I was sitting in my dorm room during the spring semester of my freshman year. The words flowed like water from my mind to the piece of paper. It was the first short story of my World. The story was about a young man who, overwhelmed by grief and rage, was unable to control his magic and killed everyone around him. I was fascinated by his story and had to know more. But there was nothing else on that desolate mountain-top where his story took place. A mountain-top doesn’t make a world, and I knew that there was more.
I was compelled to create the World around that mountain-top. After all, his story wasn’t over and he couldn’t stay where he was for the rest of his life – that wouldn’t be interesting in the least. And so I began drawing. I marked the Dosid Mountains, and the plains and rivers. A world came about around him. First it was one nation, then one continent. Then there were eight continents in a circle. But it wasn’t done. You see, there were mountains that shot up out of the ocean and split the world in half, keeping the people from both sides from crossing over. The Edges, they are called.
It’s strange, looking back on the very first steps of creating my World, because it never felt like a process when I was doing it. It still doesn’t, when I change things. It feels like my World is already complete, and I just have to learn what it looks like, what its people are like, the customs and histories.
In-story, the origins of the World are, obviously, quite different. My first thought was that some alien species had crashed on the planet and changed it into what they wanted, setting themselves up as gods. But that was too sci-fi for the stories that were and are begging to be written. I brainstormed without realizing that that was what I was doing, constantly writing and rewriting bits of the World’s history so that I could find out where it came from. And then I just knew. I knew that my characters were living in a recreated world, because the first one had been destroyed. And I knew that the people and creatures from that previous world were not entirely gone, and that they were at work in the World still, shaping lives and events to suit them.
The beings from the first world play an integral part in my novel, though my characters don’t know it, and never will. But that doesn’t mean that other characters won’t learn about the first world in other stories.
Those are the origins of my World.
Take care, fellow travelers.