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Permlink Replies: 8 - Pages: 1 - Last Post: Jun 27, 2012 2:45 PM Last Post By: eelkat
jrcsalter

Posts: 279
Registered: 07/25/11
Question for fantasy/science fiction authors
Posted: Jun 26, 2012 2:08 PM
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Due to the nature of this genre, it requires a hefty dose of world building. How much to you build your world? Do you only build a facade that looks like it could exist? Or do you build a load of other things that'll never see the light of day in a published work, just so you [i]could[/i] use them if needed?

For me, world building is the most fun I have while writing. I've created the basis for three languages with many more to come. I've created a complete record of the rulers of Calnis. I've created a map of the country and place names derived from my languages. I've created fleets of ships, each with their own name and specifications. And I plan on doing a load more in the future. All of which will be available on my website for those who are interested. Not a good idea to force all the information in the books though.

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42rthomas

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Registered: 02/24/12
Re: Question for fantasy/science fiction authors
Posted: Jun 26, 2012 7:47 PM   in response to: jrcsalter in response to: jrcsalter
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I write epic fantasy. I build just what I need to write the story, or, let the story write itself. I don't delve into language much as that can overly-complicate the work. For me, I don't always want to know the back-story of every detail. I want detail but not minutia. If the building blocks are logically laid out, you can always go back and fill in the details, if need be.

Best success
BT
daysoldier

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Registered: 04/03/12
Re: Question for fantasy/science fiction authors
Posted: Jun 26, 2012 8:11 PM   in response to: jrcsalter in response to: jrcsalter
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My goal with world building is to give just enough information to make the world feel complete, but leave out enough to let the reader's imagination build the rest.

The best stories (IMO) are the ones that build a realistic reality that never contradicts itself, but leaves most of the world to the reader's imagination.

Think about when you first watched Star Wars and heard Obi Wan talking about the days of the Old Republic. Think about the world he described and how your imagination saw that world.

Now think about the Star Wars prequels that actually showed you those worlds.

Which was better, the world you watched or the world you built in your own mind?

When I write, I try to spark the imagination of the reader. The reader's imagination is what makes sci-fi/fantasy magical. Give them too much, and it'll take that magic away.

All that said, if building a world with ships, specs, etc, is what makes writing exciting for you, then you should definitely keep doing that. That enthusiasm will shine in your finished product. :)
headofwords

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Registered: 01/16/12
Re: Question for fantasy/science fiction authors
Posted: Jun 26, 2012 9:29 PM   in response to: daysoldier in response to: daysoldier
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Totally agree and that Star Wars comparison is perfect. The Clone Wars ... oh how it should have stayed off screen.
lefitzpatrick

Posts: 577
Registered: 07/18/11
Re: Question for fantasy/science fiction authors
Posted: Jun 27, 2012 5:26 AM   in response to: jrcsalter in response to: jrcsalter
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I am very OCD when it comes to... well just about everything. I have to know everything about my world, from the birth of civilisation to how it's going to end. In my head I have the politics worked out, the society, religion and general ethics, right down to how they weave their underwear.

When I was a nipper I used to include everything, but thankfully grew up and realised that most people don't give a flying hoot about the trade dispute that have affected the wood production blah blah blah snore...

Most of my knowledge now never makes it in the book but having it means that I know what is possible and also my characters know about it, so if they behave appropriately (some of the time).

(What is really sad is when I come across a book that delivers my childhood insistence on disclosure I am incredibly happy and if you've written a book with that much detail I would probably still enjoy it).
fantasybooks

Posts: 318
Registered: 05/24/11
Re: Question for fantasy/science fiction authors
Posted: Jun 27, 2012 5:47 AM   in response to: lefitzpatrick in response to: lefitzpatrick
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Nothing is wasted even when it doesn't come out in the first book. It's there for the next book in the series, but more than that, books built properly with solid foundations are just better.
2davidvandyke

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Registered: 06/27/12
Re: Question for fantasy/science fiction authors
Posted: Jun 27, 2012 8:24 AM   in response to: fantasybooks in response to: fantasybooks
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Lefitz you should check out the Aubrey/Maturin series by Patick O'Brian. Sounds like something you'd like. Me, I got tired of all the sidetracking.
2davidvandyke

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Registered: 06/27/12
Re: Question for fantasy/science fiction authors
Posted: Jun 27, 2012 8:24 AM   in response to: 2davidvandyke in response to: 2davidvandyke
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Sorry, that's "Patrick"
eelkat

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Registered: 11/21/11
Re: Question for fantasy/science fiction authors
Posted: Jun 27, 2012 2:44 PM   in response to: jrcsalter in response to: jrcsalter
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My world is built up epicly, with star charts, maps, family trees, governments, religions, societies, and mountains upon mountains of other useless info, that never made it into any of the 200+ short stories I have since written about said world! It's weird really. I put huge vast amounts of planning into the scenes and settings and characters of each story, and than go ahead a write it without using any of it.

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