A few years ago, I went to a panel on world-building at a con I was kind of cautious because my experience with any kind of world-building always started with this recommendation:
Buy a 3-right binder and a pack of tabs. Take this list of questions and answer every single one about your world. Only then can you write your story.
Pretty much a huge turn off to a pantser like me. It was one of the reasons I didn’t do speculative fiction for a long time. By the time I did all that recommended world building, I’d have lost interest not only in the story but even the world.
But this panel did something different, and I was reminded of while I was working on a scene. They said, first just start writing the story, then world build…because otherwise it’s possible to never get around to writing the story.
They also said to think about why cities or towns were built in a particular location, and this got really interesting because I hadn’t thought of cities like that before.
With a lot of the modern cities, it’s not always that obvious. If you walked out to Alexandria, VA today and looked around, you would never know that it was site of bustling tobacco trade in the 1700s. Now pleasure boats are hooked up to the docks and people feed the ducks.
There are also ruins in Egypt for places that no longer exist because the Nile changed course and that part of the world dried up. Clive Cussler did a novel called Sahara with something similar where there was a river in the 1800s and a Confederate ironclad got into the river. Shipwreck in the desert!
Still one of my favorite books. But I digress.
I wandered in this direction today because in my scene I have a town that’s kind of in the middle of nowhere. And it really is about connecting the dots and making sure all those connections get into the story. I was surprised at how many pieces were already there…creative brain was just sitting back and laughing at me until I figured it out.
My short story Watcher Ghost is in a bundle called Short Flights (of the Imagination). You can find more details at this link about the bundle. Story bundles like this are pretty cool because you can buy one book and get a bunch of different writers. I bought one last year and found a series that I had to buy all the books for because it was so good. So it’s a great way to find new books to read.
Sherry’s got up an interview with me on her site. It was fun to do, so drop by and take a look.
Reading isn’t just the books, but sometimes the history of them, the libraries, or even how the world used them. And sometimes it’s just wandering through the aisles looking at all of them and not knowing where to start.
Coalesce . . . A Bookstore & More. This is a shout-out to a bookstore in Morro Bay, CA. When my family visited my grandparents, I always ended up in this little bookstore, just a few blocks from the harbor. Despite all the changes in the industry, the bookstore is still there.
Book Castle/Movie World: This bookstore in Burbank does not appear to have a website. It’s a place I would check out frequently because I could find books and scripts and photos. Just an awesome place to explore.
Fear is something Private Carolyn Mendez can’t admit to. Yet, as she arrives in Saudi Arabia, for Desert Storm, deploying to war, it’s all she can think about. All she has is herself, and even that is scary.
Desert Storm war veteran Linda Maye Adams shows the diversity of what war is like for the women who deploy in this collection of short stories and poetry. The stories run from “First Night,” and “Between Black and White,” because war seldom ends when the war does.
The poems include:
A Woman Goes to War
Once Upon a Time
The Lonely Sounds of War
No Safe Places
Just Like Me
Flash fiction stories and poetry collection available from your favorite booksellers.
Technology is taking over the military. To help money, robots now perform many of the duties like cooking. Private First Class Rachel Drake wonders what the next steps will be. She doesn’t like the answers she is getting. She thinks they will be replacing soldiers with robots soon. But that’s far from what the truth will be, and far more dangerous.
A dark science fiction short story available from your favorite booksellers.