. I’d love to tell you all about it, the thing is, I’ve written a textbook that explains it, which I’d really like you to buy. It’s called Creating a Sci-fi World and it’s available in ebook or paperback formats.

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.

Until next time.

Let me know what you think about this week’s subject.

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6 Responses

  1. Daryl Devore

    World building isn’t so much my strength. I’ve been mostly writing contemporary – so I didn’t have to build a world. I could just locate my character sin a city and either say it was NY – or hint at it. But now that I’ve been dabbling in fantasy I am having to learn how to create a world and it is fun.

    • Richard Dee

      I love the feeling of satisfaction when the world comes together and feels like somewhere that could be.

  2. Stevie Turner

    It takes a lot of imagination to create another world. My brain doesn’t work in that way – I tend to concentrate on characters living in our world.

    • Richard Dee

      At the moment, I would much rather be in the world in my head. But then, if I had created today’s world five years ago, would anyone have felt it was real?

  3. P.J. MacLayne

    I haven’t tried true world-building. What I’ve done is create a smaller community inside of the existing world around us. It sounds like it would be fun to create a whole new world from scratch.

    • Richard Dee

      Worlds within worlds, now there’s an idea I’ve never tried.

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