Wow! So, when we agreed on one of our topics being world-building, I thought, this is great! Nalini Singh is at my site the same day I post here, and she is doing a workshop on, what else, World-Building! *Sigh* I didn't count on being one of the last in a two week timeframe to post on this subject. How can I expound on all the fascinating advice and information that everyone, including a best selling author, has already posted?
Well, I guess I'll start with some titles I think have nailed the world-building aspect. One, I just recently read. It's a series, actually. By, Michelle Pillow. If you like a very dark, almost villainous--almost, not quite--hero, you will want to read the Realm Immortal series. The world-building in this fantasy epic is just astounding. I can only wonder how Michelle keeps it all straight in her head. She has woven an intricate and complex society with deep political battles and heart wrenching romance. The third book, Stone Queen, brought me to tears. The hero's desperation is just...well, you really should run out and pick up the entire series. You won't be sorry.
Another fantastic example of excellent world-building has already been touched on by Brenda in her Thursday 13 of last week. She mentions Alagaesia. I can't tell you the little leap of excitement I had at reading that. I am a HUGE fan of the young and talented Christopher Paolini. His Inheritance trilogy is superbly written. When I read his work, I am there.
When building a complex world for your characters, you really do have to be cognizant, as Lori mentions in her post, of never breaking your own rules. Nothing, can drag a reader out of your carefully built world than contradicting yourself. Whether its a paranormal, fantasy, futuristic, or historical, people are willing to believe what you tell them as long as you stay true to your parameters.
Now, as for how you go about your writing, Kendra spoke of being "organic". I too, like this description. Nalini says the same about herself. I've never given much thought as to how I would describe my own writing, but perhaps organic fits me as well. For me, things just seem to click and that's how I write it. My werewolves, for instance, are not tied to the moon but rather to their emotions. Imagine all the fun you can have with this...ummm, it all goes back to my previous post on torturing your characters. *evil grin*
Well, I think that's about all I can share on world-building as everyone else has touched on all the basics. Whether you are a reader or a writer, one of the most important aspects of a well-written story is a well-built world.
What are some unusual "rules" you've seen done or written yourself? I for one, never did understand why a vampire wouldn't have a reflection. The "rule" about them not having a soul and therefore no reflection never really made sense to me. I mean, does a chair or a pencil have a soul? No, but we certainly would see their reflection. How about clothing? Come on, just because something might be soulless, does not change the fact that it has matter and therefore would reflect light and produce a reflection in a mirror. That's just my opinion.
For more info on world-building, stop by my site today for Nalini's mini workshop. She's answering questions and running a contest.