Thursday, June 25, 2009

Better run through the Jungle, er Minnesota north woods?

Location, Location, Location. One of the cool things about writing paranormal is world building. Would you agree? I mean because shapeshifters, vampires, demons and the like are figments of a writers fertile mind, we can put them into any world we want.

I got to thinking about world building as I wrote yesterday. The scene I'm working on involves my heroes(yep, that would be plural) chasing down my heroine through the woods at the edge of the lake. As I'm typing away I realize I have one hero making his way down a large rocky hill to get to the heroine.

This stopped me in my tracks.

I know the area I loosely based my story on and trust me there are no rocky hills there. LOL My second thought was who cares...this is my world and it can be whatever I want it to be! Thus, the Minnesota north woods now has a lake with a rocky shoreline of pretty good size. :)

But how big of a change is too big?

Maybe your demons are terrified of chickens, or your vampires thrive on sunshine but the moon is their enemy. Or maybe it's jungle cats who live in the Minnesota north woods. A pride of three hundred or so jaguar shifters hiding among the humans through below zero winters and barely seventy degree summers. I hope they don't revolt on me. :)

I don't think there is too big of a change, I mean that's the name of the game right..."world" building, not "exactly like the world is right down to the placement of each and every gas station" building. What fun would that be?

No, I'd rather read about interesting worlds and the unique characters in them. One being Curses Were Strange Beasts by our very own Savanna Kougar currently located in the Dorchester text novel contest. Pop over and take a peek at the story, it's wonderful.

Psst, ~behind the hand whisper~ you can vote on it too while you're there.

Another great example of world building is at the text novel contest as well, Gem Sivad's Cat Nip. A shapeshifter story set in the old west! Very cool, check that out as well.

So where is the coolest place you've placed your paranormal creatures? Or, what unique trait did you give your characters? Have you taken any world building classes you would encourage others to take? Do you have a story in the text novel contest...share, share! My inquiring mind is dying to know!

Have a great weekend


Paris said...

So far it's the Guatemalan jungle. I tend to love throwing my characters into environments they (one or more) aren't used to. Rugged, extreme terrains make for interesting visuals and complications. Dorchester's text novel contest? I think I've been in my cave too long;-)Running over now!

Serena Shay said...

Oooh the Guatemalan jungle would provide cool visuals and complications...the second one of those big snakes came out of hiding, I'd be climbing up my nearest stud muffin hero!! LOL

Savanna Kougar said...

Serena... lol... I luv your title! Better Run through the Jungle... what song is that? it's looping in my head now.
I know what you mean about 'locating' your characters, whether it's here on Earth or in another world altogether... both have their specific challenges and their joys to write.
In fact, a lot of my research is learning about locations here on Earth, the places I've never been ~ like southeastern Arizona, the setting for Stallion. I have traveled through Arizona - one of my fave states. However, I needed a national forest and caves. Also, the story had to be located close to the Mexican border.

Kiss! Kiss! for mentioning Curses!

Serena Shay said...

Hehe...It's a Creedence song, Savanna and it's been in my head for days! LOL

Researching other place is a super cool benny of writing for me. I love to get info from the travel boards of the different states and dig into the maps and special offerings of the areas. It's not as fun as going there, but it's darn close. :)

I can't wait to read Stallion, I have a feeling it is going to be soo good!

Francesca Hawley said...

My shapeshifter characters are set in my own version of Colorado. I've visited Colorado a couple times and decided it would be a good home for my wolves.