As I start working in earnest on my novel, I find the most difficult aspect of the process is the worldbuilding. In the very limited formal education I attended (I missed five days of public school before graduating high school but never was fully there mentally), I never bothered to take a real writing course. Thus, I have no real idea what I am doing.
One thought I’ve had is to write short stories set in my fictional world. But as its a large, basically Earth sized fictional world, I find that as I create a race or culture or ethnicity or nation, there needs to be a real world historical corollary, otherwise there is no real understanding for the reader without huge amounts of exposition.
On Unnecessary Words, the blog I update several times a week, posts are capped around 500 words. So the exposition needed to describe geography, religion, culture and politics won’t fit if I choose to post a story there. People have to know my world without me explaining it to them. The beauty of the blog is that I don’t have to remain focused; in fact even with the relatively short posts I write, I have a lot of trouble staying focused enough to complete three hundred word posts, working on longer fiction or enough short fiction to really give people a sense for the scope of the world.
A lot of people have recommended Stephen King’s On Writing to me (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1439156816/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=unnecwords-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1439156816″>On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft</a><img src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=unnecwords-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1439156816″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />
) over the years and my wife actually gave me a copy a few years back after she read it in college. I just don’t know anyone who has used the lessons in the book, which admittedly I haven’t read, to any success other than Stephen King. Anyone who has read this, let me know, is there any way to boil the whole thing down to a couple short bullet points so I can avoid reading the entire book?