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“You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.” ~Frederick Buechner

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Building a Story World

Build to Specifics

Once again, just as we can walk around our homes in the dark, knowing exactly where we are, so do our characters. Draw floor plans. Which board in the hallway squeaks? Mark the outside as well. For example, if on a farm, sketch out where the different animals spend the day. Walk around in your world so that you could find your way through the yard in a snowstorm. Or know where the ropes need to be to guide you.

Floor Plans

For each personal building your character inhabits that is important to them, make a floor plan. Begin one.

1. Draw a simple space and write where the main windows, doors, and furniture go.

2. Take old photos, if using an historical place, and make a visual reproduction.

3. Stop by your local bookstore at a quiet time of their day and look through re-modeling magazines. Pick one with floor plans. Do the same with color design decorating. Especially one that combines different cultural themes as well. Use whatever combination fits.

4. For landmarks, look for blueprints in the library. Choose a key feature for your world and take it from another. For example, take a clock tower from medieval Italy and place it in New York City.

5. Keep a city current to today, but make its underground the same as two hundred years ago. Although technically not an Urban Fantasy, the Beauty and the Beast series is an excellent example of showing two disparate living conditions above and below the streets of New York.

Share: If a new person, friend or foe, walked into your character’s bedroom what is the one area that would draw their immediate attention?

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