Shannon Stacey

Worldbuilding Deficiency Syndrome

I was originally writing this in the comments of yesterday’s entry, but I decided to pull it out and bring it to the front page.

From my post yesterday:

And worldbuilding is HARD! I don’t know how people do it. What I do know is that reading Holly’s Diplomacy of Wolves and PBW’s Private Demon and Dark Lover by J.R. Ward has shown me how high the bar is set.

And from Jaci (who has more than a passing acquaintance with my neuroses and has to slap me around on a nearly daily basis):

Worldbuilding is damn hard, but doable. But the worst thing you can do is compare yourself to another author. Take your time and build your own world in your own way.

Not even on a good day would I even try to compare myself to Holly or PBW. :doh:

(See, I even used even twice in one sentence…and then again in this one, dammit.)

Anyway. Even taking Holly’s book out of the mix as it’s fantasy and mine’s a paranormal, it’s still about the worldbuilding. J.R. Ward and PBW both have these awesome worlds their vampires live in, with complex and fascinating rules and characteristics. (This is probably why I’ve always tried not to read in the subgenre I’m writing at the time, but these were books I couldn’t resist.)

What it’s done has made me wonder if I have a regular contemporary romance with a hero who just happens to be…what he is. Does that make sense?

I’m not in full “OMG, I SUCK” mode…yet. I’m just taking a look at whether I’ve created an interesting world for my book, or if I’ve simply given him figurative fangs. A hero with those plastic, Halloween vampire teeth, so to speak.

4 comments to “Worldbuilding Deficiency Syndrome”

  1. Charlene T
      · October 22nd, 2005 at 3:14 pm · Link

    Worldbuilding is hard, but you actually do it for every story. Does that make you feel better? Some worlds are more complex and more “alien” than others, it’s true. One of the reasons my “Quickie” (hahahaha) is taking me so long to finish writing is because of the complex world my werewolves inhabit. I keep running into things that have to be reasoned out in terms of the story’s internal logic.

    I’m blanking out on the author’s name (Weaveworld, etc. Clive Barker?) but he says to take reality and change one thing. Nice way to boil worldbuilding down to its essence. You can do it! :wink:

  2. Anna Lucia
      · October 24th, 2005 at 3:58 am · Link

    Charlene’s right – this is what you do for every story, it’s just the science is different.

    You CAN do it, sweetheart, don’t be daunted. :wink:

  3. Jaci Burton
      · October 24th, 2005 at 8:33 am · Link

    And also keep in mind that some worlds are more complex than others. I”ve created worlds that are terribly complex, and others that are as simple as a contemporary with vampires living in it. Don’t overthink it. Yours might actually be just that simple, honey.

    *hands Shan Doritos* :thumb:

  4. Gabriele
      · October 24th, 2005 at 1:19 pm · Link

    Well, you could also research an existing, historical world and try to get into the mentalities of the people living back then.

    But don’t think it’s easier. :wink:

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