How to Design a World and Write About It : Contains Special Features of The Creative District

As said in a previous post, I will be featuring special content on my blog much like DVDs and Blu-rays feature bonus content.  If you hadn’t read the book, The Creative District, and would like to dive into it without viewing any of this, you could turn away.  If you’re interested in the book and don’t mind learning a bit about what went into it, feel free to view what I’m providing as bonus content.

First, I wanted to share this photo:

As you could you see, the above photo is much of a hybrid between concept art and an outline/ brainstorm.  At a certain point of The Creative District, the book begins to get very deep into a sort of mystical but modern architecture.  In future posts, I’ll go into depth about the type of inspiration I’ve used to get an idea of the architecture, but for right now, I will say that I’ve used everything from African huts, to birdhouses, to small homes made out gourds, Roman domes if domes were made out of wood, and a lot of nature.  For the most part, I tried to find a way to perceive modern architecture in a way that only used material and tools found in a forest.  You could also see that on the side of the photo is the word Fairieworlds which is a summer festival held in Oregon.  It goes to show that I wasn’t just thinking about architecture in a one-dimensional fashion but as a culture.

I could go into depth right now about the homes and how I developed the architecture for The Creative District, however, for right now, I want to just give my readers an idea of the process that went into developing the architecture.  I never go into writing a chapter unless I know exactly where I’m going with it.  I hear writers says, sit in front of a computer and just write.  At times, you’ll even hear me say that, more so because I feel like people overthink things.  However, when I do go into writing, I always know the direction of where I want my writing to go.  I want to say I almost always do this but I almost never lack a plan when it comes to writing.  I always have dialogue ready, paragraphs ready, an outline mapping out where I’m going, and at times, I may need to have drawings ready.  I’m not the author who writes up until he gets to a building that he hasn’t thought about yet, and then makes up that building as he goes.  When I write, I want to see the building in my head.  I want to know its color, the material used in the roofing, maybe I want to know what’s insulating the walls so I could get a better feel for when my character walks into the door.  I’m a big fan of strange windows.  I want to know the size of them, the number of panels, and what scent is coming in.  If I have to make up how a building looks while I’m writing, I stop.  I stop and I develop that building and I don’t go back into writing until I know exactly how that building looks and feels.  It really cheapens the experience for the reader if I don’t know where I’m going as I’m guiding the reader through this new and fantastic world, but really I’m just making up shit as I go.

I’m trying to emphasize the development of a plan.  When people plan well, things go the way that they want.  When people don’t know what they want, they don’t go anywhere.  They stay stagnant.  They build weak foundations.  Things don’t get the end result that you’re hoping for.

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