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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Build a World Woes

First's a disclaimer: I am in no way an expert on world building. I'm far from qualified to teach a class or workshop on the subject. I've seen some amazing online resources on the topic, but for now, I'm just doing a little free association.

I'm working on a new urban fantasy series. I'm not going into detail about what it is, because this project is really a long way down the road, but at the same time, it's on my mind. A lot. I've written several sci fi/fantasy series now, and have a couple different "Worlds" under my belt, but because of the scope of this series, and the location (an alternate version of Las Vegas) I'm being really careful how I lay this thing out.

In the Coalition universe of Belle Starr and An Uncommon Whore, there is a pretty good infrastructure in place. There are rules that have been established and yet an entire universe of possibilites exist in and outside of the Coalition.

With this series, it's a bit different. I'm using a geographical location that really exists. Some of the history that will pop up is real history, interspersed with fantasy. I'm spending some serious library time on this project, and will probably have to schedule a road trip just to get some ground time there.

The other difference for this project is the subject matter. I'm bringing in paranormals of all sorts, from Native American shifters to traditional Euro-style vampires. When I first started with the idea, it seemed so cool!! And in truth, it still is. But the groundwork is certainly a challenge.

The other challenge? Its not erotic romance. The sex isn't going to carry the story this time around. In a way, that's a huge relief. But of course, it presents it's own challenge as well! And of course, a longer book means a larger cast. That's more voices whispering in my head in the quiet moments.

Why Las Vegas? Well, obviously the spark and glitter of the place makes a fascinating background for a paranormal series. But also, Las Vegas has been such a victim of its own growth. In the rush to get bigger and better, wonderful historical buildings and landmarks have been torn down to make way for new, slick development. In my way, this is a tribute to the wonderful, kitschy town that's been long gone.

My Vegas will be a magical city with showgirls and gambling, neon and the ghosts of the Rat Pack...literally. I mean it...I heard that they'd signed Elvis' ghost to do an appearance at a local casino...

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