Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I Nearly Forgot the World

As I swim through the quicksand slurry that is revision, I have found that it's time to further flesh out (not "flush out," as current corporate speak would have it) the world that embraces the story.

I've heard -- and felt the tidal pull -- of the desire to play God, to sketch maps and outline lines of kingly descent, to chart trading routes, ocean currents, street names, economies. To build an imagined world so richly complete that it can seem more real than our own. And this is now my task -- or at least, to continue this.

But the reason I haven't done too much of this already is that I wanted to tell the story first.

Story first, quoth I! Now that that story is written I can go back and fill in the blank spots on the map. I worried that if I did it the other way around -- world first -- I'd go so distracted and fascinated by it -- not to mention intimidated by the vastness -- that I'd never get around the story.

Plus, the story called to me.

So this morning I sipped you-know-what and made up city names, roads, cosmologies. It's a task that could go on forever. After all, look at our own world, where we still struggle to catalog and understand its complexity. But in this case my guide is the story. IT determines relevance, not me. Which is wonderful and humbling.

Stringer update: #4 is complete!

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