WRITING THE GEEK NOVEL PART TWO: ENVIRONMENT
Hello fellow Geek Writers! As you may recall, last month we covered creating your characters for your novel. Today we will work on environment.
Now before you get all excited about your newly created world, I need to stress that your world is NOT more important than your story. As cool as you can make your world, whatever wonderful things it has, including purple unicorns that grant wishes but steal your fingers, is not your story. Your story should be able to be told anywhere, regardless of the world. That being said, let's have some fun:
WHAT KIND OF WORLD IS IT?
Is it completely different than ours, like Middle Earth? Or is it our world, but different, like Hogwarts? The cool thing about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is that it's our world in the 'now'. Nothing is different. Except people have crazy powers and can blow things up with their brains or things shooting out of their brains. Or arms. Is it different place but can be accessed, like through a wardrobe or a portal?
WHEN DOES THIS STORY TAKE PLACE?
If you're looking at medieval times, you need to get the facts down of how they lived and what they wore. If you're looking for a 'Noir' novel, make sure you get the type of gun and bullets down pat. If it's the future - utopian, dystopian - how did that happen? Also, dystopia is very crowded right now. You might want to give it a few years and try again later.
WHAT DOES THE WORLD SAY ABOUT YOUR PROTAGONIST?
Does it change who they are/become? The character's history up to this very point, will affect the created world. How does this world challenge your characters? How does your protagonist view the world? Look for internal and external obstacles. Frodo was challenged in leaving the Shire. And then every bloody thing created in Middle Earth tried to kill him.
HOW DOES YOUR WORLD WORK?
The rules of magic, the rules of punishment, the rules of leaders, the rules of logic, gravity, time-travel, space speed and mind-reading. You need to be very firm on your created rules and do NOT change them. Because then your reader will accuse you of 'copping-out' and throw the book across the room. Do not preach or spend too much time directly comparing your world to the real world. Your job is to make the readers come away satisfied, and maybe appreciate their own surroundings just a little bit more.
Next time we will cover plot. Happy writing!
Jenn Kelly is a writer is on hiatus because she's discovering the world of board games.