Welcome to the blog of science fiction author Eileen Rhoadarmer--where science fiction and Mommyhood collide!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Case for Worldbuilding

I didn't do much worldbuilding with my novel.  To be honest, I didn't do much planning of any kind, I just got the idea and dove on in.   There were times when I knew research of planning was needed, but largely I just blazed past them, making notes to come back.  The result was that I managed to keep working through without losing my thread or my enthusiasm, and I finished my first novel.

The downside is that I have a LOT of work to do on the rewrite.  I knew that this would happen, but I hadn't anticipated how much there would be to do.  In addition to all the elements I left behind, there are lots of things I didn't think about ahead of time but which ripple forward and back through the narrative, and nearly all of them wouldn't be issues if I'd done proper worldbuilding.

My novel takes place on Earth about 30 years out.  My opinion of the future is that many things are going to be the same.  Unfortunately, I left too many things the same.  It's so easy (and ingrained) to say a character picked up the receiver of his phone or pulled the computer keyboard closer to himself--but as I read through these references again I'm realizing that one way in which the world will change dramatically in the next 30 years is in the technology.  So now I'm stopping to examine all references to technology and figuring out how they should evolve, which is eating up a lot of my time.

The lesson:  worldbuilding benefits everyone, even if your story isn't too far from the here and now.

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