30 Day Writing Meme
July 13, 2016 § Leave a comment
Day 12 → In what story did you feel you did the best job of world→building?
Well, that’s not really fair. Something like "The One That Got Away" does what it needs to with a film noir mood, but it’s set in the familiar world we live in. I think it’s effective, but it didn’t require a lot of building.
On the other end of the spectrum, Ciel and Jewel’s story (The 13th Chime) is onion layered, and I mean like a blooming onion appetizer with dipping sauce in the center. It’s not solely onion. The day-to-day is a fantasy setting, across a broad geography including remote coastal outpost, wilderness, and steampunk-industrial city. It has the additional level of Jewel’s origin world, which for simplicity I can describe as a dream world. I have a lot of building and showing to do to get it right.
I wouldn’t even say that’s the most built up world. Magic Girl Lolo’s world is a world of magic, set against a place both familiar and nostalgic: the 1990s. Creating ’95 Santa Monica, California for the reader is as important as setting up the magic logic of angels and reincarnations. For a period piece, every detail is meaningful.
Then, with the world of Faerie, the difficulty is in using the tropes and motifs I want, while breaking preconceived and popular expectations. To do this, I’m using description of the physical setting. Specifically, Glorianna Palace isn’t something I anticipate a reader will have seen in fairy fantasy before. It’s literally a stadium, a tiered edifice with a central arena, where court life happens. Like the palaces of ancient China, it is composed of the stadium and surrounding buildings, all within a "wall" of enchanted gates.
So in that case, it’s the physical world that sets up the world building.