18 September 2013

What I learned at Comic Con (part 2)

Each day at Comic Com there were terrific panels to attend. Here are some highlights about world building, hero building and the hero's journey.

World Building:
-start with a map of your world, the continent, the town
-the world needs to be different from reality, but with some common touch points
-use modeling, if you have a knighthood you don't need to invent your own take elements from historical working knighthoods and use them as a base to tweak and make your own.

Hero Building-
Obert Skye said he likes to pick person who is a to him a real life hero and list ten or so qualities about that person and use it as a base to build his own hero from.

Another author told about attending the Timpanogos Story Telling Festival and hearing someone say, "How can we be strangers now that you know my story?" If you know your characters story, the inside and out and all the details you don't share with your audience, the character is not a stranger to you and you can write about him or her with authority. (wish I wrote down which author said this)

Hero's Journey-
most hero's go through a sequence like this:

1- orphan phase: must make their way alone in the world. They might feel called to a task. This calling could be out of duty, revenge, lose or some other reason. They often have to defeat internal demons but when reaching a low point are able to summon up the strength to keep going.

2- wandering phase: making friends, gaining the experience and tools to face the challenges ahead. They will often have a mentor or guide.

3- Warrior phase: they take up arms in the pursuit of the quest

4- Martyr phase: they are willing to die for their ideal or people

Along with the outer journey there is an inner journey the characters take. The hero and villain often start out in similar places internally. It's the choices they make that determiners their destiny.

Another Panel was asked - What do you look for in a fantasy story?
-What is different/ fantastical about this world
-a compelling story
-how the rules of reality are rearranged
-magic powers
- broken characters, people with things to work on

Pet Peves- What do you NOT want to see in fantasy?
-Not original

There was a great discussion on cliches. They can be used and often must be used, but the author must put their own spin on it. There are many web sites listing literary cliche here is one of them - The Silver Blade

Brandon Mull said, "The thing you have is YOU. Give them YOU."

One author said he took an idea from Brandon Sanderson and used chapter bumps to help tell the history and back story the would otherwise bog down the main plot. A chapter bump would be a line or two or a very short paragraph coming just before start of each chapter. It could be the voice of a narrator or excerpts from a history, etc...

What are your favorite world building tips?