Every story you write, you create a tiny world of flora, fauna, animals, vegetables, minerals, emotions, colors, feelings, and so on. It doesn’t matter if it’s placed in a fantastically magical world, or if it’s in real time, in the real world. This universe’s time stream is entirely dependent on me. I can put up the Great Wall of China, I can tear it down, I can have wars fought, ships launched, hearts were broken, all with the flick of my fingers. I can fall in love, I can fall out of love, I can examine the reasons why love is love is love.
I’m of the mindset that freedom is born out of sadness. Sadness doesn’t have to be a bad thing but you’re freed once you realize where it comes from.
As a writer, worldbuilding is massive for me and a huge part of why I write, even if it’s a story set in the “real world” (whatever that is). I write short fiction. You must create tiny worlds in a finite amount of space regardless of the genre you write in.
It does tend to work against me, because all the novelists who critique my work whine and say, “this feels like a novel! Wah-wah-wah.” Well, it’s not, so give me feedback that I can actually use. Just because you think the world I created is massive does not make the finite room I used any less important. Which is what I felt like they were saying.
There is something powerful, God-like about thinking back on the hundreds of worlds I have created over the course of my life as an author. Some of them didn’t get past the preparation period. Some of them were too grandiose even for a novel-length piece.
I would plot out a beginning, a middle, and an end, but not actually foresee the end. I’m confident that the lack of an ending kills most of my stories in the planning stages. I love frolicking in these worlds but I get to maybe the middle part and have to second-guess myself. I’m like, “uh, yeah, this story is the pits.” My hands hover over the page and I mutter to myself,
I think that’s how God feels. You send these beautifully flawed creatures created in your image out into the world to do whatever they want, and all you can do is guide them and let them know in small ways that they exist. They’re real because they want to be.
I hold onto my stories in my vise-like grip a lot.
Like, a LOT.
I’m trying to be conscious of it and let it go. There is beauty in letting those stories and characters breathe and make their own decisions.