Don’t you hate it when you do light research for your epic novel and then read another novel and find out that your first research wasn’t quit complete?
I read a few articles on Wikipedia on my topic (too secret to divulge here) and thought I understood the issues enough to create a fantasy world. I’ve spent months on world building and creating this amazing society on just a few facts. Oh how foolish and naïve am I?
I’ve been reading a historical fiction on my undisclosed topic and realized that I totally misunderstood who the players really were. I always thought there were two races, but no, there are actually three. Which throws all my genius off. All of my cool hooks no longer work. Some of the characters will have to change races, which will ruin everything.
I could go ahead and write my story with only the two races, since it is a fantasy and no one would really know. However, I know! I know that I am now a farce and a sham.
The good thing is that now some of the weaker points of the story now have a focus. Some of the things I was trying to accomplish just didn’t work before and now they do. Now I have my strong antagonist. Now I have my divided house. I just have to go back and figure out what race some of my characters are. It takes away some of the fun “aha!” moments, but it makes for a more solid, and less contrived, story.
I guess that may be why I’ve suffered with such bad writers block—I didn’t understand the whole realm of my story. I’ve decided that I need to do more research before I start writing full force. I've got to see if there is more to the story that I haven't unearthed yet.
So my lesson for Wednesday is this: When creating a world, do your research thoroughly. Don’t just rely on an article or two. Dive deep and you’ll be amazed at what you find. All that research may never end up on in print, but the layers and depth will be apparent.