creating new worlds

So I’ve talk a lot about my writing program and just the fact that I’m working on my writing. However, I haven’t talked much about what I’m writing.

It almost feels like an old writer’s superstition that we’re not supposed to share too much of our writing while we’re working on it. Which, is also sound advice too. You don’t want too many voices cluttering your work before you can even get it done. So I’m going to attempt to play within the boundaries talking about my story without actually sharing my story—yet.

This isn’t my first foray into fantasy. Fantasy isn’t all knights and dragons and wizards and vampires and all that stuff. It’s basically just anything that isn’t reality. It’s about creating your own reality. This story involves me creating a new world. This is a lot harder than I thought it would be. Other writers make it seem easy, their choices to country names and such just came effortlessly. I have about 6-8 pages of names and notes about the names and map sketches.


For me, I found the easiest way was to look back in history. It’s definitely a lot easier to make a new world if elements are borrowed from our own. (The list of influences for Tolkien is quite impressive.) Since some of the lands I’m creating are similar to ones in our own world, I’ve done a lot of research into historical provinces and kingdoms of the area.

I’ve done two drafts of maps (other than what’s in my notebook), and I’m already going to be redoing it at least once more. Something I’ve learned: less is more. Seriously, it seems so simple, but it is really easy to go overboard on something like this. I found myself erasing kingdom and country names. It overly complicates the story with information the reader doesn’t necessarily need.

Right now I’ve got my main character who is from Land A. They end up in Land B, and have to make their way back to Land A. The epic journey. And it’s going to be YA. I’m not sure what other fantasy elements I want to use. I’m generally a fan of creating new creatures in these new worlds. But I have another really creature heavy story I’m working on, so these might not play as large of a role. I like the worlds that were created in the Graceling Realm and Grisha series. These are both books about people with special, yet sometimes secret powers or abilities. I like that concept, but not sure if I want to go with it or how it will play in. But there are kings and lords and warriors and of course a hero(in) to save the day.

I have a good part of the story mapped out. I’ve got a good part of the world mapped out. I’m getting to know my characters. I’m discovering motives. But mostly, I’m really excited about this story. I’m really hoping that I’ll have a finished draft before the end of the year. And at the rate things are going, that seems pretty obtainable.