Future Column – 1051, and world building

I finished up the rough draft of the next working review. I need to read over it once more. It feels very rough, but it was rough to write it, so I’m going to have to cut myself some slack.

I used it as an opportunity to mess around with my idea for NaNo, known at the moment as Hungry Ghosts. I’m getting a handle on the characters, at least a little bit, but the world is eluding me. I wrote it with some vague references to some sort of post-apocalyptic setting, which I had been thinking of using. But it just felt wrong. I like the idea of the world; it would be a blast to write. But it just doesn’t seem to mesh with this story.

The Hungry Ghosts idea feels like it needs a setting other than the here and now. I’ve tried to make it steam punk, largely just because it sounds fun. No dice. I just can’t get that sepia-toned world to match up with my story. I tried a post-apocalyptic fantasy world, a particular incarnation of which I have been dying to write about. It feels flat.

When I envision the characters and settings of Hungry Ghosts, I see green. Leafy green. And whitewash. I see a dust and gravel road. I see blue jeans. I see heirloom roses. I see old, old stone as well. And a city gone dark. I see an island and a mainland and a gulf of time and weather and hardship between them. I don’t know what any of that is supposed to mean.

I could, I suppose, set it in an alternate universe with, say, 1970s level technology. It would look more or less like our world, but I get to make up geography and culture whenever I want to. But that always feels like a cop out when I do it. Like I’m not willing to commit to either a “true fantasy” setting or stick with modern day.

I would really like to figure all this out sometime soon, say, before November 1st.

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About Joyce

Joyce Sully lives in Southern California. She graduated from UC Irvine. She likes to knit and cook and play video games. But mostly she writes. Joyce writes short stories and novels, songs and poems, scripts and instructions to feed the cat if she stays out late. She has been spotted as far afield as Seattle, but travel makes her nervous. She believes in magic and dragons and ghosts, but is not convinced her next-door neighbors are real.
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