Every writer knows that worldbuilding is important. It creates the backdrop for our stories. Sometimes the world is a character unto itself. While surfing around, I came across the January 14th Tor.com blog entry. Here’s the part of the article that really caught me:
As writers, one of our most important duties is to create settings which entertain, enlighten, and (most of all) captivate. In essence, we are asked to do the impossible—to create a fictional world every bit as nuanced and detailed as the real world. No, strike that. We are tasked with creating a more nuanced and detailed world because many readers pick up our books to escape reality. — Jon Sprunk, Worldbuilding: The Art of Everything
That is so true. The worlds we create have to be able to pull the readers away from our mundane world. It’s not just fantasy or science fiction that does this. Every piece of fiction needs to do this, whether it’s a contemporary romance to supernatural thriller to literary fiction. It doesn’t matter what genre you write in – you’re creating worlds your readers are invited into through your stories. Disappointing them or doing a half-arsed job is a disservice of major proportions.
What do you think? Am I and Jon Sprunk wrong?
“Hold fast to your dreams, for without them life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.”
Langston Hughes (American writer, poet and essayist, 1902-1967)
“The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that
English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don’t just borrow
words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways
to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.”
– James D. Nicoll
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
That phrase can be applied to just about anything you do. Since this blog is about writing and the writing life, we’ll be looking at it from that perspective. We all have the best intentions, and set what are achievable goals for ourselves. For example, I do some housework, then spend the rest of the morning writing. Today would be a slight deviation from that, as I had two errands in town I wanted to run before getting my day off it it’s usual start.
I got a call about an hour and a half ago to come pick up my daughter from school because she’s sick. I wasn’t at home when the call came. I was walking into Kroger to get the lemon I needed to make supper. Luckily, getting the lemon was the last errand I needed to do, so I went straight from the store to school to get her.
So, what had turned out to be a twenty minute delay in starting my writing day became an hour delay. And to top it all off, I think I may be coming down with what she’s got.
And now I’m faced with a choice. Do I throw in the towel, grab a mug of peppermint tea and join Ari under the comforter on the couch and watch Food Network with her, or do I try to slug it out and do my best to keep to the agenda I created for today? The one I really want to do is snuggle with my girlie, but I can’t do that. The Muse 2008 Online Writers Conference is kicking my butt, and I need to kick it back. I’ve got a crit for my writing group to complete, and I have to do some more housework and make supper (a savory cheesecake, which I will comment on at Chef Lisa sometime soon).
If I don’t make it, then at least I’ll have tried. And that’s really the most important thing. If you can’t write/work through adversity, then you’re greatly reducing your chances at success.
And to end this on a happier tone, here’s another quote from Bette Davis:
“To fulfill a dream, to be allowed to sweat over lonely labor, to be given a chance to create, is the meat and potatoes of life. The money is the gravy.”
My passions were all gathered together like fingers that made a fist. Drive is considered aggression today; I knew it then as purpose.
- Bette Davis