All hung up on World Building
The pathway to completing my first fiction novel has taken many turns, and I hope that I can look back in time and reflect on it all with good humour and a sense of accomplishment.
As I don’t have the experience of writing other novels or genres, I can only imagine how much of them is spent on the concept of world building.
I choose to write in Epic Fantasy and the big part of pulling off what I hope will be something remotely worth reading revolves around the world it is set in.
On fantasy everything has to be built, there are no pre-existing countries, governments, religions or magic. There is a blank canvas, and you have to build it up from the very beginning.
Early in 2016, I was hung up on this process feeling like the first book would never come. I had drawn maps and topographies; I had the start of my world, but the story didn’t exist. The core of a real story is, of course, the characters and the events they participate in that makes the story.
There was a turning point where I lay my world down and started the real writing. The opening chapters, the people interacting and I watched with joy and excitement as the characters came to life more easily than I imagined, and the tale began to be told.
I had got to 27,000 odd words before I started hitting walls I subconsciously knew would come but hadn’t fully envisioned.
As my story took on a three-dimensional quality suddenly images formed in my mind of the world I had begun to create. Then the characters and the untold stories began to break through the veneer of the world I had created.
The missing pieces from when I lay down the development became real road blocks. When a character has no road, no area to go through because missing pieces exist in their path, I realised I had to go back and finish the difficult parts I had left for another day.
Since then my progress has stalled, for no other reason than me not pursuing it with the same rigour and discipline, I did when I wrote those first words.
I know I have to make my way differently and I have to finish the world and the story, but I haven’t made the progress I wish I had. I have stalled on it, not from a block but from avoidance.
Every time I sit down and do more of it I feel closer, but there is some reason holding me back from pushing through and just getting it done.
I am not sure exactly why at this point but I can only hope some inspiration or awesomeness is percolating in my subconscious waiting to arrive at my fingertips and I just have to wait for it.
From tomorrow I simply have to do something in my world every day. Write out notes, finish off some of the ‘world bible’ elements that don’t hold up to inspection, or more research if needed.
I think I have my magic settled now; that was something that needed polish but that I think I have locked in better.
To hold myself more accountable I think I need to start writing a weekly journal about my writing experiences, and what I am learning from others along the way.
One letter at a time.