As will become more and more obvious as this blog continues, I love world building. There’s something about the whole process that I enjoy. I tend to enjoy fantasy worlds more than Sci-Fi, but that may be because I have worked more with Fantasy. It’d be interesting, at some point I think, to have a discussion on world building and get various people’s thoughts on it.
Previously I spoke of collecting a partworks Magazine called “The Ancestral Trail”. In the late 90’s I also collected the official “Star Trek Fact Files,” a collection of magazines that contained information about the Star Trek Universe as well as schematics for various ships. I never did finish that collection as life intruded, as it always will, but I never lost the love of poring over 3D drawings and schematics of fictitious ships and stations. To this day I still enjoy looking at diagrams and drawings of real and imagined ships and, to a lesser extent, buildings. It doesn’t matter if it’s recreations of historical craft and locations or futuristic imaginings, I just love the detail and creativity involved. When I’m writing about a location I try, as often as possible, to either have some sort of layout or drawing to go from. It helps me to place characters in a situation if I can see where they are in relation to everything else. This slows me down quite a bit, usually in the planning phase, but it’s worth it in the end. I may do a blog on world building at some point, if people would be interested on how I go about it.
I’m in absolute awe of some authors, when it comes to World Building, Tolkien in particular. The level of detail they’ve gone into is beyond anything I could ever do. I do feel compelled to ask though; “Is there such a thing as too much?”
In “On the Trail” I continued my tale and described my issues with writing essays versus writing my pet project. In hindsight, it seems obvious that I should have known what to do. It’s no great revelation, but I was never the fleetest of thought at that age, and in all honesty, my dislike of school and all its tediousness didn’t exactly encourage me to be creative. This isn’t a criticism of my teachers at the time, they were doing the best they could with a student who had a marked disinterest in the syllabus. In any case, I discovered the solution in time and with that my overly long essays were back. All I had to do was stretch the meaning of the title, or the theme, and with some mental gymnastics I could make it fit anything I wanted. This may have been a step back for me in some regards as I didn’t have to put as much thought into writing essays as I had been previously forced to do, but it did teach me the value of being able to bend words and themes to suit my purpose. I’m almost certain that my English teacher at the time dreaded having to correct my work. It was around this time I finished my first opus. I broached the subject with my long-suffering English Teacher, whom I had the pleasure of learning from for almost all of my secondary school education, and he agreed to look over it.
The outcome of this was a lot of tips and encouragement, but I feel compelled to admit that just like all my work up to this point, it was derivative and awful. On the other hand, I still have it, and look on it with affection. It’s hardly long enough to qualify as a novella, the plot is barely existent and it’s childish in the extreme, but it’s mine. I did a thing.