A way with worlds: 12 - Finding Inspiration
by Steven Savage of Seventh Sanctum
Page 1 of 2
We've all had those moments
where we're just not inspired, or worse, inspired but its just
not working. Actually, as authors we probably feel we live in
permanent writers block with moments of actual writing.
In world-building, we have
those moments of loss too, and they're strange ones - we know
we've got a world, but there are these huge blanks. We know
something goes there, but it stubbornly refuses to fill in.
Or perhaps you just feel
uninspired. You kinda are building that world, but the mind's
sluggish, the ideas aren't there. You need a kick-start, and
you're not sure you're ready to kick. You could fill in your
world, but . . .
When I need inspiration,
here are sources I use. In fact, I indulge in them regularly just
to keep my mind going. They'll help you build a world, and help
keep the old bean primed for world building at the same time.
And, of course, they're all
fun. Otherwise, what's the point?
THE HISTORY CHANNEL:
The History Channel, if you
get it, is one of the Holy Grails of world-building inspiration.
Complimented by its web page, its a cornucopia of inspiring and
interesting stuff. Forget the boring classes in school - this is
the real deal, a channel with a sense of humor that delivers
heaping helpings of history for all.
You can see shows on weapons
and the military, strange events, food, and just about anything
else. You'll learn a lot, you'll think about a lot - and you'll
get ideas on how to fill in elements of your world. Sometimes you
can get questions and answers at the same time. Watching the
History of Drinks alone made me think about the frontier world I
Me, I use this as a default
viewing channel when I'm bored - it usually doesnt take
long for my mind to get going and for stuff to start happening in
There are other television channels that I find can be
inspiring and informative for world-building:
LEARNING CHANNEL - Enough said. Everything from science to
disasters to history can get you thinking, while medical shows
can make you never want to eat again.
PBS - Don't laugh,
theres plenty of interesting stuff on PBS. I'm especially
fond of Rick Steebs shows on traveling in Europe - his tales of
different cultures and traveling between them really makes you
Sometimes I surf among the
various information/science/education channels when I need to get
my mind going. I can usually find something to catch my attention
and eventually get me thinking.
DISCOUNT BOOK STORES
AND DISCOUNT RACKS:
You've seen them; stores that sell used books or
over-ordered books, and racks of books some book stores need to
dispose of. Some may seem them as sources of cheap gifts or a
hope to find an usual book - I see them as idea sources.
These are the lottery of
weird ideas, stuff you'd never think of buying, but now can, and
do so at a low price. If a book looks interesting, you can pick
it up and not spend too much money. You can find things you'd
never look for purposefully leaping out at you. Just browsing can
give you a host of ideas.Next Page
Copyright© 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 Steven Savage, sffworld.com. All rights reserved. No part of this may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the author.