1. TedM
    Offline

    TedM New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0

    New writer just like some starting guidance.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by TedM, Nov 3, 2008.

    Hello, I'm only 14, and I'm a very rigorous fantasy book reader. I've read through the Wheel of Time series from Robert Jordan. The Sword of Truth series was a clone, but an interesting one non the less. And I just finished a Song of Ice and Fire about a month back. In between series I've read some smaller titles such as the Belgariad, and I've decided what I like from a fantasy book.

    I've read in many places that most fantasy books seem to be a clones sprouted from Tolkien's L.O.T.R. A Song of Ice and Fire being the acception, along with some unpopular novels.

    Now, I'd like to start writing my own, I know that novels take time and wisdom more than may be available at my current age, but I am prepared to take the commitment. Describing my book and it's plot to my friends, I usually tell them I want a variation between the realist world of A Song of Ice and Fire and the magical lands of the Wot and the SoT.

    At this my friends debate that I am just making another clone and drop the subject as is the attention span of the average teenage child. I still wonder though, can I achieve my goal. Unlike a lot of fantasy novels where you have a major cities or two main sides and such, I'd like to make a map. Make a map with many different lands and governments, with different views on magic and such, only magic doesn't really exist in the fashion of Aes Sedai or Wizards and Sorceresses. I want to have multiple stories going on, all connected through something different than "prophecy"...

    I'm sorry but it's a tad hard putting my feelings into words.

    Now the reason I came here was too ask, how do I make a complex world, but keep it understandable enough so that my readers will not feel overwhelmed with information. EX: Sword of Truth lands: Westland, Midlands, old world, new world, and a few capital cities such as Arendale.

    In my world I want four novels rolled into one, where in the end they all meet up, but not in unity, and not necessarily on the same side, just strangers fighting for a common cause, but not bothering each other. It would give me the tingling feeling of want for the groups to get to know each other, like the point of a book where a person is looking for something very close, but over looks it and drifts further and further away.

    I also liked the "Wizard's Rule" concept of SoT. I'd love to take something like that into my book.

    Now for the plot, I will not talk. I have no specifics, and I am still deciding on what friends and foes there will be and how they will react. I thank you for reading this, and I hope you will help me with how to make my novel's geography to be simple, but complex. Or, Simply Complex

    Sincerely,
    TedM
     
  2. BillyxRansom
    Offline

    BillyxRansom Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Messages:
    371
    Likes Received:
    1
    I'll spare you the "you can be anything you want" rhetoric. I will say this, though:

    You seem to have a great working knowledge of at least some of the things that you're going to need in order to go about this undertaking. Especially for someone at your age. No offense, I don't mean to get down on your age, but it's just the truth. Most 14 year olds are concerned with Myspace drama these days. But I digress. What it will take is an even more extensive working knowledge of things like basic politics, economics, the feudal system of government, the environment, maybe religion, and a vast array of other topics.

    A complex world contains all of these elements, and many more. Just do extensive research. You don't have to be in your early or mid 20s. Just know how to do some research, that's all. And know how to apply them to a basic, organized story format.

    And, of course, have a good story to tell. :)
     
  3. Thagryn-Sylrand
    Offline

    Thagryn-Sylrand Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2008
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Saskatoon, SK, Canada
    If you want to create a believable fantasy world it will take a lot of work and dedication. It's not something you can throw together in a matter of months, it's a process that is ongoing. I've scrapped an innumerable amount of worlds that haven't satisfied me and i've done a crapload of research that only leads to more questions. Does this turn me off? No. But it makes me procrastinate sometimes. To create a world you can't just ask someone how, you have to do it yourself. There are many things you can research but if someone tells you what to do, don't follow that advice. There is not a book called the ultimate rules to create a credible fantasy world because there are none. I can give you some some pointers though. One thing that I did when I first got into worldbuilding was just do maps and history. It may be very fascinating but it's not what people look for when they read a story. The whole purpose of having a world is so characters inhabit it, those characters which will be the focus of your story. The feel of the world/story is much more important than the intellectual aspects of it. I could go on and one but there are sources which can state stuff better than I can and I will put a few here:

    www.imaginaryworlds.net/v2/ this is a podcast that could help with the process.

    http://www.sfwa.org/writing/worldbuilding1.htm this is a list of questions that you should answer while building your world (it's a long list)

    There are lots more but i hope this helped.
     
  4. Teele
    Offline

    Teele Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,330
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada
    Hey there,

    Well, first of all I'm gonna start by giving you a big pat on the back and a lot of encouragement to keep going! You have a concept and an idea that you're willing to flesh out, and that's 99% of what you're gonna need: the drive to keep going.

    Now, I've built a world of my own over the past years as kind of an evolution of my own tastes. I really can't give a step-by-step procedure of how I created Crystan, but it did begin with a concept; something about it that made it different from the fantasy that was out there.

    Once you have that idea, the sky's the limit to how detailed you want it. Now, you don't have to do like Tolkien and build languages and long epic histories for each race. If you have a story concept, that's perfect. It means you can focus on the elements of the world that are important to the story.

    Consider your main character. Who is he/she? Where does he/she live? What does he/she do for a living? Why does he/she do that for a living? How does this person feel about those around him/her? Is this different from what other people of his/her tribe/village/city/race/social class feel about others? All of these questions, while focusing on the character, open up a virtual wealth of facts about your world.

    The links that Thagryn provided are a good start. Keep going! I'd love to see how it turns out! :D
     
  5. JGraham
    Offline

    JGraham Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Formerly Michigan, Now Ohio
    It is truly impressive to see some young people taking an interest in writing. I love fantsy worlds and stories of that nature. The only added advice i can offer is to cover an much as possible. Anything you could add to give the world more life do it. Even if you think it is insignificant, i love small details in books and sotries, so it is always good to do so. Also just make sure you have interesting characters. You don't want a world full of mundane normal people, variety is key. Hope this helps, good luck.
     
  6. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Hello Ted, Welcome to the Writing Forums.

    Have you started with shorter pieces first? You really should, to develop your writing style before you tackle such a huge project.

    Posting your own work should not be the very first thing you do here. It is really worthwhile to see what other people have done to improve their writing, and see if some of it applies to your writing as well. That is part of why we require members to review other members' work before posting their own for review. On the other hand, there are no restrictions, other than content and copyright rules, on showcasing your work in your member blog.

    If you haven't explored the site yet, you should probably do so soon. Newcomers often gravitate to the Lounge, the Word Games, or the Review Room, but there is much more to be discovered if you poke in the corners. Remember to check out our FAQ as well, and be sure to read through the forum rules, too, to avoid any misunderstandings or hurt feelings. Respect for one another is our principal mandate.

    As for the Review Room, new joiners often wonder why we do things a bit differently on this site than on other writing sites. We emphasize reviewing as a critical writing skill. Training your eye by reviewing other people's work helps you improve your own writing even before you present it for others to see. Therefore, we ask members to review other people's writing before posting work of their own. The Review Room forums on this site, therefore, are true workshops, not just a bulletin board for displaying your work (and on that note, please only post each item for review in one Review Room forum). See this post, Why Write Reviews Before Posting My Work? for more information.

    And while you're looking around, don't forget to check out our Weekly Short Story Contest and Weekly Poetry Contest. They actually run more than one week apiece, but any member may enter, and all members are urged to vote for their favorites.

    Enjoy your stay here, and have fun!
     
  7. RIPPA MATE
    Offline

    RIPPA MATE Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Australia
    Its all about research, plotting and creating. Lots of fun. :D

    Just continue to come up with random ideas and build. It helps to have another person to discuss ideas with.

    And yes Cogito's right, develop your writing style, just write a heap of short stories and segments. Be it background stories for some of your novels charactors or just totally random.
    Just have fun with it. :D
     
