A Whole New World

I’m a writer.  It’s as simple as that.  I love the craft.  I enjoy sitting at a computer and pecking feverishly at the keys as ideas flood my fingertips.  I lay awake at night and let my mind wander, untamed, to discover fresh material.  But most of all, I revel in the prospect of creating entire worlds from nothing but my own imagination.  (Or with the help of a friend’s, as you will come to see.)

Azryen.  It’s a word you probably don’t recognize and if I weren’t about to explain what it is, you’d write it off as nothing more than gibberish.  But it’s not.  In fact, it’s so much more.  Azryen is a world, very different than our own, that my friend and I have constructed from nothing.  We’ve spent close to a decade perfecting its lands, developing its magic system, fine tuning its races, building its cities, and bringing to life its inhabitants.  We currently have a few novels underway that take place in Azryen and there are countless more planned.

Whether the task is as grand as creating an entire world, or on a scale as small as the city of Nuark, the entire process is endearing to me.  Yes, there are challenges, but there are ways to overcome them.

1) Keep everything straight.  Try not to contradict yourself.  There’s nothing more off putting than discovering a piece that doesn’t fit into what should be an intricately crafted puzzle.  To do this I write everything down.  Keeping records is essential, otherwise you might forget something and eventually replace a name or idea with something new, altering everything that was once based off of it.

2) Make sure it’s interesting and fresh.  There’s nothing worse than day old McDonald’s french fries.  I take that back—there’s nothing worse than McDonald’s french fries.  Period.  But that’s beside the point.  Make sure your world isn’t as stale as a thrice fried machine cut potato.  Once a reader has explored Narnia, they’re not going to settle for some cheap knock off.  And that’s a fact.

3) There’s a difference between fresh and complete, utter nonsense.  Try not to go too far “out of this world.”  If your reader can’t draw any parallels or make any connections to the world he or she lives in, they’re not going to want to spend their free time in the one you seemed to randomly construe.

I might be alone in this (but for some reason, I doubt it), but this is by far one of the most engaging parts of writing a story.  Sure, you can write realistic fiction and set it in our world, where the connections your readers will be able to make are endless, or you can experiment with something new.  Tolkien created Middle Earth.  Goodkind crafted the Midlands.  Collins envisioned Panem.  No matter how grand the tale, all the kinks in the setting have to be worked out beforehand or your readers will be able to sense the disconnect.

That’s all for now.

A fellow writer.