NaNo 2016 got off to a less-than-stellar start for me. For a variety of reasons, not the least of which was the shock induced by the presidential election, I was not focused on writing my second novel, The Warden of Everfeld: Legacy. Part of me feels like I’m jumping ahead too much, considering my first significant round of revisions looms for part one, The Warden of EVerfeld: Memento.
I tend to second-guess myself in such ways. The point is, I haven’t advanced WoEL much beyond the 5,000 words I covered over the first eight days or so. Instead of wallowing in my own thought process, I decided to change focus. I’ve been expanding the mythology of Úr’Dan for the last four days, and it’s really invigorated my muse.
Mythology and World-Building
I actually began writing out the mythology of my fantasy universe a couple of years ago. I had written about 3,000 words covering the creation of the universe and the most powerful forces which govern it. After losing steam on WoEL, I revisited those original creation myths and have been revising, expanding, and continuing them to the tune of over 3,000 more words over the weekend. (I definitely plan to publish these stories in the future — but more on that later!)
Sometimes it’s easy to be too singularly focused. I have been focused on WoEM for well over two years now. Even during this Manuscript: Alpha phase of my first novel, it has been difficult for me not to think about the revisions I will (ideally) begin December 1. Could I have started making some of those revisions this month? Certainly, but I’m still waiting on feedback from two of my alpha readers. I would be doing myself a grave disservice if I began my revisions to Manuscript: Alpha without actually taking all of my readers’ feedback accounted for.
That is the beauty of world-building. I have been creating and developing this world for my stories for five years now. I have a lot of material and even more ideas for this world, and the Warden of Everfeld novels only focus on one region over the span of a few years. So, it’s not difficult for me to shift focus and work on developing other pieces of this universe.
Writing Lesson #64: World-building offers multiple avenues of storytelling, so use them!
I hit a mental roadblock in WoEL, and it would have easy for me to just slump through NaNo this year to 10 or 15,000 words. Unacceptable. So I had to remind myself what I was really doing here. I building an entire universe, not just a couple of stories. I want to write far beyond the WoE novels. I want to write 20 novels if I can!
I will probably revisit WoEL later this month to bolster my word count there, but for now, I’m creating the myths, legends, and folklore that will teach, inspire, and awe the peoples of this universe. Hopefully, I manage to inspire some real people, too.