Building a World for a Novel – Part 39
Part 39: Questions and Answers
What were some of the “burning questions” that came in over the last thirty-eight days? With your permission, I’ll share them, and the answers now.
Q: You talk a pretty good battle. How many worlds have you built?
A: Fair question. I’ve only built two, so far. One of them is a world linked physically and philosophically to our Earth. It is called “Steel Heaven“. The other is a world I’ve spent the most time with. It is called Chaiantra (chay-YAN-tra), and it has no connection with Earth or its people. This world is the setting for a 4000 year journey of growth, discovery, and struggle against great out-world powers, and is my “pride and joy”.
Q: How long does it take to complete a world?
A: I couldn’t say. Over the years I’ve discovered that the growth and fine tuning of a world never really ceases. Like our own world, things are in a constant state of flux. So, while the project is never really finished, the world remains vibrant and alive as long as you put energy into it.
Q: What is the hardest part of building a world?
A: Getting started. For the person who takes it seriously, and spends time considering all the required components, the task seems huge, even impossible. Getting out the sketchpads and notebooks helps, but the job doesn’t get started until you name your world, and began the creation process.
Q: What do you like best about the worlds you’ve made?
A: The people. I am fascinated by them, by their culture, the way they think and speak. As I have often said on this blog, they have to be like Earthlings in many ways–so the readers can connect–but they are different enough in the way they look and act to make the time spent with them fulfilling.
Q: How big does a new world have to be?
A: Assuming you aren’t really referring to the size of the planet… it has to be big enough. There has to be enough detail and depth, logic and reason, beauty and ugliness. Your world needs to live and breathe for you. and that takes layers, complexity, and most of all, it requires you to be visionary.
Q: You’ve built two worlds. Will there be a third?
A: Ha! Great question. I hope so. Just now I’m staying with Chaiantra, but the process is exciting. What you learn about the world you live in, and about yourself, is surprising as you build an alien world.
Continued in Part 40