Behind the scenes (Part three).
Hello again, this’s my third and final post on how to construct a novel. We now move on to world building. It’s important, especially to readers, that the world in your book is three-dimensional – more so if you’re writing fantasy. For every magical moment, or fantastical feat carried out by your characters, you have to make it believable. For instance, Jeremiah Tully is telepathic, he can create light in darkness, and when he plays his flute, silver musical notes appear in the air. These abilities derive from his Elwyn ancestry. The Elwyns are one of the last of the magical races inhabiting the earth. His mother is exceptionally gifted in enchantment, and his grandfather is an Elwyn shaman. Some, not all, of their abilities have therefore been passed on to Jeremiah. That said, during the course of the three books, his character arc enables him to develop new abilities and builds on the ones he already has.
To broaden the horizons, I’ve set each book in a different world. The first, Land of Midnight Days, is so close to our own, I didn’t have much difficulty creating settings, giving them a slight twist to add to the fantasy nature of the story. In the second book, Through the Gloaming, I had to stretch my imagination a little, since it’s set entirely underground. Starting from the original setting, Jeremiah and his companions reach the Gloaming, via an underground monastery, hidden beneath a ruined church. The church itself is based on St Luke’s in Liverpool, which although bombed during the Second World War, remained standing as a hollow shell.
The third book, Dawn Horizon, is still set underground, but takes place in the land of midnight days itself. Because the Midnight City represents hell, I made it as downbeat as possible, whilst still retaining features the reader would be able to identify with. Think graffiti, think rubbish filled streets and abandoned cars, and you have it. What connects all three books are the characters. Yes, they’re plenty of humans around, but they’re intermingled with Elwyns, demons, ogres, corpse gatherers (my own creation), along with Gangers, who are a hybrid mix of demons and ogres, and sometimes a touch of human thrown into the mix (again my own creation).
Some writers create personal maps, in order to better envisage the world they wish to create. I use photographs I’ve taken of various locations, so I can keep the places and situations I wish to create in mind. However you choose to build your world, make sure that at the end of the day, it’s one you can hold in the palm of your hand.