Whaaat? 3 weeks into NaNo already?? Where does time go?
I am caught back up! Yes!
Just to recap (again), I’ve been a bit unfocused this year in NaNo since I’m trying to edit a novel instead of writing one. I have two rough drafts of novels, so I don’t need a THIRD first draft staring me in the face.
I’ve done a TON of worldbuilding this past week, working on magic systems and race descriptions and rebuilding my map that I can edit as things change. With the map rebuild came the beginning of the world story and where races were initially placed at the beginning of time and how things changed. I’ve worked on some diversity among races and different ruling systems within them.
Last week, I also asked my facebook friends how they’d like to be immortalized if they were a character and have finished building the new characters based on that, which incidentally has pushed the plot forward in unexpected ways.
So lots has happened on the Tamerna front. I would say to expect some race reveals, some worldbuilding reveals, and other things in the coming weeks and months, which should be quite exciting! I’m going to be looking into the possibility of some artistic renderings of my races now that I have full racial descriptions, which I am tremendously excited about.
I haven’t been as poetic this week, but I did try my hand at an acrostic poem, where each stanza begins with the next letter of the alphabet, and that was pretty fun. I was inspired to try it after reading Proverbs 31, where verses 10-31 are an acrostic poem, I guess (at least according to the footnote in my Bible).
It’s been fun branching out and trying new things. I still have that poetry project on the back burner, but I need to get through NaNo before I can really put a lot of effort into that.
So, overall, a VERY successful week even if it doesn’t seem like a lot going on based on this blog post. I can’t lie, I really wanted to share what I’ve been working on, but I like the idea of spreading it out and getting some artistic renderings (if possible) first before revealing my races and some other things.
Building an entire world isn’t as easy as you might imagine, if you’ve ever imagined what it would be like to build a world. A fellow writer I know shared an image with a BUNCH of worldbuilding questions I’d never considered and I spent some time working through that for one of my races. I now have to do what with the other five.
I seriously hadn’t considered most of these questions, but it was good think through with my main character’s race especially since they are divided between urban and rural settings. Actually, all of my races, save one, are split between rural and urban, so I’ll really have to think about these questions in two different ways. The benefit of putting all this work in at the front end is that when the book is finally in the hands of the readers, the world should feel rich and believable because all these details have been considered.
I’ve seen lots of illustrations about writing comparing it to an iceberg – the novel is the tiny tip above the water and all the worldbuilding work is the rest of the iceberg underwater. The author puts in all that extra work and no one ever sees it, but I think as a reader, we can tell if the work hasn’t been put in. I’ve read novels where characters feel just a little flat or a little trope-ish and I’ve read others where characters feel full and rich and vibrant – I can only assume that it’s a reflection on the work put in on the front end.
It’s quite the process to write a book, any book, no matter if it’s fantasy or not. Other genres have massive amounts of research to do to ensure realness. If you’re writing a crime mystery, you need to research how crimes are solved, otherwise it’s not believable. Same with historical fiction or whatever. Even fantasy needs some element of realism in it.
By realism, though, I mean that it needs to be believable. Things need to operate within some sort of physical laws or boundaries. Could you imagine a fantasy where there were no physical laws to obey or where magic solved all things? Where is the story in that? It’s too hard to grasp if there aren’t rules and laws to govern the environment.
By realism, I DO NOT mean that it needs to be like Earth and what we know. I think that fantasy can get away with being quite fantastical and out there – it’s the point of fantasy – but there needs to be that element of realism. Your 14-year-old who just realized he’s a mage, plucked from his isolated village, and deemed The One To Save The World isn’t defeating the dragon king by himself. Sorry. Not buying it. That’s not realistic. So while fantasy can be quite fantastical, it needs to be grounded in some element of realism.
Anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to for a week and I have one week left to get all my words in and, hopefully, have a rich world lens through which to finish editing my novel. Which, if you didn’t know, is a BEAST of a project. I am 50ish pages in, which means I’m about 1/4 through my current pages, this monster is going grow and grow and grow. I would not be surprised if the 205 pages with which I started grows to 350 by the time I’m done.
Honestly, it feels a little impossible, but with dedication, hard work, and a rich world to work with, I KNOW I can do it.
How about you? What have you been working on lately?