So it’s been a while since I last posted. Actually two months to the day and I apologize for the long absence. I did not participate in NaNoWriMo as you would assume, but I did spend that time engrossed in my new novel. It is half done and if I can keep to the outline (I think it’s outline #8 by now) I should be done by the end of February. They say that beginning a new novel is like falling in love. It’s true, but the honeymood is over and this draft now holds the allure of watching televised fireworks.
The story is chugging along towards its inevetible end and the engine that carries it along is the world where it takes place. The world, or in my case the Netherworld. In my novel, a sixteen year-old girl is mistakenly dragged to Hell. Her brother, blamed for her dissappearance has to go to the Netherworld, find his sister and get them out.
A story like this requires more than a good plot and dynamic characters, it has to have a believeble world to take place in. Worldbuilding is required to develope such a world. It’s really not much different than mapping and planning a garden. Some worlds are easy, just tweak a few things to our present world and you have The Hunger Games. Others can be as elaborate and diverse as Dune or Star Trek.
The important thing about worldbuilding is consistency. One simple plot device can destroy the most complex world.
Just as a simple mistake can ruin a garden. The first few years we attempted to grow blackberries, we cut the canes down every fall. For three years we didn’t get any fruit until I read that the canes that come up this year, fruit the next year. Also, planting tomatoes in the same spot year after year will guarentee a fungal infection.
Small decisions can ruin both worlds and gardens. It takes patients and more than a little God-complex to attempt either. Over the next few weeks I’ll go over some aspects of worldbuilding that I learned the hard way.
For those novice worldbuilders and gardeners on their first creation, start small. Begin in one village, one culture, one garden bed. The more time you spend there, the easier it will be to expand your garden and your first worldbuild.