It’s time for my week 2 round up of the #writeupjuly challenge I’m taking part in a over on Instagram, hosted by the lovely Emily Morgan of Write Up. The challenge – #writeupjuly – gives writers the chance to introduce themselves and their current works in progress to the Instagram writing community (which, by the way, is just the best place) and to engage with other writers and generally get to know one another. Emily is one of my absolute favourite Instagram people – her account is beautiful and inspiring and she’s super friendly – and her Write Up blog is a great place to go for writing advice, tips and tools. I decided to share my #writeupjuly journey over here as well, one week at a time, and hope to get to know some of you lovely WordPress writers as well.
Day 8 – Establishing Image
The world I’ve created for my current WIP sits around and beyond and between our own. It’s intricately linked with the world we know, yet completely separate and bound by none of our earthly constraints. It’s a place woven of imagination. When my protagonist first discovers it, she sees only an empty void, an endless blank nothing – and so it remains until she learns to see with the parts of her mind that have been bound by grief and comes to accept the impossible as possible.
Day 9 – Tech Tuesday
My WIP is split between two worlds – this one in the present day and a timeless nameless void which, to begin with, is empty of everything. Whilst all the usual modern day tech of our world is present in the one, in the other – even as our protagonist learns how it grows and develops – there’s nothing more complex than a pencil and a candle. That said, the void world is unlimited in its potential and created from imagination so technically speaking ANY technology that can be imagined is possible and could exist. There’s a lot to play with there… The world I’m creating is still very much in development and somewhat against almost everything I’ve ever read/been told about magic systems, I haven’t imposed any rules on it (yet!). The thing about it, though, is that whilst it’s possibilities are limitless, it is constrained by the minds of those who walk within it so maybe that is where its rules come from. An interesting line of thought to explore.
Day 10 – Vibrant Visions
A favourite line of description from my WIP:
“It smelt of home and distant lands and a friend I hadn’t met yet.”
I love writing description. I love the power of words to evoke a strong sense of time or place or feeling. I do find I tend towards the Dickensian mode or description and can stray very easily into the extremes of overwriting – I always have to massively edit my work for it to be vaguely readable! Sometimes that kind of rich description is useful and incredibly immersive but often, a simple turn of phrase is the most evocative and powerful way to create the image you’re looking for. It’s still a skill I’m working on honing but it’s also one of my favourite bits of writing to play with.
Day 11 & 12 – Curious Customs & Setting the Scene
It’s difficult to define whether my world has any particular customs because it’s a space of imagination and creation that intersects with our world (and others unknown). That said, it is the custom that anyone who comes to the world should be accompanied by a guide who also acts as a guardian of sorts. These guides are traditionally quite passive but full of sage wisdom due to their infinite age and experience but the guide who takes a leading role in my story is a little bit different… If I was dropped into my current scene I’d be in an old library, where my story opens – I’m right back at the beginning at the moment doing a read through and preparing to redraft.
(The amazing goodies pictured here are from the July Books That Matter Box. The picture is slightly disconnected from the #writeupjuly challenge but does relate to the #plasticfreejuly challenge I’m also taking. I’m planning a whole post at the end of July exploring my plastic free adventures but you can get a little glimpse into what it’s about here.)
Day 13 & 14 – The Strange Attractor & Building the World
Because my world is created and changed by the minds that entered it, it is always both familiar and strange. Each mind brings its own experiences to the blank canvas of the world. Each person brings the things that are most important to them into the realm – and it’s not always what they expect.
Worldbuilding is a whole new process for me and I’m still figuring out what the hell I need to do! As such, I’m still discovering tools that will help. One I’ve discovered that I love is Jeff Vandermeer’s Wonderbook, which has a whole host of tools and exercises and advice to help you think about worldbuilding (as well as everything else your story needs, from plotting to characterisation). The host and creator of #writeupjuly, Emily, also has some fantastic resources over on her website.
If you’re a writer, what are you working on right now? And what resources would you recommend? If you have a blog/talk about writing on social media, leave your links below so I can check out your work!