How to Build a World
I love to build worlds. I can’t say I’m an expert at it, but I love to play the great creator and dally with this or that. I’m not big on rules but since the majority of my world building starts in a dream, I tend to let the rules settle in as I meander.
For example, the world of the Kraken’s
Caribbean, is partly the result of chatting at a blog I’m part of, The Romance Writers Revenge and partly came from my back to back to back to back reading of every Nightside novel by Simon R. Green. That is a man who knows how to spin a tale and create convoluted worlds that dance on the head of a pin - or pen, if you would.
The Revenge blog models itself as the writer’s version of Pirates of the
Caribbean and the crew are all writers. After numerous discussions regarding historical accuracy in writing, flying by the seat of your pants, a list of why I shouldn’t do this or that and can’t do something else…I had to fire back. And sat down to write a story set in a Caribbean with a different set of rules, totally turning my back on historical accuracy of any sort.
Blending in the total everything and the kitchen sink, shower, tub and outdoor faucets technique from Nightside I came up with the Kraken’s
Caribbean. He’s in charge, he’s the guardian…he may not be a he, I haven’t decided yet…
That’s pretty much the way I world build. I set rules as I go, almost nothing beforehand. I don’t like to limit my imagination. I did come up with a few fairly iron-clad rules. Inhabitants born to the Kraken’s
Caribbean can’t travel to other worlds or times. Though technology can travel through the portals, weapons of mass destruction can’t. (No machine guns, ray guns, explosives – though I do make one exception eventually.)
So, how did I build this world? Flying blind and wielding a determination to have fun. I gave the world portals because I love tossing modern terminology and concepts into the past, which I have fun with in The Kraken’s Mirror. I needed a reason for the technology to work so I answer all of that in the second book, The Chameleon Goggles. I needed a rational for why the place hadn’t been overrun by machine gun hauling travelers, or space aliens with ray guns…so I made the Kraken the guardian of the portals and of the
Caribbean in general and he says no advanced weapons. He/she is also a romantic.
I also wanted to acknowledge that the world isn’t defined by Tortuga standards, so in The Pirate Circus, available on February 3rd, the main conflict is more one of preconceptions of Old World vs.
New World. Not a lot of otherworld stuff in the third book! But plenty of adventure, an evil circus ringleader and a few younger characters who can’t seem to stay out of trouble! (No, this is not YA!)
This is the norm. I decide what I want to include and then establish the rules as I go. Or decide to have no rules.
Caribbean, where anything can happen. And usually does!
I’m Maureen O. Betita and I write adventure for the experienced individual. Seasoning everything I write with life and pushing it to the edge. I can be contacted through my website, www.maureenobetita.comwhere you can sign up for my newsletter. I also blog regularly at www.romancewritersrevenge as 2nd Chance and I’m often at A Daily Dose of Decadence http://decadentpublishing.blogspot.com/. Come find me on Facebook as Maureen O. Betita Author or on Twitter.