John’s Story World

The aspect I enjoy the most about writing epic fantasy is the idea of world-building. From the age of 13, when I first read Lord of the Rings and pored over Tolkien’s maps, I was mesmerized, wishing I could zoom in, go to those places where the narrative never took me.

So, I started to create my own world. I’ve had an affinity for drawing from a young age, and so it was a new artistic venture for me to draw maps of my imaginary world. Over the years, as I grew and learned the craft of storytelling, those maps changed as much as my maturing writing style. I’ve written three novels, two of which were set in that world, but each time I approached a story anew the world changed.

Blood Dawn will be my debut novel. It is set in this same world, but this time I’ve learned from several mistakes I made in my past attempts. Most importantly, I’ve learned to balance the urge to world-build with the need to connect to story. World building, although it is exciting, is a never-ending process, and for me has led to introducing numerous unnecessary details in my story, or elements that do not belong in the particular spot where they are mentioned.

As you will soon see in my writing videos, I have a different approach to world building which works quite well for me. Rather than rushing in and creating my world, I write the story, and when world-related details crop up, I write them down somewhere else in files I keep open with the manuscript. Because I have been developing my story world for twenty years, it is already intimately familiar to me, so the finer points and exact details (which change depending on what the story might reveal to me as I’m writing it or thinking about it) can be copied down and organized as I go.

Pretty soon, though, there will be maps and appendices, which I will share in what I anticipate will become my own website, Stay tuned. There are plenty of surprises coming this year.


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