today is another day for “Writing Up Wednesday”, that is hosted by Lizzie from The Bent Bookworm. Every Wednesday she discusses a topic related to creative writing on her blog. Today it’s the following topic: Give me ALL THE SETTINGS!
Settings are different depending on the genre of the novel. In romance novels for example the setting usually plays a minor role, compared to science fiction or fantasy stories. The latter need a lot of detailed worldbuilding.
The novel I’m currently planning is a high fantasy novel, or shall I call it “high romantasy”? Well, anyway, it takes place in a fantastic kingdom called “Noctriam”. The name of the country is derived from the word “noctua” which means “owl” in Latin. And owls have a very special meaning in that kingdom: They are considered as holy animals. “Noctriam” literally means “Land of the holy owl”.
I did a lot of detailed worldbuilding in January and February. I set up the geography of my country and it’s neighboring countries, wrote the history, invented lyrics of old folk songs and created magical creatures, dishes and institutions. I developed companies like “Copplin’s Wand Manufactory” and the book trade chain “Felibo”. I noted down traditions and conventions of my people and even developed their language “Noc”.
Besides, I drew a map so that I have always an overview of my country and see where the desert, mountains, lakes and rivers are, as well as the large forests in which many magical creatures are at home. This map is not a masterpiece, but it helps me to orientate myself. It’s a very practical tool that I used while doing the worldbuilding.
The main part of the story will take place in the Western forest “Wo’oza” where my dryads live in their tree. I found some great pictures on Pinterest that show a big tree with little houses on it’s branches and trunk. This is how I imagine how my dryads live. In kind of tree houses. Very romantic, isn’t it?
I know, most fantasy stories take place in medieval settings. But I’m not such a fan of the Middle ages, that’s why I picture my world in about the 18th Century. Anytime before the industrialization in the 19th Century. My people don’t have electric current, but they use magic as a kind of power, e. g. for cooking or illumination.
How important is your setting for your story? Do you do detailled worldbuilding before you start writing or do you just write and develop the world during the writing process? Feel free to leave me a comment.