Monday, March 24, 2014

World building. Again. Oh, and a weird dream. (AWAKENING 3)

I read somewhere recently that the later books in a series are supposed to be easier to write than the first ones because you've already created the world and are familiar with its possibilities and limitations and therefore can skip that step of plotting.

Whoever said that wasn't thinking of a series that started in the present day and went 50 years into the future, as the Lilly Frank series does.

Orig found on
I totally underestimated how much world building I'd need to do for this book. Had I taken a moment to think clearly about it, I probably would've started with that part of the process several months ago. But I didn't. So here we are.

I don't mean to give you the impression that I'm not on track with this book. I totally am. I just didn't count on so much of my writing time (okay, any of my writing time) being taken up with figuring out how this future world works and how it got to be how it is.

On the bright side, I can choose to take an optimistic approach to building the future. Example: In the world of Awakening 3, China has become a superpower mainly because it abandoned its current reactive approach to global economics (e.g. buying U.S. debt and making lots of cheap stuff cheaply for the western world to buy) in exchange for a proactive approach, namely, taking the lead on renewable energies. A couple of decades later, North Korea followed suit and took the lead on developing systems and technologies to reverse pollution and safely dispose of garbage in a way that also created more energy. Hooray for a happier future! ;)

Ooh! And I had a dream the other night - a very strange dream, which most of my dreams are - in which I went to get into an elevator (one of those old ones that has a door you have to open manually and no inside doors, just the wall of the elevator shaft you can see moving past you as you go up or down), but I didn't see a control panel so I opened the door and the elevator was already there. Which I thought was just lucky until I stepped in and there were no buttons to push but the elevator automatically rose to the correct floor. Which gave me the idea that in this future I'm building, everybody has some kind of identity implant or tattoo and there are scanners and computers everywhere, so you never have to push buttons because the elevator already knows who you are, where you are, and what floor you're going to.

Although, now that I say that, how does it know you don't want to go visit a friend's room? Hmm. Damn. Must not look too closely at the man behind the curtain or you might discover he's not a wizard after all.

Also, in that same dream, Antonio Banderas asked me out on a date and I said yes and we got to talking and he warned me that too many women think they are in love with him because of a particular character he's played and not for who he really is but that I should forget his characters and see him for who he really is. I wanted to reassure him that I was more interested in the fact that he chose to play a range of characters than in any of the characters themselves (I was thinking specifically of the character he played in Pedro Almodóvar's Átame), but the next thing I knew I was some blonde dude in a space shuttle preparing to dock at the bad guys' space locker to find the thing they'd hidden inside it. *shrugs* I told you it was a weird dream.

For all you writers out there, how do you do your world building? Do you have a form you use? Do you let it grow organically? Do you just have this magical innate sense of the world that pops into your head fully formed?

For the readers, what's the coolest feature of a futuristic society you've read about in a novel?

Awakening 3 word count: 22,783 (goal: 40,000)

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