Sunday, April 10, 2016

World Building-SCIFI Rules!

Posted by: Marie Harte

I thought I'd talk today about world building. Every story has a particular world at its core.  Contemporaries deal with what we know, the world we live in every day.  Urban fantasies are a mix of contemporaries with monsters and fae living among us. Historicals must adhere to what was possible back “then,” as well as tie into the historical landscape. Paranormals make up their own rules, where ghosts, goblins, angels and demons can run amuck in their world.

And then there are the futuristics, one of my personal favorite genres.  Nothing like building a world from scratch.  Planets where the ore is red and priceless, and the inhabitants that mine there are eight feet tall with three sets of hands. Or spaceships that make use of worm holes to travel between galaxies full of fantastic creatures. Are all the aliens humanoid in appearance (hello Star Trek)?  Or do they resemble goo, snakes, blobs of plasm like amoebas?

The potential for anything goes really exists in the futuristic world, because the author can create anything she/he wants... so long as the rules are consistent. It makes no sense to have the Falu people tall, lithe and purple in one book, while in the next they are short, squat and blue. If the Raggas are built like brick houses and miners, then they can’t suddenly have a history for being thieving, mercenary criminals who are both nimble and built on smaller lines. 

I started out writing futuristics, and I had more problems with consistency than anything.  Until I kept a detailed notebook on my world based in the Vrail system, I found it difficult to write them. Once I made careful notes of what planet produced what goods and what types of people, my stories started really coming together. Fun stuff, especially since the scientists on planet Eyra threw a monkey-wrench into everything by Creating a new race of beings, quite illegally. 

I love when folks break the law in the worlds I’ve created. It gives my peacemakers something to do, and they have a tendency to fall in love in the oddest places. 

And that’s what makes writing so much fun.  A guaranteed happy ending among the stars.


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