Monday, February 6, 2012

World Building & Tangled Tides

I had the pleasure of reading Tangled Tides by Karen Amanda Hooper last week.

I've read about vampires, fairies, dystopia societies, angels etc. But this is the first mermaid / sea creature book and I loved it. The pace was fast, the story intricate and the characters endearing. I spent four hours last Thursday ignoring my dishes, my laundry, and my children to finish reading it.

What impressed me the most was the world building. Karen created such an amazingly detailed world underneath the sea. I loved getting immersed in it (no pun intended). The legends, the myths, the consequences of love. It was great.

I write fantasy and am currently working on a scifi book, so it involves a lot of world building, so I have a question for those who do world building.

Do you create your world and its rules before you start writing or do you start with a base, but let the plot dictate the rules?

16 comments:

Joanne said...

My world-building is probably a complete opposite of yours. My fiction is based in reality, and so I try to keep the settings/world as realistic and true to reality as possible. But still, I do start with a base, and build in the details of the towns, homes, locales, as I go, to suit the story.

Southpaw said...

First - that is a gorgeous cover.

I start with a general idea, but develop them as I write, sometimes adding or subtracting previous notions.

Martin Willoughby said...

I've got a rough idea of the world, but mostly I find out what it's like alongside my characters and experience it for the first time with them.

Colene Murphy said...

Oh, I can't wait to get this one. It will be my first mermaid novel too, so I'm excited!

I start with the characters. They're the ones that dictate the rules for me. Then the world. Well, so far that's how it's been.

Jennifer Hoffine said...

For my sci-fi, I did a lot of world-building, but my protag ended up having different ideas about where she came from.

This book does sound great, and I love the cover.

Carolyn V said...

I haven't read any mermaid books yet. Hmmm, this is going on the list.

I usually do both (create and add things as I go). I wish I would just make up my mind. ;)

Chantele Sedgwick said...

This book looks so good. I have a hard time with world building. It's my hardest thing to get right. I usually tell the story and then go back to it. :)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

This is something I have to work on with my new wip. I've created some rules before hand, but the plot is mostly dictating it.

Heidi Willis said...

I admire anyone who can do this kind of writing in which they have to invent an entirely new world, with new kinds of people and new rules and new objects and language and life. My brain is not that big.

I have a hard enough time understanding the real world I live in. :)

....Petty Witter said...

looks and sounds like a great read. A bit bored with vampires and werewolves perhaps I'll give mermaids a go.

Robyn Campbell said...

What a cool cover. Oh man! I love it! *happy sigh*

Beth had to do a lot of world building with the ACROSS THE UNI books. I learned a lot from critting them. It's fun, but hard work. I have a fantasy that I want to start some time this year. World building. Yeah!

Hugs pal!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I absolutely LOVED Tangled Tides!! It's right up there with Divergent as my favorite book of 2011. The world building, plotting, and character development are all unbelievable to me. :)

Melissa Marsh said...

Since I write historical fiction, I can't do a lot of world-building, but I like to stretch things a bit. ;-)

Ruth Josse said...

I let the plot dictate the world. But I'm not sure if this is the best way to do it. Before I start my next book, I'm going to try and plan out the world in more detail.

I ignore laundry and dishes too. And I'm not even reading a book.

ali cross said...

I have heard so many wonderful things about TANGLED TIDES! Haven't read it yet, but Karen's a friend of mine and SHE is awesome! ALSO I did read her short story that comes out in IN HIS EYES next week! It's the prequel for TANGLED TIDES and it's awesome! (her short story, that is)

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Aww, thanks so much Patti! :) And to those who left encouraging and kind comments. <3