There’s a lot that could be said about this one, so I’ll try to be concise.
I see World Building as the process of balancing the wonder of discovery with the security of consistency.
From a preparation stand point, it’s invaluable to know your world.
Its economics, its history, its cultural aspects, its science or magic and its geography of course. From an execution standpoint, how much of that actually goes into a book ought to be limited to the scope of the story, with enough hints of what lies beyond the story to stimulate the reader’s curiosity.
Within that approach, a reader might feel wonder at a world's magic perhaps, but take comfort from the consistency of how the magic is applied by the author. A scrap of history might relate to and colour a particular character, but the author doesn’t dovetail into pages of unbroken exposition.
With City of Masks I’ve taken geographical influence from the city of Amalfi in Italy. My wife and I were lucky enough to be able to travel there a few years ago and it’s safe to say I was enchanted. In City of Masks, my main city, Anaskar, is perched on a coast and is also lashed by storms, just like Amalfi, but of course I’ve altered many aspects. Above is an example of the kind of waves Amalfi can face throughout winter.
I’ve also used the city of Anaskar as a starting point for history of my world, having characters uncover details about the city’s role in past wars, in settlement of the area and its link to the strange sea beast which threatens it. I’ve tried to do so in order to give the world depth, but in the sense that an iceberg has depth - what's seen above the water is hardly everything.
The city will have its secrets, and it’s my hope that readers of City of Masks will enjoy that just as much as the story itself!
Free ebook with every newsletter sign up in 2016
Ashley Capes is an Australian writer of fiction, poetry and very occasional non-fiction.
Imperial Towers (Never Book 5) - draft 1
Moss Dragon - draft 1
Reed Lavender (working title) - draft 1
Unnamed Spec Fic - draft 1
Whisper of Leaves (sequel) - Outline