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

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Build a Story World

History and Transportation

What forms of transportation exist in your world? Start with the basics. Make a general list: foot travel, air travel, vehicle, water or animal travel or other. Are some divided by economics or class hierarchies? Are they natural to your world or have some been superimposed? For example, in the movie Avatar the earth has brought heavy machinery to the planet Pandora.

Which ones will your heroine be using? Does she have access to all? Make her a list of methods common to her. How does dislocation affect her? Will there be any distinctions or oddities? Has a person so used to an entourage around them not even know how to push a button in an elevator? Go through each category and look for details that can forward your plot or characterization.

Foot travel. What kind of gait does she have? Will she walk, skip, hop, or run? Can she run fast—will she need to? How will she accelerate? Barefoot, spiky heels, leather boots, sneakers or ?? and in what circumstances. What is the next step up: roller blades, skateboard, or scooter?

In a writing workshop at Mount Hermon one year, author Lauraine Snelling demonstrated just how insightful watching a person walk indicates their emotional situation. She would call four or five people up at a time and whisper their attitude to them alone, and then have them walk around the room. The audience had to guess what was happening.

Share: Give one mini sketch for foot travel mode in a lighthearted or humorous circumstance, and one for a dramatic encounter. Which was easier to communicate?

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"The Seeker" Rachel Marks | Content Copyright Marcy Weydemuller | Site by Eagle Designs
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