Writing a fantasy world from scratch can be equal parts fun and challenging. Anything is possible and nothing is impossible when you’re building a new world. But trying to decide what the structures look like, who inhabits the world, and what are the laws the denizens of that world abide by can feel like a pretty gargantuan undertaking for any budding writer. While writers may have a clear picture in their heads of the kind of world their main character will be spending most of their time in, it’s also useful to have some visual aids to make the process of world building a bit easier. This is why Pinterest has been largely useful when I’m working on my YA fantasy novel.
Every writer has a spot they have chosen as their writing space. Whether it’s by a window in their favorite cafe or sitting on their bed with a laptop propped on their lap, the location hardly matters as long as you’re getting your story written. Whenever I prepare myself to sit down and write for the day, one of the first things I do is put on some music.
One of the reasons why I enjoy writing my own stories is the total control I have over everything. I get to decide if my story takes place in the real world or a fantasy. I choose what my characters look like, what color eyes they have, and how they dress. I can dictate if my main character will be a heroine who lives happily ever after or will have their life end in tragedy. That’s the thing about writing—there’s no limit to what you can do. You’re in the driver seat the entire time. But one of the challenging parts about writing is deciding what to name your characters.
Writing my current novel has been an on-again, off-again love affair for years. I would have days where I seem committed to it, and I felt nothing could break my momentum. Then a few weeks or months go by and my unfinished draft goes untouched, gathering digital dust in a folder on my computer. Now that I’ve managed to gradually overcome the hurdles stopping me from writing, regardless of how much I still doubt if what I’m doing is still worth the effort of pursuit, I’ve gotten into a writing routine that has worked and helped me immensely in the last few months.
When you’re an aspiring writer in the process of creating your own work of art that will someday be read by a wider audience, you naturally want to obtain the best advice on how to go about the process. I’ve been reading plenty of articles or watching interviews of artists who explain what tips and tricks they use to spark their creativity. One of the best nuggets of wisdom I have taken from them and applied to my own work in progress is creating character profiles.
From the moment I made a promise to myself that 2020 and beyond would truly be different for reaching my targeted writing goal (finishing a full manuscript), I knew one of the things I would have to work out is scheduling.
Creative or artistic types tend to have a reputation for being a little unusual or eccentric. Our brains process things a little differently than most people, and we seek to draw outside of the lines rather than stay within them. Sometimes you don’t notice a trait or habit is not really considered the norm until you find yourself surveying your workspace or discussing what a typical day of creativity feels like with someone else. Recently, I’ve realized my own little quirk.
Everyone comes into a new year with the best intentions to do something different about their lives. Make a change or start fresh. But halfway into a month or two, we either procrastinate on the resolutions we swore we would do or the bit of progress we did make gets abandoned before the year even ends. I am certainly guilty of this, like so many others, but you get to a point in your life where you have to decide if the goal you want to achieve is still something you really want deep down inside. I’ve reached that turning point with my writing.
Writing is hard. There are moments when you get sudden sparks of inspiration only for it to fizzle just as quickly. I’ve been slowly undergoing a rediscovery for my writing and feeding my creativity by doing things that will help me create the worlds and characters I’m currently writing about for my long-time, in-the-works fantasy novel. Because the urge to tap back into this side of writing has been strong for me lately, it was a good time as any to go back and read what I did write so far before taking a hiatus (2017 to be exact). What I discovered was maybe what I was writing wasn’t all that bad as I thought it was.