Torry Rose joins me today to share her world builder insights.
On nature walks as a girl in Staten Island, New York, Torry Rose’s mother told her the stories of the ancient people and their magical, mysterious ways of communicating with all living forms. To this day in her home in Middlebury, Vermont surrounded by lush evergreens, maples and wise old oaks, Torry ‘s memories of lively ancestor tales that paved the way for her deep love and respect of cultural mythology inspires her to write her fantasy/mystery novels for all who enjoy a good story.
When Torry is not writing you can find her watching her favorite BBC shows “Midsomer Murders” and “Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell”, or reading novels penned by authors Bruce Coville, Enid Blyton, and Dan Brown.
Here now are Torry’s insights on world building.
What is the appeal of world building to you? How does it compare to the importance of character and plot?
As a writer of fantasy, the appeal of world-building is in creating a place that appears similar to our everyday world with a bit more layers. A town built alongside a stream that grants immortality. A city that spins nightly where the residents go to bed in the bustling city of New York, but wake up in a small town somewhere in Idaho, or as in my novel, Secret of the Family Tree, a village that conceals the oldest descendants of Earth. It is unique settings like these built for plots to unfold within and for characters to act that excite me about world building. How do I compare character and plot to world-building? All are equally important aspects when it comes to creating an enthralling story.
What aspects of the world do you have to figure out before you start a story? What do you allow to unfold as you write?
I am not a writer who figures too much out before I start a novel because I’ve found making notes in the early stages stops my natural creative flow. My main characters, world and plot of the story appear to me from beginning to end as if I’m viewing a movie. After I’ve written my first draft, I go back over the world, adding texture.
What do you enjoy the most about world building?
I love getting to know the world I’ve built or the worlds of other fantasy and science fiction authors. Especially if the worlds are richly layered in detail where I find myself wishing I could live within them. Funny, but true story, when I first started writing my novel, I was living in Arizona. The village I created for my story, Hearthshire, appeared to me as a quaint little place. Fast forward two years later when I move to Vermont and find my little town of Middlebury looks and feels just like Hearthshire! Now how magical is that?
How do you balance realism with magic or other world building elements that allow for departure from the ordinary?
When I write a piece of fantasy, I don’t thrust the reader into a world so foreign to their everyday world that they are confused as to where they are and what is going on. I like to hint that maybe there is something magical or different about this seemingly ordinary place. As in my story, I introduce the reader to a normal mother gardening with her two daughters. However, through their dialogue the reader learns that this family is planting flowers at the request of a tree. Now is the mother playing along with her children as mothers will do, or did a tree actually ask for these flowers? I have the reader seamlessly experiencing the magical world right alongside normal every day.
Describe your world and some of the considerations behind it that you feel give your stories a solid sense of realism:
Today because of the ease and cost of DNA testing, and the popularity of programs such as “Who do you Think you are,” and “Finding your Roots,” everyone is looking into their family’s linage, with many discovering surprising links in their family trees. So in essence, my novel, Secret of the Family Tree, is not a departure from what is happening in our world today, it’s just that the Fairland family in my novel discover surprising details hidden within humanities roots.
Be sure to check out Torry’s fantasy book, Secret of the Family Tree:
Secret of the Family Tree: Digging up old Roots is a 257-page fantasy/mystery novel that follows the Fairland family and their discovery of the real history of humans on Earth.
“A life of mystery and tragedy surrounds the Fairland family making this book engrossing because you have to know what is going to happen next so you constantly keep putting off putting down this book. The main character is also a Nancy Drew enthusiast so she is filled with questions and curiosity making her likable and definitely relate-able because who didn’t want to be just like Nancy Drew when they were growing up! The book does leave you wondering in the end what will happen next. Good thing author, Torry Rose, is making this a series!” —Amy L. Yingling on March 12, 2015 on Goodreads.com & amazon.com
“Ok. I’m hooked. Just the right amount of color with natural dialog and building investment in what will follow. The landscape is unique yet gives a feeling of familiarity that helps the reader slide right in to the story.
“I love it when I stumble across a new author who can pull me in so quickly and knowing that the initial draft is so far along is icing on the cake. All this book needs is to get readers to take a peek.” —Daniel C Rooney on August 2015 on Inshares.com
If you are intrigued, please go over to Amazon.com check it out.
You can also connected with Torry on Twitter: @TorryRose520