It's interesting when I'm deciding what to write. There's so much to talk about, yet, many times I sit here wondering what to post. Today is one of those days. I hate talking about projects that may never come to fruition. Usually, works in progress stay close to the vest. This keeps outside influences from swaying the direction of the story. I have a few close friends who I'll bounce ideas off of. It's silly not to. Generally, though, I'm quiet about a project until it's nearly done. When it comes to world building, very few people hear what I'm doing.
I'm currently building three worlds. These stories may never come to fruition (that's another reason not to talk about them with people), but they need to be built. One I'm confident will lead to something since I was asked to build that world. Ironically, that's the one that I've put off for the others. The one that I'm prioritizing is the one that most likely won't see print. It's also the more topical of the concepts and the one that needs to be developed.
It's you've never built a world, you won't understand the work that really goes into it. I want to do my best to lay this out for you. Imagine typing an essay for school. That's something everyone had to do. Like many of us, you stared at the blank page wondering what to write. Some people got going while others procrastinated. Some students didn't understand the question and had a hard time getting started. You know that pain. We all experienced that. The thing is, when you had trouble, there was a place to go. Someone was there to help clarify the question for you. If you had cool parents, they would even write the entire essay for you.
When you're building a world, that blank page is endless and nobody is knocking on your door telling you to get it done. You can't run to a friend and say write this. However, you can bounce ideas off of people to see what sticks. That's always fun. When you're building a world, you write or you don't. Build the world or abandon the idea for something else. No pressure.
So why bother trying? World building is such a rewarding process. Think about this, whether your idea is truly original or derivative, everything is your creature and the sky's the limit. You can create a concept grounded on Earth, inside Earth, on a planet you created, or whatever your imagination comes up with. The characters can do anything and say anything. They are from anywhere you conceive. You raise them from the nugget of electricity that fires in your brain. It's yours to do with as you will.
Imagine the worst person you've ever met. The bully you knew in high school. The one you picked on. Think about how he treated others and made your life miserable just by looking at you from across the hall. Now imagine that guy with the ability to read your mind. That may make a great villain. From there, imagine what you would do to this guy if you could do anything to him without penalty. Oh, how could you torture that poor soul. Congratulations, you're building a world. Think about how rewarding it would be to torture the person you were too frightened to confront as a kid. That's why you build a world. That's why you write.
World building can be a painstaking process. It takes a while to build every character. I like to write a brief (sometimes not brief at all) bio for each character. There are two theories on this. Some people will tell you that those bios are a waste of writing time. They aren't wrong. As a matter of fact, there's no wrong answers to this skill. I find that those bios lead to stories down the line. The bio gives me and the artist a solid understanding of each character. This adds to the foundation of the world and a solid foundation is essential to storytelling.
Building the world is also something that you can consider. What is the environment like. If you're world is based in a future Earth, what might that be like? If it's in outer space, how do the people survive? Maybe the story takes place on a planet far away, or deep below the sea. The sky's the limit. Maybe literally. Anything you want. Go for it.
If you're not interested in writing, you're probably not going to sit down and build a world. Although, you might end up having a conversation with someone and end up doing just that.
World building is a tireless task that may lead nowhere. I'm sitting here, getting ready to go back to creating characters, knowing the subsequent pitch will most likely get declined. The important thing to remember is that nobody will build this world but me and the more worlds I build, the better writer I will be. The pitch may be decline, or not, but if I don't put it out there, I will never know.
Now I'm just rambling.
Till next time.