This is the sixth year that I have been sponsor of the Rough Writers, the student-led, student-run, student-participative creative writing group here on the campus of Southwestern Adventist University. During that time I have gotten to know some pretty great students, many of whom I am confident will go on to be great writers.
I am always looking for an opportunity to teach, to learn, and to do something fun and exciting together. So when I read a few months ago about a group of writers who collaboratively created their own steampunk world, and then each wrote stories based on that world, I got excited. I shared the idea with a few of my Rough Writers, and they got excited too. And so that is our latest project. We are building a world.
World building is nothing new to people who write fantasy. It is often necessary in writing science fiction as well, especially when you are talking about the distant future or alien worlds. But I feel it is even necessary if you are writing historical fiction and any kind of story where you have to use your imagination.
I recently wrote a story called “Brindlestar,” which was my first attempt in world building. It is based on the concept of a trinary star system. Sounds far fetched, but after years of saying it wasn’t possible, science is examining the possibility of trinary systems. After all, they poo-poohed binary systems for quite a while before they were proven to exist.
Anyway, we have broken up the task of world building by volunteering. Justin, one of our new members, wants to create weaponry and make a map of the planet. Tiffany is creating the five races that live there. I am going to work on the civilization levels. And Cassandra is going to create the flora and fauna for the planet.
For the most part, we have no idea what we are doing. But it will be fun. And in the end, I hope that we will be able to get some interesting stories out of it.
I will keep you posted.