Even Mr. Truby finds Harry Potter to be an amazing source of information. In this case it is about the world created for Harry and his classmates. We will be talking in detail about the idea and process of creating a unique world for your characters to live and thrive in.
Now, I admit, I love the Harry Potter movies, but I can honestly say the images in my mind from reading the books varied from what I saw on screen. I’m sure we all saw differing images of the characters, and that is okay. As long as we all saw a young boy with his father’s perpetually untidy black hair, his mother’s bright green eyes, and a lightning bolt-shaped scar on his forehead. (FYI: Daniel Radcliffe has blue eyes.)
Descriptions are key to understanding the story, not just the characters, but the importance of the rooms, stairs that move, and Hagrid’s shack. Your characters aren’t floating heads talking through a story, er, well I guess they could be but…why? Anyway, your characters need to move through rooms and sit in chairs and create chaos for the story to build and move forward. This is where we are going to learn how to do just that. But first…
A refill of our cuppas and a nibble. I made myself a mango, peach, and banana smoothie. Quite refreshing but coffee is still required. It is safer for all involved in my world if I have fresh coffee to pour into my cuppa. Gather up your yummy finds and grab your copy of The Anatomy of Story by John Truby. I will meet you out on the reading rug. Don’t worry, I gave it a good cleaning yesterday. Some still haven’t learned that it is not polite to wipe your dirty hands on the rug. Shame on you. You know who you are. Oh well, you can’t make people be something they are not. But I can tell you to join me on page 145. Tuck in poppets and let’s learn to write right together.
One thing you need to keep in mind when creating your tidy lil world is the need for your reader to connect to things in the world you are building. The main ideas would be tangible things we see and use every day. Dwellings with your character’s things flung around. A bathroom of sorts. Food. They must eat, right? These do not have to be exact to what we experience in real life, just a representation of them.
I’m the first to admit, I am not a Star Wars fan. Sorry, but it puts me to sleep. Every time I try watching…zzzzzz. But I can appreciate the world structure created for the characters to live and survive in. They have homes, jobs, loves, enemies, all while floating around in space. Space opens your story to so many possibilities and twists and turns.
How it works is like this- you start with a small story idea and build on it. THEN you start to build the external. You build the world around the scene you are writing. You put the chairs in the room for the characters to sit on and the food on the table for them to eat. One piece at a time. I tell my writers group to build your foundation first: the story. We will put up the walls and hang the curtains later: the world.
*I suggest you draw a map of the rooms you create so you know where that chair is next time you need it.
How do we build this world?
Well let me tell you…kinda.
- Designing Principle: this will tell you how to define the overall arena your characters are in.
- Now divide that arena into sections based on the opposition between characters (hero and opponent).
- Detail the world into major building blocks like, natural setting, artificial space, and technology. These are just a few that make a world your reader will understand.
- Connect the world you built to your hero’s overall mission. This is also where you add another building block to your story: time.
- Track your developing world through the story structure. It will expand as your story needs it to.
Don’t worry, friends. We will go deeper into the details as we move forward in this chapter.
Up next we will delve into Finding the Story World in the Designing Principle.
Please remember that I am not trying to write this book for you word for word. I am skipping a lot of detail. I highly suggest you purchase the book and read between the lines.
Polish your sparkle and keep twirling.
Find joy. Be joy. Enjoy.
I’m always looking for new friends!
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