Finally, I am getting around to this one, sorry for the delay, but visualising characters was on my mind!
There are a few things I want to talk about today and the importance of writing without writing is one of them. This might sound a little odd, how can you write without writing? The answer here is background information writing.
I have said before in my world building blog that background information is essential in writing, and it might sound boring to some but it is. Creating a world, especially a new one, requires time and dedication from the writer, and while it prevents the writer from actually writing the story, it is helpful and creates a fullness and realism for the readers that you can’t get if the writer doesn’t know what’s what.
Think about your life for a moment, you know yourself, your family and friends, you know their names, their favourite colours, habits, annoying things they do, what you admire about them, etc.
Now think about our world in a much wider perspective, what do you know about it? You know there are different climates, time zones, islands and land masses, you also know where different people and animals come from – and today it’s easy enough to learn about different countries histories as well.
If you don’t know at least the basics of the world you want to create, how is it going to reflect in the writing?
Now some of this information won’t make it into the written work, and that’s okay, why? Because even though it didn’t make it into the work doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know it, and the readers won’t question it, besides it might come into play later or allow you to do something with it, give you an idea perhaps.
In relation to Races, Peoples, Creatures and Characters, the more you know the better.
There are thousands of ideas about races and Peoples, whether you want realistic ones or fantasy, or maybe there are aliens in your story. Just make sure you give each of them a history, and some defining features – e.g: Elves have pointed ears, Orcs have tusks, Hobbits have large hairy feet. Make them believable and real.
If you are lacking in creatures for you world then just look at our own world here for ideas, mix and match, create – check out some DnD books, video games, movies, comics or books for ideas. If there are animals in your world that are in the work a lot, given them more features than say the birds the characters see flying past.
Here are some links to questionnaires that I use – don’t be afraid to alter them for your own world, they are guidelines not absolute rules:
I have decided, upon finishing this post, that I might do each post for areas about building a world and characters etc. So, here is a poll: