Thursday, July 30, 2020

Writing rules for your sci-fi/fantasy worlds

Rules…rules…rules were meant to be broken? 

Close, but our topic of the week is: What’s a rule of your world established in a precious book that complicated things for you later on?

And I consider myself lucky in this because so far I’ve only written books numbered one! But I’m aware of the danger of writing yourself into a tight corner because of world building/magic system, yes that came from Jeffe and her oh-so-handy posts over the years..and again this Sunday.

So I’ve used that advice…but mostly for my fantasy books because my sci-fi books I write as stand alones. Anyone out there write in different genres and treat the world building differently? 

For my fantasy books, one is Regency fantasy and the other is high fantasy.

High Fantasy: stories that take place in a completely fictional world with its own rules.

Regency fantasy is basically a historical with some magic thrown in. That meant I had to trade world building with historical research. Rabbit hole alert! Then the magic came into play and it was fantastic! Difficult physical challenges, magic! Weapons that met their mark as long as you’re close, magic! Clandestine meetings cracked by eavesdropping wind, magic! 

But all the while I already knew what would happen in book two and mostly in book three. Since I knew the future (ha! if only) I could work in hints and abilities/restrictions that I needed for book two. 

I used the same guidelines when world building my high fantasy. The magic system for this series took a year to formulate and over that year it morphed, like it was alive. Which it is, in the books. And like the Regency fantasy I already knew what would happen for my heroes and villains in book two so some of the secondary character’s magical abilities are the basis for the various main characters to come. 

After thinking about all of this I’m wondering what would happen if I wrote a book one without knowing anything about book two! I listened to Jeffe’s June 5th First Cup of Coffee where she interviewed author Grace Draven. During their coffee date Grace mentioned she wrote Phoenix Unbound without knowing what book two, Dragon Unleashed, would be. 

That blew my mind. I don’t—I don’t know if my brain could handle writing like that. Thank goodness for the beauty of this craft, that each of our paths are different and how we go about writing is different. And who knows, I could find myself in that predicament someday…and then I might have to borrow Jeffe’s tactic and lie my way out.

Too bad I’m not a proficient lier.