Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Worldbuilding – by KevaD

Worldbuilding, world building, or world-building is the current overused term finding its way into nearly every conversation on writing. But what exactly is worldbuilding?

In truth, worldbuilding is nothing more than the construction of an imaginary world or setting. The geography can encompass an entire universe, or be as small as a back roads community where gossip heats the coffee. However, I've been seeing the term used more and more in conjunction with paranormal and fantasy stories, to the point in fact that a degree of ownership seems to have become improperly attached to it.

The term "worldbuilding" gained acceptance and popularity during the 1970s science fiction writers' workshops. Maps, history, geology, genealogy, ecology, language, and entire races were created for the writers' stories, plots, and characters to thrive in. Dungeon and Dragons role players specialized in creating fantasy worlds from the outside-in and inside-out where the science fiction enthusiasts worked from the bottom-up or top-down.

How a writer chooses to create the world for their story is entirely up to him or her. There is no right or wrong method. What is important is that the writer understands the importance of consistency and accuracy within the world/setting being created. Expectations of conduct for vampires and werewolves have become the norm. Full moons, silver bullets, garlic, and wooden stakes are as ingrained in readers' minds as hamburgers are to golden arches. If your vampire doesn't sleep on the dirt of his birth or death, the writer better have an immediate, solid argument the reader can reluctantly accept. In other words, a world parallel to the readers' level of acceptance has to have been constructed, or be prepared for a load cry of "Foul!".

Minutia matters, no matter what world the writer is building. In the 1950s, "running shoes" didn't exist. Sherlock Holmes never requested a crime scene technician. And, Neanderthals didn't know they were Neanderthals, unless the writer built the right world around them.

Which brings us to my novella "Desire Damned."

What could "Desire Damned," an MM erotic tale that takes place on the battlefields of Gettysburg, possibly have to do with Neanderthals? I hope you'll read the story and find out.

Be sure to leave a comment in order to be eligible for the end of tour prizes including a Kindle. Then click the Timeless Desire logo to advance to your next stop on the tour.

Thanks so much for stopping by!


R. Renee Vickers said...

Great post!!! One of my favorite Worldbuilders is Charles DeLint. I've read many great ones, but he takes the cake for me. Because not only did he create a previously non-existant town in Canada, but over the years he created a city full of characters who interact with each other through the various stories, layer upon layer of dimensions, mythologies and back stories. It took him decades to get his Newford universe just so.

The point being, you're right. No matter what the author decides to do their audience can tell if they've put the time, thought and effort into making it A reality.

Best of luck with your sales. I know from the excerpt I read that Desire Damned is high on my reading list. :)

DA Kentner said...

Hi, Renee.
Thanks so much for weighing in on this. And best of luck with your debut book "Sly's Surrender."

Amy S. said...

Great post! I love the different worlds authors can create.


DA Kentner said...

Hi Amy!!
*frantic wave*
Thank you for stopping by!

Kathryn Merkel said...

I agree that minutia can be an issues, but I've found that if the author puts enough emphasis on the character intereactions, that I don't even notice what some might consider glaring errors in timelines or available technology. IE: I don't usually find myself getting pulled out of the story because a reference to a Bowie knife in a story set in the 17th century or earlier.

drainbamaged.gyzmo at gmail.com

booklover0226 said...

I enjoyed the post; it was quite interesting.

I look forward in reading Desire Damned.

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

DA Kentner said...

Hello, Kathryn and Tracey.
Thank you both for commenting.

Kathryn, I will agree, but I'd also point out that you would notice that out of place knife, which might lead a reader to slowly notice other things.
Bravo to the readers! They keep the writers focused on producing the best work we can.

Gabrielle Lee said...

Interesting post. Great take on the building of worlds. I love books that take me some place else.


DA Kentner said...

Thank you, Gabrielle.
I truly appreciate your comments.

shadow_kohler said...

Great post! I have to agree with everyone. I love books that sweep me away and take me to new places! I love reading a book and being absorbed into the story, taken on adventures, exploring secret coves, on set watching lovers lives unfold, etc... Thanks for sharing!

DA Kentner said...

Hi Shadow,
Thanks ever so much for your comments, and for stopping by.

DA Kentner said...

The random comment selector chose Gabrielle Lee as the winner of the gift card.
I'll be emailing that to her shortly.
Thank you all for your comments.