. . . One more day and another week would have slipped on by without a post.
Today I don’t want to talk about deadlines or restrictions (though I’ve now lost pasta *cries*). Instead I want to touch on believing in what you’ve written, especially as it pertains to characters and world building. I’m aware that every writer probably has their own way of achieving both and I don’t want to give some long-winded explanation about the ‘right way’ or the ‘wrong way’. The major reason for this is that for me, I simply write.
When I start a story, the images I have in my head come together and decide among themselves which ones are going to be used, thrown away, or put on the back-burner for later. With characters, (especially the naming process), if the story is set in the world as we know it, without alternate realities, histories or anything of the sort, names often jump out at me and I just KNOW this is what the character MUST be called. Other times, usually with the YA contributions, I’m not as certain. With alternate worlds, sometimes names speak to me, while other times I simply and quite literally, stare at my keyboard manipulating letters until I stumble upon a combination I really like. All that said, I’m not above taking advice from others (where warranted), or even changing a name if necessary.
As for world building . . .
Isn’t it fun? I’m not an artist, so putting a brush to canvas won’t work for me. Unless of course I can label it abstract, in which case I might have a chance. World building allows me to create ‘pictures’ on page that other individuals can not only ‘see’ for themselves, but be transported to that reality. It’s one of the most remarkable elements to writing I think and one that I believe shouldn’t be bogged down with too many rules.
What do you see when your characters walk down the street? Or, maybe they’re living in an underground world powered by over-sized, singing purple canaries. Whatever the case, it’s your world. That means that no one else should be able to tell you what does or doesn’t work. How can they? Do they live there? No, your characters do.
I’m not saying that your world building shouldn’t make logical sense within the context and, please don’t disregard critiques from those whose opinions you can trust. However, when it comes to building your worlds, the place where your lovely characters will make lives, where some might die, others fall into quicksand and others happily stand over the rotting corpse of a hated brother, it’s important that you believe in your ability and what you’ve created.
I’m far from against changing things after a critique. If I was, edit buddy would probably no longer be called that and would simply be ‘buddy’. On top of that, going the traditional publishing route, means that I expect things in my stories to change to some extent and it’s not something that scares or worries me. I’m someone that can sit back and say when I think something I’ve written is awful and, when it’s good, I can also acknowledge that. I’ve realised that if I don’t believe in my ability and what I’m capable of pen to page, there’s absolutely no reason for anyone else to.
So, even though I might make changes and I might agree with things that could be better, I don’t allow it to take me to a place farther way, where I lose faith in my ability.
Writers all, keep the faith. Keep writing and creating those amazing characters and vivid worlds. Readers will be waiting . . .