  8. lipton_lover
    Offline

    lipton_lover Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Michigan
    fantasy is my favorite genre... you don't need to do any research, because you make it all up. And as a bonus, you get to make it all up!!! You can create whatever you want.
    Anyways... to answer your specific question, "Now the reason I came here was too ask, how do I make a complex world, but keep it understandable enough so that my readers will not feel overwhelmed with information. EX: Sword of Truth lands: Westland, Midlands, old world, new world, and a few capital cities such as Arendale."
    Having a huge massive complicated world is awesome. It'll be lots of fun to write no doubt, and it'll mean more writing for you which is always a good thing. What you need to do is be smart about reminding people of those things. The best way is to "use as many senses as possible" in a way. for instance, if you have a bazillion places on your map that you're going between, associate each place with something. A good example is the redwall series, which is a bunch of talking animals. Each type of animal talks differently, so if you can't remember what type of animal bob is, just read something he says and you'll remember with ease. Another way is in naming characters that live in certain places. Humans can have normal names, while elves should have names like elvislynor :D
    Being smart about using that sort of tactic should solve your problem.
    Have fun! Nate
     
  9. RIPPA MATE
    Offline

    RIPPA MATE Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Australia
    Dont use something unprenouncible though. Like elislynormadorakxxyre. ;)

    Oh and the whole thing with everythings been done with the elves and stuff. Its fine to use them, try and do something a bit different, a fresh look is always a delight to read.
    But its your world so do whatever :D
     
  10. tehuti88
    Offline

    tehuti88 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Michigan
    The best way for me to get to know my fantasy worlds best is to just throw myself into them and write. Yes, I'll get some details wrong as they'll be modified or change over time and I'll need to go back and tweak the earlier stuff, but I learn a whole lot more, a whole lot faster, this way than I would by just sitting there trying to worldbuild or come up with a map or profile or something.

    Think of it this way. You can learn about a culture by reading about it in a travel guide, or you can actually go there and visit and get to know the people and see the sights for yourself. Which experience do you think would be most enlightening?

    It's good to try to get some of the bare facts down before starting a novel--in fact it's best--but make sure you don't spend so much time gathering facts that you never write word one of it. This happens to a lot of beginning writers, unfortunately.

    You can always try writing a few short stories set in your world to learn more, before tackling the novel itself. In truth, I think that would be best if you're really just starting out.
     
  11. The-Joker
    Offline

    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    Messages:
    742
    Likes Received:
    35
    Location:
    Africa
    What I realized, and I see a few others here echo this sentiment, is that it's easier and possibly more effective if you create strong characters and then create a world around them, a world that accommodates and augments the plotline, as opposed to creating a complex world and then throwing your characters in it.

    You'll be amazed what can happen if you just write.

    And in the end, most readers don't really care what happened 1000 years ago if it has no practical bearing on whats happening now. If the plot takes priority and defines everything else, then all the heritage and history you conceive will be in no danger of being irrelevant.
     
  12. TedM
    Offline

    TedM New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks guys, all of you. You all seem to have different ideas...
    Whether it be smarts, research, imagination, work, spontanious imaganing of stories and publishing before proof-reading... (Oh wait that last one was mine...)

    I'll take a lot from this, especially from the first 3 or 4 replies. Thanks guys, I plan to have one of those books with not one central character, but with multiple, and I'm not going Elf on everyone, I like fresh ideas... it will be my dream world...

    Thanks,
    Goodnight and a happy new year when 2010 comes 'round.

    Sincerely,
    TedM

    [Excuse my bad jokes, I'm young and VERY drowsy... it's late]
     
  13. Rei
    Offline

    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Messages:
    7,869
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Kingston
    Someone in the thread said before that you don't have to do research because you make it all up. That's only half true, really. For one thing, it's a lot easier to learn about existing caste/class/political etc systems and adapting them to your story than to spend lots of time inventing your own. It's very time-consuming and you really should have your priority be the story and characters. As well, how can you hope to create your own version of those things when you know nothing about existing ones? I once attempted writing a story about a princess in a medival-type world. Though I wasn't too concerned with historical realism, one of the reasons I stopped working on it was that I didn't know enough about life in a castle, what a princess would likely do all day, or medival-style politics to create something that would have a solid world that readers could believe.

    And I appologise if someone has already told you this because I know hearing the same thing over and over again is annoying: Read more than just Tolkien and its decendents. If you don't want to be thought of as a Tolkien or Wheel of Time clone (or like Christopher Paolini), read all genres. It will give you a much broader perspective on the kinds of stories you can write. As well, you'll have so many more places to draw ideas from that if you learn to mix them well, it will be a lot harder to figure out where you got them and you can't be accused of just copying Star Wars like Paolini.
     

Share This Page