Saturday, 3 September 2016

B is for Building

My day starts early because, as frequently happens, I have woken at three and been unable to sleep again. At four I give up and go with the flow. It's actually less tiring to get up and start work than to lie tensely in the dark with aching legs and Ferret whacking me in the face with his tail and growling at me every time I move. So, to work!

Today is B, and B is for Building. Specifically, world building. I have a science fiction novel planned, and unlike the short stories I've done in the genre, which are SF Lite, this one will be set on an alien planet with a race of alien people with a very different culture to our own. Further, for plot reasons, their society must be completely free of both crime and poverty. Therefore, I must embark upon a World Build, a venture which fills me with trepidation.

I don't have to stumble blindly into the dark, though, as I did with my historical novel. This time help is at hand, in the form of Terri Main's course, Write Your Novel Your Way. Terri has generously offered this course free, and I bless her for it.

You may wonder why, with three novels already published, I've enrolled in a 'how to' course. Well, there are two reasons. One is that you can always add extra tools to your toolbox. Earlier this year, I did Brandon Sanderson's writing course, and although it was heavily geared to writers of fantasy and SF, I learned a great deal about critiquing my own work and fixing problems. 

The second reason is that this course of Terri's will cover worldbuilding. Terri writes a SF detective series set on the moon, so she knows how to build a world - you can find her work HERE - and there is apparently going to be a section of the course dealing with it. So, instead of drafting a novel, which is the standard practical task for this course, my prac exercise is going to be the world build. Terri is a great believer in flexibility, and assures me that the course can be used to work on a specific aspect like this. 

Anyway, the course started early last month, and we haven't yet come to the world building part of it, but I've been reading all the lessons and submitting the exercises, and writing new material for the new edition of Grammar Without Tears and a couple of short stories. As far as the world build goes, I've made a preliminary start by listing the headings that will need to be considered; the aspects of life on Planet X that I must describe and understand before I can start drafting my novel.

So, that's what I'm doing. Today will be a shortish day, despite my early start, because it is Saturday and I will be driving down the peninsula to spend the day at a friend's house. 

There are two lessons from the course in my email, and I read both and do the exercises, which are short and easy. We still have not come to the world-building part of the course, and my energy is flagging, but I carry on reading the first of my source materials and manage to make an important decision about my people's biology before I crash back into bed at five thirty.

This is the first of the books I'm using as source materials for my world build.

No comments:

Post a Comment