Good morning to the fine Flamefolk out there.
Not long ago, Bardi asked you guys if you’ve created a place of your own within your writing. I’d like to know how you feel about world-building in general, as a writer or a reader?
I know that not all of our writers are science-fiction or fantasy writers, which are the genres one might immediately associate with the idea of world-building, but I believe world-building is something we see in novels across genres. It is not just space ships, alien landscapes, and shires, world-building can be any limiting setting that is as integral to the story as your characters.
Those corset-busting Harlequin romances set their breathless little vamps in 15th century Scotland or 18th century France – even if it’s an era passed with accurate historical markers, it is still a world the author built in order to control the characters and events by the rules or mores of the day. In my tweener years, I read several books in a series called “Sweet Valley High” – the “world” in that case was a modern, middling town and the high-school all the town kids attended. In Veronica Mars the world was Neptune Beach California. Is the real Neptune Beach anything like the corrupt and seedy place in the TV show? Maybe, maybe not, but if it weren’t for that seedy side the protagonist might have grown up to be an accountant instead of a P.I. and then there would be no interesting story to tell.
When it comes to worlds within the pages of a book, I am an advocate, as long as it is done well and correctly. Tolkien is labeled as the first author to create a complete world in his novels – with maps and languages and lore – and I do love what he did. (For me finding a map inside the cover of a book is the promise of a true adventure.) But this is not the only option when building a world, and not every reader has the patience for it. I would argue that Tolkien was the first to create an elaborate world of that kind. You cannot deny that the dingy, orphan-hating London of David Copperfield or the stormy Moors of Wuthering Heights were any less encompassing of their stories and players for lack of orcs and Rivendell.
So let me bring this back around to the point. (I’m a bit scrambled today, I apologize.) In longer works of fiction, to what level do you flesh out your worlds? Do you paint them as you go with a roll of the dice here and a “I need more tension” over there? Or do you build it first and then unleash your characters on the world? What’s your ratio of world known by the author to world revealed to the reader? As a reader, do you prefer minimalist worlds or elaborately constructed ones?
Talk to me.
And now for our reminders –
February Series of Tiny Tales 1 of 4 is available to read and vote on. Please go show your support and appreciation for your fellow Flames. Deadline on voting is tomorrow night.
February Series of Tiny Tales 2 of 4 is awaiting your submission(s). If you or someone you love is a writer, please pass on the link and join the fun. It’s good for you.
Our darlin’ Kathy lioness has updated the dialog workshop with some new exercises, don’t miss out.
I have set-up a little nook for you guys to interact over your 100 words. It’s not a formal workshop with assignments and such, but it is there for you if you need some flamecrunching.
#gowrite #flamechatters #brigitsflame #govoteflames