World Building & Book Reviews
So, first things first; book reviews! I still haven’t updated this in a post yet, but I have a new book reviews page which is…honestly still under construction. But getting information organized can be a pain sometimes, so I’m not surprised that it’s taking me so long to hammer out the kinks. BEAR WITH ME! =| I’m also planning to add this page to my website, so stay tuned for updates about that, too! :)
Anywho, there’s something I’ve been thinking a lot on lately, like … a lot, a lot, which involves hammering out kinks in something besides a specific manuscript; my universe. As we all know, writers have universes of their own. It’s written down on paper, in word documents, on the walls, and sometimes, little pieces get put into blog posts like here. Some universes are more fleshed out than others, and some are built as the stories progress. Some encompass more than one book, and others are a world all their own which will never be seen in any other story ever again.
I’d be a liar if I said I hadn’t thought about exploding an entire world before, too (readers complain when their favorite characters are killed, and I’m over here plotting the potential demise of an entire realm. Does that make me least favorite author of the week or what? =|).
The reason I’ve been considering this is basically that my series has reached a point where we’ve seen more of the universe now. The Final Calling gave me the chance to show off places that had only been mentioned before, and even Fallen Hearts shed more light on that whole realm-hopping deal. A lot has finally been revealed, such as Mystikkar and parts of Ithelyon, and in turn, more questions were posed, even if the reader doesn’t automatically pick up on them.
I almost feel as if some of this world building stuff writes itself, but at the same time, there are questions to other matters that I’ve had to try to formulate an answer for. I know some of it before I go in, and other things have surprised me. World building doesn’t have to be an exact science, after all. Some might argue that it’s better to know everything before you write it, but discovery happens when you’re actually writing it, too.
For example, I’ve fleshed out numerous plots and rules, only to sit down and start writing and find it developing in ten different ways I hadn’t originally planned, and suddenly things are taking a turn I hadn’t intended! Blue Moon lay a lot of the groundwork for these types of things, though Cade and Ashley don’t actually do much traveling outside of Arkin City. In fact, thinking over everything now, I believe each book has taken my characters further and further away from their so-called point of origin. While Cade and Ashley were relatively stationary, in Light of Dawn, we generally travel across the country with Ulric and Charlotte. Strange Brew briefly takes us to another country, and in Fallen Hearts? Well, if you’ve read it, you know what we get when it comes to traveling.
On the other hand, The Final Calling spans three realms, seven countries, seven cities, and one questionable fissure. Edith and Isaac are all over the place, man! :P
Not that world building is all about traveling. But I thought I’d mention this because I’ve come to realize my readers might be thinking that it’s the point of each book to get bigger and bigger–and that’s not what I was planning at all. In fact, I’ll let you in on a little secret, my next story is going to be relatively stationary, especially in comparison to The Final Calling.
It all just depends on the story’s needs and what’s going down. But what I do feel the first five books of my series has accomplished, and this was something I’d been aiming for, was showing that yeah, there’s a mess-o-things out there, and now that I think about it, I REALLY need to update my terminology page! =|
Something else I wanted to mention before I draw this to a close is that The Final Calling also touched more on elements related to the pantheon (as in the gods and goddesses), which will end up becoming a bigger deal as time goes on and we see more of the actual way The Crucible operates. This is something I’m personally excited for!
Anyway, I love building my worlds, and then adding points of information to stories without ever expounding on it (for example, Chandra’s mention of the Final Calling in Light of Dawn is never really explained until The Final Calling actually came out). To me, it somehow makes the world feel more realistic, and it’s a habit I don’t plan on getting rid of!
So what does everyone think? Is it nice to read a story where some information is given, offering a sense that there’s more to come? Or is it just a big old pain in the ass to have to wait and find out more in another book?