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 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
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.
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! ;)