Wednesday 20 September 2017

Blog Tour: Fire Lines by Cara Thurlbourn

A little late in posting today, but delighted to share my post as part of the Fire Lines blog tour. As part of my stop Cara Thurlbourn is telling us all about world building in her book and it's a fascinating read! I am always so amazed by the worlds authors managed to build and convey to us in their stories. Enjoy!

GUESTPOST WITH Cara Thurlbourn

World Building: how do you create an enticing world?

For me, world building is one of the most exciting parts of writing. When creating a fantasy world, you can let your imagination run away with you – anything is possible. But, if you’re not careful, things can get a little messy.

The first draft of Fire Lines only took me six months to write, but it took a further eighteen months to iron out the wrinkles and make sure the world I’d created made sense. Anything is possible – but you still need rules. So my top three tips would be:

Never stop looking for inspiration.

Although you’re creating a new world, there are so many fascinating things in our world that you can draw on. While I was writing my first draft, I watched endless hours of David Attenborough and made notes about quirky, beautiful and scary things that I could adapt or feature somewhere in Émi’s world (The Four Cities).

I’d also suggest keeping a notebook handy for when out and about, and saving bookmarks on your browser/Facebook/Twitter. Particularly if you follow travel-related pages, all kinds of weird and wonderful things pop up with awe-inspiring images that can spark ideas.

I’m also often inspired on my travels. You’ll find elements of Vietnam, France, Seville, Morocco and India within The Four Cities – just little snippets from other cultures or places that can melt together and create something new and exciting.

Think about the rules before you start.

Inevitably, there will be things you have to deal with towards the end of your draft because they will crop up unexpectedly, but it saves a lot of rewrites if you can think through some of them before you start. For example, does your world have electricity? Does it have clocks? How do they measure the passing of time? How are they educated? Plus, some bigger questions like what kind of political system do they have? Who is in charge? What laws do they have and who makes them?
For Fire Lines, I also had to think about the role of magick. Who has it? What kind? How does it function within society?

The answer to these questions can be whatever you like, as long as you’re consistent and it fits with the world you’re creating.

Create image boards.

Either in an old-fashioned scrapbook, or using something like Pinterest, I think having visual cues for your world is invaluable. I created a board for each of The Four Cities and whenever I see something and think Yes, that’s exactly what I pictured in my head or Wow, I must include that, I pop it onto Pinterest.

I also do rough sketches of layouts/maps for the cities so I can get a feel of the distance between places. And I pin any postcards or images that I particularly like to a cork board in my study.
I said three tips, but here’s a bonus fourth – find a soundtrack that embodies the world you’re creating and use it when you’re writing to bring the ‘feeling’ back each time. I listen to Brain FM a lot and vary between the thunder and lightning tracks and the cinematic tracks. I also find the Avatar and Lord of the Rings soundtracks help to get me in the mood.

Fire Lines is out on 25th September

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