Guest Post by Ed Ireland
JBL: This year I’m participating in my first Cyber Convention, an online gathering of writers organized and hosted by Our Write Side (OWS). For this year’s blog tour, writers were asked to blog about what makes the worlds they create unique. The goal is to learn a bit more about each of the writers taking part in the convention and gain some insight into the varying philosophies when it comes to world building. You can find all the responses (including mine!) on the OWS CyCon site here. Today I’m pleased to share this post from fellow Fantasy writer Ed Ireland. Enjoy!
I’ve recently been tasked to write a short on why the worlds I create are unique. Or why other writer’s worlds are unique. The answer is really very simple; they are unique because they only exist in the minds of those who first, write them, and then in the minds of those who read the stories that lie within those worlds.
Yes, I know I could have stopped there but you all know me. That’s not going to happen. Instead, we need to take a further look at this. What makes a world unique? Is it strange and exotic flora and fauna? Is it having two moons that watch over the world, pale in the day and incredibly bright at night? Is it having green skies and blue grass?
Certainly, all these things would make that particular world unique. However, what about worlds that we know? What makes a world unique for let’s say a tale in the historical fiction world unique? We obviously know the world we live in and yet those worlds are just as unique as the one created for a story that takes place billions of light years from Earth.
What makes a world unique?
For my worlds, while they exist on another plane, they are not that dissimilar to the world around us. I take sights and sounds that I have seen in my travels and use them. I take people I have known and either use them as a whole or mash several of them together to make one character. For me, it is enough to take what we consider familiar and set it in a distant place. It allows my readers to concentrate on the characters and the path the story leads them to.
I place a great value in my particular group of readers and their intelligence. I want to allow them a great leeway in their imagination. I want to say that “Vespias entered a grove of trees taller than any she had ever seen. For a moment, she was taken aback, humbled by the presence of the Goddess and her power.” I know the feeling I had the first time I entered a redwood forest. I also know that there is no description I could write that would adequately describe that feeling.
So, I write that simple line and allow my readers to see those trees in their mind. I allow them to imagine the height of them, the color, the texture, the girth.
I allow them to imagine.
The single most important part to any book. It is there in that word that the magic of what writers do comes to life. To bring imagination to a mind is to return that mind to its youth when you could look at a small, plastic horse and see a herd of them running across an open field. For me, what makes my worlds unique is the imagination of my readers. I give them the gift of youth and set them running through the world that we have both created.
About Ed Ireland
Ed Ireland is a very proud product of the streets of South Philadelphia. He draws on his memories of people, places and events from his life there as well as the rest of the world he has known.
His list of home territories includes Pennsylvania, Nevada, Texas, California, Colorado, New Jersey New York, North Carolina and currently, Florida. He has been a sometimes frequent visitor of Virginia, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Arizona, and Maryland. Every one of these locations has provided him with people and places that inspire his work. Countless memories from them, some good and some bad, fuel his passion for building people, not just characters in his tales.
Ed was born in Philadelphia. He is a father of two and is fiercely loyal to the Philadelphia Eagles, The Beatles and classic horror films. He enjoys time in the kitchen as of late, saying that cooking is fun for him now that he understands that it, too, is an art. He enjoys photography, playing in Photoshop, and he freely admits to his vice of being addicted to World of Warcraft, and being a Walking Dead fan. His passion is animal rights and he campaigns to end the persecution of wolves.
Like what you read? Go check out Ed’s CyCon Author Booth, then be sure to Like and Follow on Facebook and Twitter. He’s also got his own website and blog, and if that’s not enough author-y goodness for you, join his newsletter!