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"Hard is not hopeless." - General David Petraeus

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Absolute Joy In Creating Your Story World

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm brainstorming various significant characters in my 3 book series. Building a story-world that has to range across a series of books is a very exciting (and daunting) task. And it struck me today how very much like raising a generation of people it is.

The hardest thing about it is being the creator of that story world--looking down from above, as it were, on this microcosm of a generation of life. You have to look at these story people on a macro level first--what is life like for people in their time period? Locally? Regionally? Nationally? Across the world? How will those external forces exert pressure on this microcosm of human life you are growing? Then on the micro level, you watch them grow up, grow older, endure life's hardships and watch them come out on the other side--successfully or not. These story people tangle each other up, become entwined, and you have to figure out a way to straighten them out again--or not.

Whether they be good guys or bad guys, you want to do right by them because--dang it, they really are real to you. You've probably spent more hours with them than with your own in-the-flesh family. And most of all, you want to do right by them because you know if you do, it's going to teach you something too.

And to me, that's what writing is all about.

I have to say, creating that story-world, spending hours crafting characters and writing scenes, is about the most pleasurable experience on the face of the earth.  There is nothing like disappearing into another place and time and immersing yourself in another world to try and problem solve and see what makes those characters--and yourself, tick.
The only problem with creating story world?  Time.  While I can write in 15 minute snatches marginally well, preparing your story world takes long periods of deep concentration.  And in our hectic world, where you are inundated with noise of humans and equipment 24/7, where you barely have time to think two coherent thoughts in a row, finding world-building time is very elusive.

That's why on the rare days it occurs, when you have time to think, to concentrate, to sit in blissful silence and ponder story world to your heart's content, it feels like a euphoric drug.  Sadly, these types of days come few and far between.

This morning I had 95 minutes of blissful silence and unobstructed time to sit and ponder my story world.  That 95 minutes was some of the most rewarding time I have spent since the last time this occurred--way back on January 24th. 

No wonder it takes years to write a novel.  I pray I'll find ways to discover more bliss-time in my schedule.  Because you ought to be able to enjoy life too, not just survive it.

1 comment:

Patricia PacJac Carroll said...

I really like your blog, Brenda. I don't comment enough, but I do read it often. Excited for you and your writing.