One major thing I’ve learned about writing a story based in a fantastical world that only exists in my mind is this: it’s a wee bit harder than one might imagine.
I have characters doing things, having adventures – living in places. But where do they exist? Having a mental image is one thing, describing it is another – as the description leads to questions, which in turn ask, “why?”
Why are the houses built this way, why does my main character travel in this fashion, wear these types of clothing – perform these sort of jobs? Having a generic ‘idea’ of a place is nowhere close to having understanding.
Without understanding, the setting cannot be real to Frank. And if it ain’t real to Frank, he’s moving on to someone else.
So, it’s time to build the world.
Where does one start with world creation? A giant space factory like in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? ::Shrug:: Sorry, Frank, I don’t have the funds for such a venture. Only my backyard, a cup of coffee and pen.
People act in certain ways based upon values and beliefs. I know this as a coach. I work with people everyday around these things – linking values to desired outcomes to generate motivation and success. In NLP, we deal with belief systems, especially limiting beliefs (Some call gremlins) and how they might be overcome by replacing them with new neurology around the belief.
The events happening in our world today, the reason things exist in the manner that they do is because of beliefs systems. Countries are in place because of beliefs in certain types of governments. Same with religion. All based upon belief systems we choose to see as truth.
So, that is where my morning started. Frank’s attention was certainly captured, as there’s plenty of rich and juicy details within belief systems. He sat in his chair, leaning back while drinking his coffee – watching with rapt attention as I went about my work.
And, like a trickle of clear, clean water from a mountain spring, the ideas poured forth and the world came into focus.
Here’s to the brave, new world. May it’s richness bring reward and excitement to her explorers.