Saturday, April 30, 2011

World Building Choices

As part of taking your most-excellent advice, I'm revisiting that fantasy novel I started back in March.  Since I've never done fantasy before - not in any substantial way - I'm floundering a little, but it's okay.  I have a general idea of what I want to do.  It's the execution that's giving me trouble.

I'm trying not to think too much about whether this is saleable.  I'm trying not to worry whether anyone will like it.  And I'm definitely trying not to think about whether this is different enough to stand on its own in bookstore.  (Failing at that last one, but I'm still trying.) 

I'm just trying to take this idea I dreamed last month and run with it.  We'll see where it goes.

The main problem here is I have to create my own world.  Unlike writing anything contemporary where I can just write along and tweak out any setting errors afterwards, I need to have this world pretty firmly in place before I wander too far along the plot path. 

For the world building, I'm faced with two choices: build an entire world on my own, or take a firmly set mythology and warp it to my own needs.  I picked door #2, which has landed me hip deep in research.  At this point, I'm really enjoying the research (perhaps too much), and I have a murky idea of how I can make this work. As with everything, time will tell.

Provided it's done right, which setting would you rather read about: A completely new world of the author's making (i.e. CL Wilson) or a mythological world twisted into something new (ala Gena Showalter*)?

*Okay, so Gena's books aren't fantasy, but you catch my drift.


  1. I like both! Of course, I usually write a mix of the two. My new Orbit series is a mix.

  2. challenging yourself is ALWAYS worth it, even if its difficult- mastering a new style, point of view, genre really helps keep it fresh and put new tools into action! Good luck and enjoy!

  3. Mental CGI is not easy, so I can see why you'd pick #2. I've done both, and it's soooo hard.

  4. Either one sounds great! Obviously both are tremendously challenging... but I know you'll rock it!

  5. I definitely think you shouldn't concentrate too much on whether or not the novel will sell. If you write it well, they will buy. Good luck!

  6. Sometimes you just have to take things you "know" and "twist" them to make them yours – even if your fantasy set in the real world!