Before I start today's post I need to point you in the direction of the lovely Meagan Spooner's blog. It's her birthday and to celebrate, she's buying one of her lucky readers a book. Someone needs to explain to Meagan how birthdays work, but go and see her anyway and recommend an awesome book or two. I suggested two fantasy series. One of them was the series I'm currently reading (as recommended by Techno when first we met). It's the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy by Tad Williams. All I'm going to say about it is that it's fantasy, of the 'Swords and Sorcery' type and up til now it's been awesome. I've only read The Dragonbone Chair so far. The others are Stone of Farewell and To Green Angel Tower. This last is split into two parts, Siege and Storm in the UK, and parts 1 and 2 in the US. Techno tells me that the books just get better and better so I can't wait.
There is a connection to my new hobby, I promise. This series I'm reading, along with The Pendragon Cycle I read before it, a fantasy series by Stephen R Lawhead, based on Arthurian legend, made me want to create my own fantasy world. I can see you rolling your eyes and saying 'big deal, all writers do that'. I've done it myself, plenty of times; but this is different. This time it's not a means to an end. I've no thoughts of writing a novel at the end of it. As much as I love fantasy, there's no way I could write a good story. I want to go way more in depth than I ever have before. I've started writing a list of things I want to know about, education, religion, politics, food, transport, entertainment, weather conditions and so much more. It's going to be something I share with the girls. Diva will be creating the maps and drawing the races of people based on my descriptions, and Blue is going to help me create names and languages. Even Techno has joined in, discussing different ways of building dwellings and water irrigation systems. (Don't ask, we know how to have a good time !)
I can see this taking months, as we have to do all that for each race we invent. At the end of it, hopefully, we'll have a fully realised world (or country, at least), populated with people we know everything about, in a land that holds no secrets for us. And for what purpose? Absolutely nothing, except that we can! I've never created a fantasy world before, most of my previous world building has been for the SciFi genre so this is something new. I'm going to try not to spend too much time on it, my 'real' writing has to come first, but everybody needs a hobby right?
So what do you think? Is this a pointless exercise? Is it weird (as one friend suggested) that the whole family are getting involved and there's going to be no 'pay-off' at the end, or is it worth it (as I pointed out to her) just for the sheer fun of it? Have any of you ever created a whole fantasy world? Anyone got any tips?