Monday, April 7, 2014

Worldbuilding and Revision

After three minutes of intense thought, I have come to the conclusion that my least favorite part of writing is the actual writing.

Believe it or not, I love revision.  I love getting knee deep in plot strands and character arcs.  I love brainstorming.  But when it comes down to the nitty-gritty work of actually writing down my ideas, well, things get hairy.  It's like slogging through mud.  Sometimes there are patches of sunlight, where the story shines out clearly and gloriously to the fog of my muddled mind.  Unfortunately, they are just patches; and after they fade I have to work through the mess that they leave behind.

That isn't to say that I dislike writing.  I love it.  It's just that I love it the least of all of the stages of writing a novel.

This soliloquy does have a point.  If writing is my least favorite part of writing, I must say that worldbuilding is my favorite part.  Histories and cultures and sweeping mountain ranges and far-off plains of green; worldbuilding is delicious.

Right now, my consuming project is to tidy up the world where my story was born.  Two years ago I wrote a 24,000 word history that dealt with the major turning points of this world.  This year I'm working on overhauling that and adding detail to the world that it became.

The point of all this is to create a richer and more detailed world for my novel, stuff that I can add into the revisions that are coming in the near future.

However, I'm getting a little carried away.  For instance, I have three main areas of worldbuilding that I'm working on: political geography, ethno-linguistic geography, and religious geography.  It's not nearly as complicated as it sounds—that just means that I'm working on governments, cultures, and religions.  Each of these has a map that I drew to illustrate my points.

The issue is, maps alone cannot hold all of the information I need to remember.  I've got political maneuverings in my head that are just two fiefs on the paper.

So I was like, "Hey, I know!  I'll create a document in which to store all this information!"

Four hours later, I had three thousand words, and, well, this.

And lest you think that those three thousand words are the whole of this treatise, let it be known that I have only finished the political section.  The cultural and religious sections have yet to be written.

After awhile I start getting snarky, and stuff like this starts to happen.  (Pardon the rough writing style.  I haven't edited this at all.)

So maybe my worldbuilding isn't exactly conducive to getting to my revisions really quickly.  But hey, it's a boatload of fun!


Sarah said...

Ha! I can definitely tell you've been having fun with this; good! Also, the Vanaro army system sounds quite interesting.

Glad the worldbuilding is going well, and thanks for sharing this!

Squeaks said...

Good stuff :)

Anonymous said...

this is brilliant!
No wonder my worldbuilding is dull and uncertain, I have failed to step into it!

Bluebelle said...

A whole three minutes, hmm? ;) I don't know if I've ever heard someone say the writing is their least favorite part, but obviously it can happen. :) I don't get as excited about worldbuilding as you do, but there are times when I get super wrapped up in it. I'm almost finished with my rough draft, and while I'm taking time off from the writing, I'll be doing worldbuilding. You inspire me to devote my best efforts to it! Thanks, Jake!

But really, Cheese and Justice? *grins*

Keturah Lamb said...