|You've got the whole world in your hands...|
Wow. Another amazing writers workshop.
This time the workshop was held in Canberra and it was run by the extremely talented and popular author, Fiona McIntosh.
World building for fantasy novels was the focus of this workshop, and my head is still spinning from all the great advice Fiona generously shared. I have pages and pages of notes on this topic now, but here are just a few points Fiona got across about world building:
- You need to introduce your fantasy world in the first chapter. Readers are impatient now and want immediate satisfaction, so along with the hook, character and inciting incident, they want a sense of setting. In my story THE COSTUME MAKER, my characters are sent from this world to the fantasy world. I can get around this by using a prologue that occurs in that world.
- Don't get hung up on the details of your world. Yes you should know your world and love it, but ultimately readers purchase books because of the characters and story. In some of the best Fantasy novels you barely notice the world because you are so lost in the story.
- Read novels in the genre and the sub genre you wish to write in. Focus on the way they set up their world.
- Don't over-describe everything in your world. Assume your reader is intelligent and imaginative and can fill in the gaps. They've seen a blue sky before, don't spend five pages on it.
- Culture is part of the world. Think about food sources, language, authority, etc.
Okay there was loads and loads more, but you'll have to attend one of Fiona's amazing workshops to learn it all. I can tell you she has inspired me to take a more professional approach to my writing. Fiona shared with us her schedule for a great balance between writing as a profession, family and life in general. I'm keen to get productive!
And to brush up on my reading I've got The Whisperer on my bookshelf:
Plus I've just ordered Royal Exile, the first in the Valisar trilogy - what amazing cover art!