A to Z Challenge 2013

Monday, November 7, 2011

Building Worlds And Getting Things Right

As I indicated in my last post, I'm still learning how hard writing can be.  And while I still consider myself a dedicated pantster (which is an oxymoron of sorts), I'm finding out how bass-ackwards I've done things in some respects.  Yep, in some ways my WiP is begging for a little structure.

For example, I'm working through my WiP and I've realized (thanks to an awesome crit partner) how little  I've done to truly build my world.  I know in my head what the world looks like, but I haven't done enough on the written page to properly draw my reader into that world.  So many of you are probably out there shaking your head at my duh moment.  Yeah, I deserve it.

In some ways, the sheer volume of potential work I see looming before me is daunting.  I've got the basic gist of the story down, but it's a skeleton in ragged clothes.  Luckily I'm still very dedicated to bringing this story to life or I'd run and hide in a hole.  I believe in this story, and I'm going to get it finished.

One way I intend to add some structure to my process is the tool I use to write.  No, I'm not changing from typing on my laptop to some other form of writing.  But as of today, a useful tool has become available for Windoze users everywhere (and thankfully us Linux users can use it too).  That's right, I'm talking about the awesome writer's tool known as Scrivener.  It may have started out as a Mac OS tool, but now it's been ported to Windows.  I've already played with it a bit and I'm liking the possibilities.  One cool thing about Scrivener (other than all the ways it can help organize my WiP) is it is documented pretty well and has a vibrant user community.  I'd rather not have to go through the pains of re-inventing the wheel, so I'm glad they've pretty much invented all the wheels at this point.

I'm off to learn more about Scrivener and continue improving my WiP.  One question I'd like to pose to everyone however, is what steps you take or tools you use in order to flesh out your world?  As always, I appreciate any advice you may have on the subject.


JL Stratton said...

I'm glad you posted about this. I've heard of Scrivener, although only from idle chat around the preverbial water cooler.

As much as I'd like to count myself in with that bunch of writers called 'pantsters' I must admit, I am a hopeless plotter. I like to have some outline or framework written out to, at least, get me started on the writing part.

I put try to seperate information for characters, places, and things. I write notes on my 'world' that are seen throughout the story. I also like to anchor my story within a season or some other atmoshpheric condition. That's the thing about pantsters. I just don't know how they keep all that information in their heads-and I wish I could do it.

I used a free program called ywriter. I like it because it gives me a place to put all my character info, items, locations, and even notes. I also like that it's free, of course.

Good luck with your WiP. You believe in the story, and that's half the battle. And believe me, sometimes it seems like a battle.

Domey Malasarn said...

My working process is very much like yours, Eric. For me, getting that skeleton down and getting it right is the hardest part. Fleshing it out afterwards is usually pretty fun for me because it opens up new possibilities I didn't see before, and I feel free to try new things knowing that the bones are in place. I'll be it feel intimidating now, but I hope once you get started on getting more of your world down on the page it won't seem so bad.