Writing fictional history

I thought I was going to be writing horror a few weeks back (Thank Zeus that never happened). I’ve returned to my fantasy setting and I’m not feeling all to rushed. Which I’m quite happy with. I’m attempting to fill my notebooks with lore. I want to have a fully fleshed out world before I begin writing a novel. In this sense I’m a bit of a perfectionist.

I began working on a world with a friend of mine and I felt very rushed to start writing and getting a full novel out. I went hard for a few weeks and burnt out. It’s not how I write. I like to take my time to create this fantastical world, placing every grain of sand delicately and appropriately. And right now, I’m so in love with it. Creating history, the heroes of great battles, the back-stabbing, the love affairs and the bonds created in these times. I find it quite difficult though, because in order for me to have a timeline, I need a family tree, in order to have a family tree I need a map of my provinces showing which family belongs to what province and for that I need a timeline. I find myself jumping back and forth in between these sub-projects and it’s great. The characters that are birthed and how they’re interacting with others has become so magical. Authors speak of you being the first reader and I totally agree. I feel as if I’m just sitting here and experiencing my world as if I were watching a movie.

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7 comments on “Writing fictional history

  1. slepsnor says:

    I’m impressed with the detail you plan on putting in. I typically just do a character biography and book outlines with the rest developing as I write. I get impatient sometimes and just want to get to the full on writing.

    • codywestle says:

      I like to flip-flop in between the two. I more than anything want to get a story finished. But for me, I must have a fully coherent world for my stories to take place in. I’ve been working on it for 2 years (on and off) and with what work has been completed, I’m a little daunted by what must be accomplished if I must take this route.

      • slepsnor says:

        I started building my world in 1998. The truth is that you could very well continue building it up. With every story comes new regions and quirks.

      • codywestle says:

        Wow, now that’s impressive. Well I want to have the majority of the main continent and the islands near it done even if they are not visited. Just for reference. I guess I’m one of those readers that actually enjoys the prologue that talks about the history leading up to the present day events o.0

      • slepsnor says:

        That would be a good reason to make a detailed background then. You’re basically writing a rough draft of your prologue. I tend to have my world appear as the characters move through it with history being brought up in conversations. I write in present tense, which is probably why this works better.

      • codywestle says:

        Well that’s my plan as well. I’m not just going to info dump every paragraph. I just plan to know all the ins and outs before I start writing my “masterpiece”. Does that make more sense?

      • slepsnor says:

        That does make sense. Good luck.

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