Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Guest Post - Realism in Fantasy and Supernatural stories – World building by Johanna K. Pitcairn

To the average onlooker, the city of Los Angeles represents glitz, glamour, and the celebrity lifestyle. But to seventeen-year-old Julie Jones, the city is a vast host of problems she’s longing to get away from. The latest? An unfortunate disagreement with her ex-boyfriend Mark—one that could land her in some serious hot water.
So rather than face the troubles that torment her, Julie decides to run away from her old life and start fresh somewhere new. But her parents aren’t on board with the plan, and she soon finds her bank accounts frozen and her wallet empty.
With just seventy-five dollars and a full tank of gas, the troubled teen is far too stubborn to turn around and head home. So what’s a girl to do?
What Julie doesn’t know is that her travels are about to take her somewhere unexpected—a place where she’ll be forced to come face to face with the ghosts of her past in order to secure her future.
A tale of redemption, hope, and freedom lost and found, 32 Seconds is a thought-provoking exploration into the human spirit and the nature of forgiveness.

Available on Amazon

Realism in Fantasy and Supernatural stories – World building

First and foremost, thanks for the opportunity to be featured on your blog. Every indie author needs all the support they can get, and I’m very grateful for all the support I’ve received and am receiving.

Fantasy and supernatural stories need to follow a set of rules in order to be as realistic as possible. Dystopian tales do the same. Whatever environment the characters will roam in has to make sense, and if a rule is broken, a good explanation has to be given, otherwise the whole world building falls apart.

But I’ve come across a lot of stories that broke rules, or invented new ones, without giving the reader enough foundation to justify such a plot shift. The author will focus on the characters more than on the world they live in, and all of a sudden, things change, and I get confused. I start asking questions while reading the story, and ultimately lose interest if too many of these new unexplained rules get thrown into the mix.

I made the same mistake. I thought writing a fantasy story allowed me to do whatever the heck I wanted. The truth is – if your reader is older than five years old, the world building will have to be tight and structured. I lose my marbles when I watch a TV show or a movie, and rules are being broken so many times, I’m annoyed, and stop watching the show. The characters can be the most compelling folks, if the world building isn’t tight, I’m done.

Many authors won’t give as much attention to details to the world they create, and their story, just like a house, won’t have a strong foundation. Therefore when plotting, think of the world or worlds before the characters, and set up rules. For trilogies, or series, keep this set of rules handy. If the characters have superpowers, they will follow their own set of rules, and these rules can’t clash with the world rules.

Who thought that writing a novel would be so scientific, huh? I certainly didn’t. I wrote without plotting, and after 95,000 words, considered the job done. What a hassle it is to rewrite 75% of the story because of rules. And many authors learn that the hard way, because let’s be honest, unless you work in the publishing industry or attend a few writers’ conferences, you know very little about rules. All you think about is how you want to write this awesome book since you were a kid, and bam, now you have to set up a whole strategy in order to successfully do so. Rules are one of the main elements that will fail a book.

To make your dream come true, don’t ask your best friend or your mom to review your book. Ask them to read the ARC, but please edit the story first. Create rules, brainstorm, rework the rules and plot accordingly. Writing the rest of the story will come easy once this step is completed, and editing will be smoother too.

About the Author

Johanna K. Pitcairn has dreamed of becoming a writer since childhood--authoring her first novel at the age of nine, and countless poems, stories, and screenplays by the age of seventeen. Later, rather than pursuing a career as a director and screenwriter, she decided to go to law school, driven by her father's opinion that "writing does not pay the bills."

Ten years later, she moved to New York City, which inspired her to go back to the excitement, wonder, and constant change of being a writer. Pitcairn is a huge fan of psychological-thriller novels and movies, and delves into her hopes, fears, friends, enemies, and everything in between in her own writing.

Contact the Author:

No comments:

Post a Comment