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SUnday Afternoon Writing March 20, 2011

Posted by mattfarmer in writing.
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When my writing group was in full swing I would save Sunday afternoons for writing the weekly assignment. Not much happens on a Sunday afternoon. Perfect time to write.

So here I am, 2.30 in the afternoon, with two things to write. A short piece in my Stempunk verse, and the end of another chapter in my sci fi. The Steampunk is more exciting to me, but I know I have to finish my sci fi soon, else it will just hang around and hang around.

During the writing group this week we talked about world building. I have a world to build and things to decide, and I am not totally sure which way to go. What political system to use, a royal family? Principalities? Some sort of tribal council? I need a currency system, I need a weather system… you need to know the best trade winds to fly your sky ship in, don’t you. I even need to know how my sky ships operate. Just wind power or some sort of steam powered thruster system. And hanging beneath the big balloon, is it going to look like an actual ship? Or a different shape entirely? Do I need a pantheon of gods?

I have many ideas for the verse, but we did talk about how the ideas can drown out the story and make it just a vehicle to show off your ideas. There have been a few movies like this. Great ideas, lousy story. My friend warned me not to ‘crow bar’ the ideas in to ths tory. Let the story be, and if the ideas become relevent, use them. Else just leave them in the background.

Truth be told, I havent actually got a story for my steampunk world yet. Great ideas, but ideas do not a story make. I am sure the story will come in time. There is plenty of fodder for it.

For me, it was an interesting notion of crow barring ideas into a story. You can invest just as much time into creating a world as you do writing about it and you don’t want all that effort to go to waste. The story is what is key here. Everybody loves a good story. Not everybody likes a show off.

For some strange reason I in fact feel a little bit like world building is a luxury. It feels so indulgent just creating a world, a sandbox to play in. It isn’t the story, I am not producing a piece of writing to be read and viewed by others, it is just for myself. However I have been shown the benefits of doing his kind of work. It is done, and you don’t have to think of foundation work while trying to write the story.

For example, I am going to use sigil magic, symbols, in my world. But I have not created the symbols yet. They are going to be based on the written language, so now I am going to create a written language. I know it will be good te be able to reference this language while writing, so I can see what sigils to use, what words to use etc, without having to stop the writing flow, think about it, and fudge it over if I don’t have the firm details.

And yet, to me, to that practical part of my brain, creating a language, a written language, it thinks – why are you doing that? It wont have any use outside that novel.

As you can see, I still need to have words with my brain. It needs to let go of the practicalities of things sometimes.



1. chapterfourfivesix - April 4, 2011

Ooh, the crow bar. That is a cool visual for that idea. I’m currently trying to find that balance too – need to build up a big enough block of marble so that I can chip away all the stuff that isn’t the story.

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