Friday, May 27, 2016

WORLD BUILDING –Who Needs It? Can You Do It?

Photo Credit: I Nalna_94
As a writer, I learned early that creating a believable story required architectural and construction
skills. The second thing I realized was that I didn’t have a clue what World Building meant, how to begin, or when to stop. And most disturbing, was how my own writing style predicted dark days ahead. 

You see, I write by-the-seat-of-my-pants. I do some plotting, but mostly, the story just evolves one weird, funny, amazing, or awful idea at a time. Thankfully, these ideas do eventually merge into a story that previously only existed in my mind, a world with its own reality and principles of existence. 

So World Building is not something I consciously and meticulously predetermine, rather, I construct what I need when I need it. (*Smiles precociously) That’s not to say that a lot of building repair isn’t required in the editing process. (Woe is me!) After all, two things are definitely needed to make World Building concrete that is strong and durable—Coherence and Consistency, which miraculously appear during editing

As a reader, I don’t enjoy being bogged down by endless description. For instance, I don’t need to see the blueprints for a 33 room mansion. Just tell me it has 33 rooms including tennis courts, swimming pool, and riding stables and let me put it all together in my own mind. I guarantee, I’ll like my mansion better than the one you describe to me in full detail!

So what’s my point? In World Building, I try to construct only those features that are necessary in order to understand the rules or laws which govern my world, the environmental territory, time and space, new technology, and the characters that people my world along with their philosophy, language, etc. As a writer, I do the framework and allow you, the reader, to decorate so-to-speak. In reality, my world also becomes your world through participation.

Dare we try this out and see what happens...
I'll share a scene from my current work-in-progress and you tell me what details you filled in as a reader. At the conclusion, did your mind jump to the next action or dialog. What do you think happend next.  Don't be shy...GIVE IT A TRY!

She pulled into the parking lot of a new convenience store
and gas station. The place was crowded and she sighed in relief
at having gotten the last open space between a fancy black SUV
and a devil-black sports car of a kind she’d never seen before.

On her left, four men dressed in black suits exited the
SUV. They made her a little uneasy as their whole demeanor
resembled movie-style government agents, including the dark
sunglasses and military posture. Then again, the way they
scanned the building’s perimeter, maybe she wasn’t too far off
in her speculations.

Bam! The horrendous noise shattered Olivia’s musings. She
jerked her head to the right just in time to hear Miss Mable
snort disgustedly and push against her passenger door. Bam!
Somehow, with more dexterity than usual, her passenger had
snapped the catch on her seat belt and was attempting to exit the
van under her own steam.

“Miss Mable, wait for me,” Olivia grabbed the determined
woman’s arm, but to no purpose. Bam!

Olivia scrambled out of the van and ran around to the
passenger door seconds too late to keep it from smashing into
the side of the dangerous looking sports car for the fourth
time. Bam! She leaned her back against Miss Mabel’s door, using
her whole strength against another push.

Two men, dressed similarly to the ones from the SUV,
stepped out of the opposite side of the sports car and glared
daggers at her.

Another push from behind jostled her stance so bad she had
to press her hands against the driver’s window of the sports car
to keep from falling. She blinked as the four men from the SUV
joined the two from the sports car. She was surrounded on the
front and sides by a wall of men whose expressions were none to
friendly, and with a determined battering ram at her back.
Then, she heard the sound that drove her heart through her
throat—the person on the other side of the car’s window was
trying to open the door. She jerked her hands back, noticing
that her sweaty palms had left two very distinct prints on the
window’s once clean surface. With no option but to stay put, and
very little room between her and whatever was coming out of that
door, Olivia began to tremble. Her mind swirled as she searched
for an appropriate apology, one that would save her and her
passengers from a trip to the nearest police station—or worse.

He emerged like a butterfly escaping its cocoon. First an
arm, then a head of thick black hair that fell across his
forehead and bushed his collar. Olivia stopped breathing all
together as his broad shoulders, covered in yet another black
suit, were pushed skyward by a pair of legs that didn’t seem to
have an end. He pushed the door open as far as the minuscule
space permitted, allowing the edge to press against her body in
a vertical line starting between her breasts and continuing
across her belly button and pelvis. Pushing the back of her head
against the van’s glass window allowed her nose to escape being
mashed flat.

Well over six feet, he towered above her five-foot-three
inches. High cheek bones accentuated bronze skin the color of
her morning toast. Aquamarine-blue eyes shot a rapier glare
straight down his chiseled nose. He was so close she could smell
his cologne. Not a scent she recognized, but tantalizing and
exotic like the man who wore it.

With her breath caught in her throat, she waited. He hadn’t
spoken yet, probably because he couldn’t, not with his full
bottom lip twisted in cold fury.

“Damn it woman. Can’t you control your kids?”

So much for his speaking prowess. His voice, heavy with
undisguised insolence, raked down Olivia’s spine. Feeling like a
insect pinned for display, she pushed against the door, only to
have it pushed back. He wasn’t giving any quarter.

Although his English seemed to be perfect, it had been
laced with a hint of an accent. She stole a furtive glance
upward and regretted the decision. He wasn't the gentlemanly,
home-grown type of man she was used to. Could he be Latin,
Spanish, or South American? whatever, the man glaring at her
with brazen intensity was definitely a foreign specimen. Even
though the lighter color of his eyes softened his dark
expression, they reminded her of photos she'd seen of the cold,
blue-green icebergs that broke away from the glaciers of


  1. Based on the details already given my mind could see the whole scene playing out. I felt her pain of being in that situation. I was nervous just thinking about who these men turn out to be.
    With the hint of the one being of a foreign decent made my mind think that these men are on a mission but what kind?

    1. Marsha, thanks for participating. These men do seem to be on a mission and poor Olivia just seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Hum....

  2. Well of course I'm dying to know who Miss Mable is and how the beautiful mystery man reacts when he founds out he GASP made a mistake because I don't think Miss Mable is one of her "children" as he assumes. LOTS of questions and you're right just enough of the world to get me into the story. Thanks for a fun read!