World Building

Something that occurred to me in the process of writing this series is that I never would have been able to work on it for so long if I didn't genuinely identify with the world I made up. There's a lot of tips about world-building out there for would-be fantasy authors. Many are of course good and useful, especially those that focus on the best ways to come up with the rules and logic of your universe. But a more general rule of thumb occurred to me a while ago, and someone since someone on reddit was asking for world-building tips just earlier, I thought I wouldn't let my two cents go to waste there, and that I'd post my response here as well: 

RE World-building advice

I think this applies to any genre really, but certain sci-fi and fantasy: you better have a core idea, or theme, or -something- that this world expresses that you feel very strongly about. It doesn't necessarily have to be a built-up constructed philosophy, as you might find in a sci-fi novel; I suppose it could even just be a feeling or tone you discover while writing--but it better be something that you really love, and can act as some sort of mooring for the world you're building, because otherwise it's very difficult to tell whether you're going to like tomorrow what you came up with today. You might design a whole plot device or setting that seems really cool the night you wrote it down. Then by the AM it seems like crap to you. And what you come up with might not be bad per se, but you may grow to hate it regardless if it doesn't match what's in your heart.

If you don't have some sort of idea behind the world you feel really strongly about, it's gonna be difficult to put in all the blood and sweat required to see the whole world and story come to life. I personally would think objectively about things in your life, or in the real world, that resonate very strongly with you, and think about how that can be reflected in the world you build--better yet, this should interface neatly with your characters and start to offer information about them and their histories in this setting also. Just a thought.

Hello Reader!

Hello reader, and thanks for checking out the site! I'm your host and author, Robert H. Langan. I'll be posting here from time to time to update you about what I'm up to and the state of the series.

Since we're a week away from the launch (God willing), I thought I'd use this space at first to document the 11th-hour battles that I'm fighting to publish my first book. Not the typical blow-by-blow tutorial of how to survive the Amazon machine and all that. Plenty of that stuff out there. Instead I'd rather give you my, let's say... introspection in this final week and beyond, as I achieve the first tangible step in something I've been working towards for way, way too long. 

Even if things fail disastrously from here on out--say, the book is so bad that it causes kindles to crash, the only people who review it are Russian Troll farm temps, and then I get sued for copyright infringement, so forth--I figure someone, somewhere out there--an aspiring writer, perhaps--might be interested in a firsthand, raw account of what to do in this situation, as well as what not to do. I assuredly can offer much for the second column. 

Normally I'd never write something about myself like this. I would find it boring at best, narcissistic at worst. I've never liked keeping journals. Back in sixth grade, our teacher would read us Harry Potter every afternoon. This was around 2000 or so, when the series was getting very popular here in the States. One afternoon, our teacher read a transcript of a Q&A with kids JK Rowling did on Scholastic's website. Someone asked her if she liked keeping a diary. Here's what she said, right from Scholastic's archives:

Do you now or have you in the past kept a journal? If so, do you believe that it helps in your writing?
I've never managed to keep a journal longer than two weeks. I get bored with my life. I prefer inventing things.

If JK Rowling's life is boring, how can I pretend I'm not? 

(Those afternoon reading sessions also left a deep impression on me because they affirmed that this is what I wanted to do with my life. To write is to raise your voice well beyond what you can really say or do in your real life, right? So why bother with writing about my boring, real life. No one gives a toss--I certainly don't!)

But the pity is, to get the world or you, dear reader, to think this series might be worth their time, I have to show you that I bring something different to the table too. I hate selling myself--I hate the phoniness of it. But I can try and give you something honest and real. That's what I endeavor to do with this space. 

Anyways, it's morning here and I haven't slept--nothing new there, I can promise you--so before I begin to struggle through the day, let me leave with you with a parting music video, something that I think perfectly encapsulates my determination to finish the final leg of this adventure. 

The Final Countdown

Oh. Huh... That doesn't sound quite right. Well, it's a good omen, I'm sure.