Writing is the closest we humans can get to experiencing an act that we usually associate with God. That is, sheer creation. It is certainly the most enjoyable part of writing for me, and is one reason why I’m particularly drawn to fantasy. No genre allows, nay demands, so much creation.
You may create characters and events in historical fiction, but the world itself is precisely successful to the degree that it evokes a world that really existed. You don’t “create” 1870 London, for example. You recreate it. You don’t, in horror, create the haunted malls and the lonely highways as much as you “adapt” them from actual experiences you yourself have had. In science fiction, the sun is the real sun, Mars is the real Mars. Of course, there is creation all through any type of fiction, but with real-world based fiction there are limits, for example, to what can you do with plants and animals.
I don’t mean to imply that there are no limits in fantasy. The fantasy world has to make sense and has to evoke a sense of realism, but the limits are broader. I’m reminded of what Morpheus said to Neo in The Matrix. It was something like: “Some of these rules can be bent. Others can be broken.” Well, you can bend and break more rules in fantasy than in any other genre, and that sheer imaginative act feels so powerful. At least to me.
I remember how much absolute joy I felt in writing Swords of Talera, and a lot of it was the first creation of the world itself. Even before I started writing “Swords,” I started creating the world, and I kept all that information in what I called, perhaps a bit melodramatically, my Taleran Encyclopedia. I’ll end this post with a few entries from that file.
Kahurra: a plant that may produce a kind of natural steroid. It is used by gladiators and often by assassins. It increases strength and aggressiveness but sometimes creates violent, uncontrollable rages.
Tris: Also called candle-bugs. Small, light giving insects. They live in many underground places, such as sewers. They are smaller than a lightning bug but their light is pretty much constant, only occasionally dimming or brightening slightly. They are also flightless and move in large masses. They give off a turquoise light.
Moons: Talera has four large moons. They do not wax or wane but always present their full face and the same face to the planet’s surface. They are, in order of appearance:
1. Nimeru – The smallest. It’s name means “The Dreamer.” It rises at dusk. It has a delicate blue color. In some cultures, Nimeru is the goddess of love, and in others the god or goddess of poetry.
2. Sieona – A little larger, and turquoise in color. It’s name means “The Storm Queen,” and many legends are told about its power to evoke storms. It rises at what would be about 10:00 on Earth.
3. Tisiminna – Golden in color, and larger still. The name means “The Beauty.” There are two smaller orbs that circle Tisiminna and these are sometimes called the “lovers” or the “courtiers.” There are whole story cycles about the relationship between the “beauty” and her “courtiers.” It rises at midnight.
4. Rath – The largest of the four moons, and red in color. Like Mars, it is often associated with war and battle and is called “The Warrior.” It rises at about 2:00 earth time.
Man, I love creating moons. How about you, what kind of creation do you love?
PS, don't forget that there are still a few more days, until April 6, to enter my contest