So as you may have gathered from my intro post (check it here), I am in the process of writing a fantasy series. This series will be my first time working on novels. I have written a few short stories, poems, and plenty of informational blog posts, but writing a full-length fiction novel fells much more natural to me.
If you ask any author how they write, you may find some similarities, but most people write differently. My writing process can be broken down into 5 key steps. They are as follows:
- Character Creation
- Story Making
Some writers may start off with a story idea or some theme they want to write about. I like to come up with a whole new world (you sang that, didn’t you?), create people to populate it, and THEN let a story grow naturally out of it. In my opinion, letting a story grow out of a world instead of making up a story and trying to build a world around that feels more natural.
But what if no story grows out of the world and you just wasted your time? Well, that’s the funny thing. I enjoy world-building so much that I don’t see it as a waste of time. I like to see it as a workout for my imagination and creative process. Not every story a writer comes up with will be written. Not every world I build will end up having a story.
Once the world has been made, a population of people and civilizations to live in it have been created, and a story has grown, THEN I begin to integrate everything together. Again, the integration of the world, people, and story feel much more natural when you’ve created everything beforehand. During integration, I try to find the perfect balance of showing off the world, the people, and the story. Nobody will care about your amazing story if you don’t equally show off the world it takes place in and the people that are involved in it.
But what if the story that has grown out of your world is no good? Well that’s the good thing about having the world built beforehand. If the world you created is good enough, there won’t be just one story growing from it. If I don’t like a story idea, I don’t immediately scrap the world I created. I may set it aside for a bit and wait until something else comes from it. It may or may not, but only time will tell.
Once everything has been integrated together and the “word vomit” of a first draft has been typed out, then it’s time to start editing. I will trim and modify everything that doesn’t fit or doesn’t give the reader something useful. The reader doesn’t specifically need to know that a trashcan was blown over. They can deduce that will happen if a sandstorm is blowing through the city.
There you have it, a simple breakdown of my writing process. I would go into detail about each of the steps, but then we would be here all day. I may end up doing a few posts about each step, we will see 🙂
Do any of you fellow writers follow a similar process? Do you think that making the story before the world is better? Post your opinions in the comments!