A Fantasy Life

March 28, 2009 by in category Columns tagged as , with 0 and 0
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By Janet Quinn Cornelow



Linda McLaughlin and I went to EPICon at the beginning of March. It was at Lake Las Vegas, which is pretty and out in the middle of no where. EPICon is for the electronically published and is a small conference where the attendees get to meet and talk with just about everyone.



Linda and I went to a workshop on World Building. It seemed like a good subject since I am always looking for new ideas and ways to build fantasy worlds. The workshop was part of a mini-conference for junior high and high school students, which was also fun.



One of the speakers, Marilyn Meredith, talked about the world she had built for the mysteries she had written. It has heavy Native American tones to it. Her detective lives between that world and the outer world.



That made me think about the fact that we build worlds for all of our stories. The world doesn’t have to have any magical elements to it. We create worlds in which our characters live. In Betrayals, I created the town of Hunt’s Park. It is just so hard to follow all the rules of a real city. Besides, when you create your town, you an add features that you might need, like a winding road with a cliff.



Usually when writing a non-fantasy story, I don’t think about the fact that I am building a world to surround my characters, but I am. The Irish Countess needed a convent and a large farm. The Kilted Governess needed several sheep farms, a village, and an abandoned hut. So, all of those things just appeared.



It is usually called setting, but it is also world building. We have to put our characters into a world that is believable so our readers are anchored in the story.



Of course building worlds with magic and monsters is so much more fun. I bought a journal so I can start building my world for my urban fantasy. I can’t write on paper, but I like to be able to set my notes next to me while I do write. Journals are just so handy for all of that.



I can’t really start on the urban fantasy until Sam gets to where he needs to be. He is off hunting the slave hunters. He, Cooper and Arnou are angry, armed and dangerous. At least he’s moving again.

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