Some days, I just don’t have it in me to write. Actually, that describes a lot of days, but I’d like to change that. When I count up my daily words, I don’t just count the ones that go into the work itself, I count all “support” words as well. Namely, the words that go into my so-called “world bibles”. The notes I prepare to remind me about how one culture behaves as opposed to another.
Honestly, I don’t write the bible stuff all that often. I tend to be very good at keeping such things straight in my head and I can add to them as necessary. But the last couple of days I’ve been really tortured to get down some words for my current work in progress, Blood Speak. I think this is because I’ve written up to where my mental outline goes and I’m not sold on how to progress the action. Thus, my interest in finally writing up a piece of the world bible.
Just writing words get the creative juices flowing. Even if it’s written rather dry, simple, facts regarding politics, geography, and ecology. Thinking about the ecology of an archipelago (the geography of where my current story is being told) can help in how I want to shape the story. Taking a day writing out 1277 words that I had amorphous in my head has helped nail down a few things. Maybe not precisely where the story is going, but it has helped to flesh out certain motivations of the surrounding cast of people. Deciding more clearly how a population might think politically and economically is really going to help flesh out my ancillary characters.
Hey, it’s more meat on the bones. Even if I don’t have the full skeleton as yet, taking this time has certainly benefited the work. So the next time you’re at a loss as to where your story may be going, try figuring out in more detail how your world actually works. This might be just the trick you’re looking for in terms of motivating you and your characters.