Wimsey tee hee

Worldbuilding

I think I'm a sucker for the world-building aspect of AUs. I want explanations for the origin of Slayers that are cooler than the slapdash one the show gave us. Also, I want a Council of Watchers that behaves in some sane fashion that has a deeper explanation than "this is what we needed it to do this week".

So apparently I am cheerfully supplying many answers. One per story series. I just wrote an origin of Slayers story for this new Greek-myth-influenced series, and it was a lot of fun to do.

I've got a totally different origin story for the "Breaking Glass" universe stories. And another one for "Cloud Animals". A magic system in "Breathing". Another magic system in "Reconnection".

I think I have the most fun when I stop worrying about whether things are good in some abstract sense, and just worry about whether they're good in the "I'd think this was cool to read" sense. When I write for my future amnesiac self, I do best at pleasing all of you as well as me. And my inner amnesiac wants neat backstories.

My inner amnesiac wants to write "A rose for Ecclesiastes." It also wants to write Against a dark background, but probably with a less horrifically grim ending. (That's a good review, by the way, and I strongly recommend Banks if you have any interest in SF. Best living writer of it, to my taste.)

What do you want to have written?
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Woldbuilding is deeply cool. I think my favorite thing to write is explanations for holes in the Jossverse that simultaneously upend things a bit.

For instance, in Odd Couples, I needed to have a reason why when Giles' parents are both alive and perfectly nice people, he's never talked about his family aside from a brief mention that his father and paternal grandmother were both Watchers, too. From there, I was able to explain his ability to get knocked unconscious nearly every week for several years without winding up a dribbling mass of brain trauma, his Eyghon period, and even the odd-colored patch in his left eye by revealing that his mother was part demon.

One thing looked at from a different angle suddenly made half a dozen bits of canon make more sense than they ever had to me before. It was one of my proudest moments as a ficcer.
YES! Explanations that make all the puzzle pieces go snick are so cool!

I love "Odd Couples" for tons of reasons: the restaurant scene, for instance, with the couples all shuffled up. Buffy's realistic and not entirely flattering reactions to other people having kids and the sudden appearance of Rupert's parents. And then the detail about Rupert's mom comes out (set up by earlier conversations with his dad, if I recall).

Okay, I'm-a gonna re-read it now.
I want to have written the original piece I'm struggling with now. Which is no doubt not what you're asking... ;-)

Happy writing! (And as for JW's worldbuilding: despite his many great gifts as a writer, his consistency as a worldbuilder is, well... it's like the Buffyverse *looks* like a substantial building, but then one goes up and pushes on it with two fingers, and then the facade falls, whoosh dust wind, and all one can see is the desert behind the set. ;-))
Though oh boy, I understand the impulse. Several of the things I'm working on, I want my Alter Ego to finish writing so I can learn how they're supposed to turn out. And then there's also the Being Done At Last relief.

I suspect the JW one was interested in his characters and not much beyond that. Firefly, much as I enjoy it, is terrible SF.
Bradbury's Dandelion Wine. I haven't read it in ages, but the images are so clear and haunting, the feeling I got reading that book has always stayed with me.

There's some things by Barbara Hambly I like too, but I notice she has a bad habit of doing what I do-- the images are words are hauntingly beautiful-- assuming anyone's actually going to read them all. But I'm not. I skim like crazy with her-- and her plots are good enough that that works. I get just enough description to get by. I should take that as a cautionary tale for my own writing, I think. Bradbury's prose is descriptive, but highly distilled. As, I imagine, Dandelion Wine must itself be....

I'm still working on building the one world, and making it some kind of coherent whole. Kind of like my life, I suppose. I don't know how you juggle the same but not characters in so many different and distinct worlds. But you have my admiration for it.

Hob