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Are there classes for,
Posted: October 8th, 2012, 10:31 am
World development, I think I've sort of narrowed down why I have a hard time pantsing a story these days. I can develop a character, and yet my character always ends up floating in a white void. And of course I would still need to know the end.
For that matter, how do you get past 4,000 words. For me 4,000 words is like the sound barrier for early aircraft in the 1950's.<_<
Re: Are there classes for,
Posted: October 8th, 2012, 1:26 pm
Try finding a writing group in your area, they may have classes you can take or at the very least, help to motivate you through your 4000 word barrier. The best advice I can give is to just write. Challenge yourself to write something other than your current project. Take a walk and people watch - watch their body language, listen to their conversations. Write what you see.
I always struggle around the 28,000 word mark, but push through. Sometimes I have to stop that project and work on something else for a bit until inspiration hits again.
Re: Are there classes for,
Posted: October 8th, 2012, 2:22 pm
I recommend reading up on ancient and social history. If you pick up a good, weighty volume on any ancient culture--the Romans, the Greeks, the Irish, the Norse--check out the table of contents for the kinds of topics covered, to give you an idea of how values and beliefs and social constructs both informed and evolved with architecture, diet, settlement patterns, legal and educational systems,etc. The big problem I see with writers creating their own worlds is they go one of two ways... They have a big white room with nothing defined, inevitably leading to contradictions and painting themselves into a corner later, a world totally lacking in internal consistency and context... Or they forget to concentrate on the big, overarching values and issues and fill page after page with trivial detail (*cough*card game rules*cough*no I'm not joking, I can't tell you how many times I've seen that*cough*).
For something as thorough as a fantasy series, I literally have a 100+ page world building template, and it has served me well (despite the fact that most of the details will never make it to the page). The greatest value is that it informs ME, and the decisions I make in the course of outlining and writing stem from my own understanding of a working culture/world. Then, even the off-the-cuff decisions I make naturally benefit from internal consistency.
But it assumes a level of commitment that some cannot meet and others disdain, as well as a love/interest/fascination/RESPECT for cultural identity and development as it stems from interaction with the natural environment.