Thanks to the recent Steampunk Workshop on Romance Divas (which was brilliant btw) I managed to blackmail persuade the fantastic Sarah A. Hoyt to write a guestblog for me. We also discovered that we share a brain have a lot of similar interests – Robin Hood, Musketeers, Swashing and Buckling, Brave New Worlds – preferably those we create ourselves.
Sarah A. Hoyt
I’ve been building worlds as long as I can remember. I started with legos, paper and glue, and – at the beach – shovel and pail. I built houses and cities inhabited by tiny, plastic dog figurines, I built huge sand castle complexes and filled them with imaginary princesses and knights.
It is not that the real world wasn’t good enough, but that it often wasn’t INTERESTING enough. I wanted people doing heroic or silly stuff and, from a very early age, I found the need for a world that my characters should inhabit.
The details of these worlds, particularly as I moved from stories in my head to stories on paper, were harder to establish.
For instance, while I was making stories for myself and enacting them with various materials, no one much cared if I were building elaborate cities to be inhabited by dogs who, lacking opposable thumbs, couldn’t possibly have built them. Turns out readers care more about this than my young self did – who knew?
So I started the long and stumbling road of world building. I never had such bad judgment as to assume that my world didn’t need to be internally consistent, or that I could wave a magic wand and change everything halfway through and no one would mind. No, I always knew the first commandment of world building: