Every time I sit down to write lately, I can’t help but think, “What have I gotten myself into?”
My focus recently has shifted from my short stories to the novel I’ve been working my way around to for a long time now. A couple of the stories that I’ve felt especially attached to, I finally decided were too big for the medium I had originally written them in. I have to expand both of these, though to what extent, I’m not entirely sure yet.
The current project is an expansion of the first short story I ever wrote. The story itself is going to be changed drastically and cut up throughout a series of point-of-view changes so that I can work it in however I feel best serves the narrative.
The tricky part here is that I’ve decided to do something very silly and very difficult. I’m setting it in a multiverse, in which I’m going to have to do some serious world building for several worlds–all while keeping it from turning into a bargain bin sci-fi deal.
So far, I’ve started actually writing a handful of scenes (not to mention the full short story I’m building on), but I always feel like I can’t progress too far until I’ve nailed down every aspect of the world I’m writing in. There’s a certain pleasure that comes with simply sitting down and allowing a story to unfold with minimal planning; I suppose this just isn’t one of those stories. It may become one once the details are finalized–and they very nearly are–but until then, I feel like I still have a lot of work ahead of me.
The funny thing about world building for fiction is that, at least for the world I’m currently working in, you have to do some serious research for very little payoff. You have to be able to create physical laws, which in this particular case involved researching physics and cosmology material well beyond my personal realm of comfort. I’m doing all of this for my own benefit, and most of what I define as natural laws within this world probably won’t even be directly related to the reader in the prose. But I suppose you have to know where you’re writing and how things work there in order to provide a convincing story.
It’s been a bit overwhelming, but equally exhilarating. There’s a definite sense of satisfaction that hits when all the dots begin to connect and suddenly I’m looking at a living, breathing reality.
Here’s to hoping I don’t screw it all up, and that I can get to the good stuff soon!