I’ve heard there are two types of writers- planners, who sit down and plan out every detail before they even begin their first draft, and those who make it up as they go along.
Well, I’m not sure which type I am. I write a story to build the world and characters. I’ve said it before- I don’t have character sheets tacked to my wall, or maps.
I have stories.
I’m a word person. I’ve tried to draw, but I’m not talented enough to put what I see in my mind on paper.
So, I sit down and write a story to build my story.
Sometimes, in the final product, characters change, but the canon I’ve created for myself to follow doesn’t. I can remember it better if I have a story to tell, and the only details that I might have to look up are eye color for certain characters, especially if I change the character to suit the main story as I’m writing.
The stories I write to build a world are as fast-paced as the ones who make it to publish. I tend to give descriptions and play with words to keep things short and sweet, because I’m not a reader who likes to wade through copious words to describe one tree.
It’s a tree. Depending on the season, the limbs are naked, or the leaves are still hanging on for dear life, while their siblings lay crunchy on the ground beneath. That to me says fall or winter, and I’ve said it, for myself as a reader, to define the season. A character’s teeth may chatter as they sit under this tree, and the bare limbs may creak above them as the wind blows.
I’m not one to say- It was fall. It just turned cold. That is telling, versus showing, and I’d rather show you.
I have said- Fall bowed down to winter in the early morning hours, and the salt truck rumbled down the otherwise quiet street.
This to me says not only it it cold, but the streets are icy and the temperature dropped quickly.
Sometimes I can spit those descriptions out in a rough draft, and sometimes I have to go back later and add them in.
For my worldbuilding stories, the descriptions may or may not be there, depending on how fast I write it, and if I had to pause and think about the scene.
I usually reserve those thought-out descriptions for the books I publish, but sometimes I come up with some great lines(great to me) in my drafts/worldbuilding stories.
I was hunting some of my worldbuilding stories for the current book I’m writing to publish, just to make sure I am getting the facts for my Planes correct. I came across a worldbuilding story I wrote in the middle of writing the Menagerie Series, and wrote the plot just for fun. I also changed the parentage for some of the characters in the published series, and wrote it in two days.
It, unlike a lot of my worldbuilding stories, was complete. A beginning, a middle, and an end. I finished it. A full 55k story, that laid out the bones and a few muscles for the real story.
I decided to share it- unedited- on Wattpad, if you’re interested. Had to scramble to come up with a title, because on my external harddrive it’s called- justforfun 8. Yep, there are eight of them where I played around with the details of how it all went down.
I call it Loving Jesse if you’re interested in reading it. Before Jaxon got to rip Raven’s heart into a thousand pieces, I needed Raven to have a happily ever after.
So, this is the way it could have been, but wasn’t, and eventually, Raven gets his HEA with Zaffre, in a twisted tale on amazon called Wishin On Fire.
How do you set your stories up? Do you have the character sheets? Do you ever change the characters when the words start to flow onto the page? Do you ever explore the what could have beens for those characters?
Let me know, and I hope you are having a great day.
2 thoughts on “Worldbuilding/ building a world”
Tried to comment and have no clue where it went in the webiverse.
I’m enjoying reading Loving Jesse.
I’m a “plantser” 🤣 I both plan and write by the seat of my pants. I start with a broad stroke outline, a general idea of my characters and their motivations, etc. Then I treat it more like guidelines than rules. As the story moves along I let it flow and make any adjustments that it needs. I periodically glance back at my outline to make sure I’m not missing a major point.
I am a visual person and do like to create my own sketches or at minimum color swatches for skin tones, hair color, eye color, etc. I also like to find old photographs on Pinterest to use when describing period styles. While I don’t draw maps per say, I do make a list of highlights of the geographical areas I’m using.
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I honestly tried to plan with my current WIP. I did. It didn’t help, lol. I got part the way through the first draft and my characters turned two, complete with blow raspberries and pouty faces, lol. It’s just doesn’t work for me, but I have to say I wish I could do that and have it flow from beginning to end.