Saturday, 20 July 2013

A Whole New World ~ Creating the World of Titania

Building the world of Titania did not happen over night. It was not something I planned out and created well before starting to write the story (as is probably the way it should be). Nope, it was more of an evolving world that grew and changed as the story progressed.
It started out as an image on my desktop of a large green moon reflecting off water surrounding a small beach, which inspired the first scene I wrote (originally the first chapter but that has since changed). By the time I was halfway through that chapter, I had the whole trilogy mapped out in my head and Titania was formed.

A map was drawn up very early in the piece with countries, cities, towns etc named. But even then, it was just a skeleton that needed to be fleshed out. While I knew what certain places would look like… Much of Titania was a mystery to me until we visited places in the story… Therefore I travelled throughout Titania with my characters, discovering what this new world looked like as they did.
It was an exciting way to create, I never knew what was around the corner exactly, until we were there.
Next problem was making sure I described it well enough. One thing that is difficult as a writer, is reading something back and knowing whether the picture you have in your head is generated from the words on the paper or whether you see it clearly because you actually know what it is supposed to look like. I had that trouble… I saw the world so vividly that I wasn’t even aware that I hadn’t described what I saw in enough detail to give others a chance to see it too.
I found a good way to rectify this… I began to draw features of my world…animals, birds, trees, insects and flowers… Very amateurishly I’ll admit but none the less I understood its comic representation.
I either coloured the pictures or made descriptive notes and from these, I described what I saw. Let me tell you, it’s a much easier thing to do, to describe what is on the paper, than what is only a mental image.

My picture...
My artist, Kristen's version.

So the world filled in slowly, details emerged and colour followed. Before long the world had become vibrant and alive… not only in my head but on the page as well, mirroring the world we have but… different.

 Adding to the colour and richness of the world were races… Ones that you’ve heard of before in other books like elves, dwarves and goblins and ones that could only be found in Titania, like shemalks (weasely looking people that live underground) and habatchiees (a stinky race of dwarf).
Animals and birds dotted the landscape, many versions similar to the ones we know in our world, some quite different. Some of which also have evolved over time. My favourite being the lawfabex. My half bear/half wolf started out as a plain ol' bear… With some differences, he didn’t quite act like a bear all the time. So after much thought, and feeling the need to make him into something far more special, he morphed into a creature of greater significance and interest.

My picture...
 Artist version.

Why settle with one moon when you can have as many as you desire? I was happy with three… A green with two sets of rings forming an x in the sky, a great blue and a silver, where the Gods of Titania dwell. Understanding these moons and their significance to the inhabitants was another thing that came with creation. After all, the universe that surrounds Titania is important as well.
While all may not be explained in the first book, it was important to me to understand my world and what I had created so that I knew what I had to work with. For instance it is good to have some understanding of the atmosphere on the planet, can they breath naturally or do they all walk around wearing some breathing apparatus that provides them with air? or good to know how the gravity works… Do they all float around the countryside or perhaps they are very light on their feet? I fashioned my gravity after our world but it did provide some food for thought.
I also made the provision for the use of supernatural powers or real magic… While illusions are great, they lack a certain something. That certain something I wanted to be accessible only to individuals that had the talent and inherited genes.

So much to consider when creating a world… Phew! And it doesn’t stop there… Weather patterns and climate, length of years, rate of growth, language and much more (that I can’t recall right now) had to be accounted for so that things in Titania could make some sense. They are behind the scene things that as a reader, you may not even notice… If I’ve done it right, but that just add some depth to the world and broaden the reader’s understanding (even subconsciously).
Of course now that the world is created… The second book should be so much easier! ;)

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