One of the things I love about being an author is the ability (or at least the freedom) to create new worlds. Aside from the main character and his/her conflict/obstacle to overcome (essential to any story), you have a blank canvas to work with. You can take the same MC/conflict and create totally different results just by changing the setting. Think about it. Take any one of your favourite stories…how would it fare in a futuristic/space setting, back in medieval times, in a fantasy world, or just by having it play out today, but in a different country?
This freedom was something I relished in when I wrote Amethyst Eyes. There is a lot of work involved when trying to validate a new piece of technology or explain the philosophy behind a belief, but well worth it in the end. I always try to base my creations on reality and go from there.
How far we decide to take our creation is entirely up to us. Where we differ from someone with an overactive imagination is in our ability to draw the reader into our world, without him having noticed and lose him in the adventure. You don’t want your reader wondering if the technology works, you want him to accept that it does. Think about the magical world created by J.K. Rowling when she wrote about Harry Potter’s trials. That brings up another point…whether we have an ordinary human being or one with magical powers or special abilities.
Once we decide on a rough story outline, we can begin to create. Personally, this is where I make up a chart. Use your computer, a notebook, whatever, just so long as you keep track of things. I have a chart for characters, with name, physical description, personality traits, and relationship to others, etc. I have one for food and drink with their description, taste, benefits, and origin, etc. I do the same thing with technology.
Each time I call on an item, I can make sure I am able to respect what was said about it in the past, and if I add to it, then I add to the chart. This is quite a time saver.
Let your imagination go, and ride the wave…in the end, there’s nothing other than the limits of your own imagination to stop you.
Once you have created it, test it out. First, you have to make sure it ‘looks’ like something, and then you have to be able to explain how it works. I have a friend who reads all my work, and if she can describe the ship, setting or object as I had pictured it, then I know my description is good. So that’s one step in the right direction…but is it believable?
To answer that question, well, it all depends on you. If you believe in it, and your characters believe in it, then your reader will most likely believe in it as well.
OK, I have to get back to writing…I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo and we’re all going canoeing later…just as soon as I make today’s word count. I'm still waiting for my t-shirt!