Thursday, 3 May 2012

World Building. How the hell....?

Roses or bugel weed? You decide.
Ok.  So I'm sitting down with Stacy's fantasy writing challenge before me.

To inspire me, I've asked for prompts from the fabulous fictionistas and in true cupcake loving, strawberry soda drinking fashion, Stacy, Jenn and Ruth have risen to the challenge.  I have prompts:  two matching tattoos, an airship, a cat.

My imagination is motoring.  I'm conceiving of a story, a little linked back to sidhe who pop up in Serendipity.  I have two protagonists in mind, one side character.

I have a dragon.

I have a cat.

I am SO CLOSE to getting there but.....


Here's my problem.  I can paint a historical setting, no worries.  I love history.  I love bringing it alive.  Damn it I can walk through those streets.  But a fantasy setting?


Do you have roses or bugel weed?  If I choose (imaginary) bugel weed, does that preclude me from referring to poison ivy?

I like writing in a historical setting but I want it to be a fantasy historical setting.  And I'm struggling with blending the two.  Is what I'm writing a brand of alternate history?

Damn it, I just don't know.

I need a guide through this quagmire of fantasy writing.  I've read plenty...  but I just don't know where to start.


Unknown said...

You can have "real world" items in a fantasy setting. A lot of times that's what makes the reader connect to the setting. Building a world can be difficult, but you can liberally steal from Earth. They could even be transplants FROM Earth. You can change the names, make them more potent, what have you. If you are basing a town on 18th century London let's say, perhaps the first settlers came from there...or just steal ideas on what 18th century London looked like and change a few things. An example would be The Wayfarer's Redemption series. That borrows heavily on Biblical mythology and other creation stories (and I swear some of the areas are real world), heck, there were even ROADS. Asphalt, line down the middle - but they were from "a lost tribe".

Hope this helps some! :)

Meg McNulty said...

Yes it does, thank you! I think my problem is that with a new world I almost need to just GET its essence and its characteristics, the same as I need to do with a character. I can see why people do maps etc. I feel a pinterest board coming on!

Unknown said...

You've hit the nail on the head there Meg. In fantasy the setting is every bit as much a character as... well, as the characters.

If you plan to use this setting repeatedly I'd suggest starting from he ground up - literally. Figure out the formative geography, then the cosmology, all that great stuff. Then you plunk your other characters (I believe you mentioned a dragon and a cat) down in it and see what happens.

My money is on the cat.

Meg McNulty said...

LOL and you would be right. That cat has hidden depths, to be sure. Thanks for your advice Mike!

Tim Moon said...

Your prompts made me think Steampunk. I love addition of the dragon!

Meg McNulty said...

I love a bit of steampunk. Tis a genre (like most) I have still not got to grips with writing!