World-building update, or ‘Learning from Past Mistakes’ and an informal POLL!

Got a LOT done last night and I feel GOOD!

Before I dive too far in, first I want to give a more detailed explanation on why I’m pausing to focus more on world-building right now than the draft:

As I’ve said, I’m bringing in a companion storyline to Kara’s, being a sort of amalgam of parts of the original ‘Jezebel Diaries’ story and parts of Zsaka’s storyline in ‘Mortality Interrupted’. At the beginning of No Redemption for the Wicked, I’ll be introducing this new character, Serena, right at the beginning along with Kara and beyond that, I’ll also be showing the primary antagonist right at the start. That’s three central characters whose stories start in entirely different places with their own goals and motivations for doing what they do, and I need to kick off the first novel being able to show all three of them and portraying the setting they’re in and the people around them convincingly.

To pull this off, settling for a vague notion of people and places is dangerously negligent. One of the things I know at this early stage is that, to set up big plot events later in the story, I need to show a marked difference between north and south from the very beginning, the north being rugged and adventuresome, and even dangerous frontier borderland; the south, by contrast, being comfortable and complacent, accustomed to wealth and luxury, and a culture and society past its peak, drunk on the successes of its storied past, and on the verge of decline.

In order to be able to start visualizing the specific settings and secondary characters that will be moving the story along, I need to have a more concrete view of my world. So much has changed since I started and now I have to reshape that world so that it can tell the story I’m trying to tell. That’s why I spent last night naming feudal estates and detailing how feudal society in the Kingdom of Arcadia works. Next will be drawing a rudimentary (trust me, it will be rudimentary *lol*) map of the Kingdom and its surrounding lands so I can place some of these estates within the kingdom and start to establish more clearly the various families, determine who they are and what their likely motives will be, and how they will affect the story.

(Don’t worry, I’m not going all ‘Game of Thrones’ here… 🙂 )

I know a lot about Kara and I’ve already written her storyline for the first two novels, the same for the antagonist although his storyline is a little less detailed. But to get started on Serena’s storyline and to flesh out the rest of the antagonist’s storyline, though, I need a much fuller picture, and I’m working on it with Serena and Gorman in mind so that, as soon as I have enough level of detail to get back to their outlines and begin incorporating their storylines into the draft I’ll be able to jump right on it.

Now, in addition to the feedback I always hope for when I post, from writers and readers alike, I also have a question:

When I do a lot of world-building stuff like I did last night with putting down in concrete terms how the feudal system works and who the more prominent families and nobles are, would you like me to post that here on the website?

Think on it and let me know. 🙂

Thanks, everyone!



4 responses to “World-building update, or ‘Learning from Past Mistakes’ and an informal POLL!

  1. I recommend that you do NOT post too much about your world, at least until the first story is written. I made that mistake when I first started writing and within a year, I kept seeing the unique features of my world popping up on various TV shows. At first I thought it was coincidence… I mean, how many writers have truly original ideas? Then I saw something pop up that my Grandfather had made up, that I never heard anyone else say my whole life, but that I had posted on my blog a few months prior. I yanked everything down that I felt jeopardized the uniqueness of the world I was creating. Coincidence or not, I haven’t seen any more of my ideas turn up in TV shows. Since then, I learned that TV writers search the Internet all the time for ideas for episodes. Obviously I have a strong opinion about this, but I think it’s better to write your story, copyright it and then put it on display. Otherwise, by the time you finish your book, the world you built might appear to be a copy of someone else.

  2. Yes I would love to read more about the Prominent families and the Nobles, however, you don’t want to go into too much detail

  3. I think it’s fine to do, as long as it doesn’t give away too much 🙂

  4. Thanks, everyone. Your experience is a warning to us all, BonSue. I do think I should post some background information, but as far as anything that exposes the story too much, I’ll hold that back. I think I’ll post information on the two primary faiths, some information about the peculiar form of feudalism that is employed in the Kingdom of Arcadia, and some information about some of the more prominent characters that figure in the story. As far as the story itself, I’ll post it on the site, but only the first chapters will be available to the public – exactly how many will be determined by what those initial chapters contain. I want to generate interest in the story, but I don’t want to give anything away or jeopardize my ability to negotiate publishing rights when the manuscript is finished.

    Thanks for the feedback, everyone. You guys rock! 🙂

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