Playing God

As I work on my next novel, a sci-fi/dystopian piece, I’m in awe of authors who can create whole worlds from scratch.

With my novel, I’m skipping ahead a century or two, but I’m sticking to good ol’ Earth as my locale. I figure it’s easier to try to envision how today’s events may unfold into tomorrow’s reality than to build an entire world (or universe) from my imagination. Can I look at today’s tech and society and draw lines from now to then? Well, I sure hope so. But trying to create technology that has never existed (and may never exist) all the while weaving the threads of a society that evolved and developed such technology…it’s mind-blowing.

Creators of fantasy/high fantasy/epic fantasy also amaze me. Forget science…we’re going to make a whole new world where physics is thrown out the window and metaphysics takes over, where there are creatures never before seen and people capable of unreal feats. It baffles me.

I’ve tried worldbuilding as a teen, and even a bit as an adult. I just can’t do it. I can’t get the details, the nuances, the little bits that make it all come together.

With my current WIP, I originally tried pantsing it, but it just wasn’t working. The world wasn’t rich enough, wasn’t deep enough. As I brainstorm and make notes, it’s slowly evolving into something much thicker. Meatier. Juicier. Plots are forming, technology is springing up, and the people living in the society that created this technology are starting to go about their daily lives. They’re coming to life.

I may not be able to create an entire world or universe out of thin air…but I’m slowly becoming the god of my vision of the future.

Finally free

I could be talking about Independence Day today…but I’m not. I’m not overly patriotic. I’m not political. I’m not a historian. I’m just an average Joe (Jill?), and I’m not that into the revolutionary aspect of the holiday. No, I’m talking about a free day off work. After working 12 days in a row, then going on a day trip, then doing laundry all day, I finally have a day off where I can do whatever.

The start of my free day? Fixing my cosplay booboo from yesterday. I got that done and all of the twill fabric pieces cut out; now comes cutting out the interfacing & lining, after which I’ll start putting the pieces together. It should prove interesting since I’m altering the pattern. I keep doing that…and so far, aside from yesterday’s disaster, it’s been turning out well. Guess I have a knack for it…or I’ve been lucky.

Now I’m taking a break from all that pinning and cutting and I’m just chilling on the computer for a while. I might take a nap. I might make some food. Or maybe I’ll just stare at this screen and do nothing.

Sometimes it’s good to take time for yourself. Burnout sucks. Sure, if I spent all day nonstop working on the coat I could probably get it finished…but is that really what I want to do with my free day? Spend the whole thing cutting and sewing until I’m sore and worn out?

Also, I’ve been having some good ideas about my dystopian/sci-fi novel. Yeah, you know the one–the one that’s been stalled since the cosplay stuff went into overdrive? Well, it’s still stalled (narrative-wise), but some new details about the world and the characters have come into my head that I think will give it some depth and diversity. It’s outside of my comfort zone, but isn’t that the point of writing sometimes? Going new places, trying new things…creating new worlds (or destroying them).

Maybe I’ll work on brainstorming today in between cosplay sessions. That sounds like a good idea.

Freedom to do what you want–gotta love it.

Onward towards Twenty

No, I’m not turning twenty years old. I’m long, long past that. No, I’m talking about 20,000 words on my manuscript. It’s slow going, but I broke 19,000 this morning and think I have a decent momentum.

The story rapidly evolved from straight sci-fi to sci-fi/dystopian, which works fine for me. It’s interesting to try to imagine what the world will be like in a century or two. I haven’t fully explored the possibilities yet, but I already have ideas brewing. What wildlife would survive the crap we humans are doing to the environment today? What repercussions will our actions today have on the future environment? What cities/countries will survive the passage of time and what ones will fall?

With my first book, I kept the time frame current and used Christian mythology as a base for some of what I was writing. Now? Now I have almost total autonomy. I’m not creating a new world; I’m not up to full world-building status yet. Still, it’s envisioning the future of this world, so it’s a creation of sorts. I’m creating the future. It’s unreal.

Well, of course it’s unreal. It’s a work of fiction. But you get my point.

There’s such a thing as too much information

I’m so terrible. I wrote an opening chapter that was 90% exposition. Info-dumping. I can’t believe I did it.

Luckily, I have a terrific critique group that has already given me a lot of advice on how to fix the problem. I have rewritten most of the chapter, which cut my word count quite a bit, but I think that most of it is tolerable. Editing/revision will have to fix the rest of it. And I may be getting ahead of myself a bit. Have to finish the first draft … eventually.

My plan is to finish the draft by the end of the year. Plenty of time, right? Not necessarily, but if this is anything likeĀ Whispers of Death, once I get the first few chapters done the rest will come more quickly. I had five chapters written at the start of last year and finished the draft in April. It took quite a lot of editing and revising to get the word count from novella to novel, but I managed.

This one will hopefully be better because I’m trying to plan more of it as I go. Trying being the operative word. I’ve plotted out some of it, but so far I’m flying by the seat of my pants again. Maybe outlines just aren’t for me lol