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Thursday, April 21, 2011
8:01 PM | Posted by Maureen | | Edit Post
First, there was light.
I may opt for water first. But I’m a fickle creator. And wind. There must be wind…
Second, establish rules.
I’d rather just dive in and when I’m done, I figure out what the rules need to be and adjust as I go.
For example, when I created the world of the Kraken’s Caribbean, I knew I wanted a very light bit of rules. I mean, ‘real world’ rules would dictate the place can’t exist, period! I couldn’t make it historically accurate because, let’s face it, no one had Ipods in Tortuga.
Yes, I don’t just ignore history, I laugh in its general direction.
Anyway, world building. I wrote and wrote and wrote with the Kraken’s Caribbean. And as I molded and fashioned this world, I considered a few things I knew I wanted to either ignore or deal with. Weapons of Mass Destruction. (Yup, the kind we didn’t find in TRW.) I didn’t want them showing up in Tortuga. I didn’t even want grenades or machine guns showing up. I mean, when you have portals to other worlds and times, these things could happen!
So! First rule, no WMDs like rayguns showing up to fall under into the hands of some evil mastermind. Now, other worlds connected to the portals don’t have these safeguards. Why does my Caribbean? Well, the Kraken! And other magic handlers make sure things stay period, weapon wise. (Ok, that’s a bit of a rule, right?)
An Ipod isn’t a weapon. Nor is a microwave, blender or refrigerator. (Okay, Leslie could probably make them work that way, but luckily, no Bombays in the Kraken’s Caribbean.)
And I stuck to this rule with one exception. Because I’m the creator, I can make it so. (No, I’m not going into it, pivotal to the next book, so it’s a secret.)
Other rules? Vampires can daywalk. Hey, they are just people with an odd appetite. And super strength and speed and other predatory instincts. (They don’t glitter. Ever.) Werewolves can shift anytime, but it’s easier when the moon is full. Zombies are zombies voluntarily and no one controls them. And they eat herbs and fungi, not brains.
How did I come up with these rulish rules? Well, I finished the book and then asked some questions of myself. And in answering them, I found some rules. My editor asked a few things and I figured out some more rules. With the second volume I’ll raise a few more questions and answer them, along with the questions I never answered in book one. Like how do the Ipods, blenders, etc. get power. (I sorta let the reader think it’s magic. Hint…it’s not!)
I had to throw together some history for the Etwa Universe, where my novellas take place. Not so much rules for the humans, but rules for the Etwa. (You know humans, they tend to resist rules, so I acknowledge that given a chance, the more nefarious sorts will ignore the rules anyway. The non-nefarious are simply good people, so I don’t call them rules. Humans do right just because it’s right, not just because it’s a rule. I believe in people and it makes sense to me!)
I have created a race philosophy for the Etwa that consists of the absolute drive to be of service. Not a religious thing, but a status driven biological imperative. Hence, they serve the humans (no, not a recipe book.) (Anyone get that reference?)
The Etwa derive status for their family group by seeking out and assisting other races. They are incredibly aware of the damage they might do and so are circumspect with how they assist. And in the 500 years from when they discovered the stranded human colonies, they have been instrumental in raising the quality of life for those planets, without interfering in politics or religion.
I am an idealist.
What rules do the Etwa follow? No importation of technology. A planet that has developed technology independently can take part in trade, but the Etwa won’t transport to any worlds that don’t already have it. (Yes, the humans had technology, but by the time the Etwa find them, it’s so long gone no one knows how it once worked. Some know they had it…but that is about it.)
Again, how did I derive these rules and discover the history of the Etwa Universe? By finished the stories and then asking the questions.
Yes, I imagine it’s a backasswords way of doing this. But it works for me! I find if I try to establish all the rules ahead of time all I want to do is bulldoze through them and break them, willy-nilly. Because I can. Because I am the creator.
How do you create your world? Whether it be real or totally imaginary…you just write or you figure it out in advance?
Labels: Loader's Logic (2nd Chance)