The importance of blending the real world with our fantasy worlds to create believable world building.
The first book in the Mylena Chronicles, Greta and the Goblin King, saw our heroine trapped in an alternate world where humans are considered the enemy, and the ground is permanently covered in ice and snow thanks to a curse that also turns all the inhabitants into monsters when the moons are full.
Creating that world was the most fun I’ve ever had, and I couldn’t wait to get back to it when it was time to write book 2, Greta and the Glass Kingdom. Then, after two books, it really started to feel familiar and beloved—like home, but I knew that Greta and the Lost Army would take us out of Mylena and into a world that should feel more familiar…and yet Mylena had become so real that when I wrote this last book, the human world is the one that felt like the fantasy.
I think that’s because Mylena was created with such care and attention to detail that it breathed and lived in my head just as much as the memories of any place I’ve ever been in real life. And the reason it worked out is because Mylena has rules, just like the real world does. Mylena might have two moons and an endless winter, but there are rules for how that works just like the rules that apply to gravity and our ocean’s tides.
The most important thing to keep in mind when writing any book is to honor your world’s rules at all times, even when they become inconvenient. That doesn’t mean you have to have the same rules as the real world, but the rules of YOUR world have to work there and can’t be disregarded. Like, after Greta and the Goblin King when I realized that Isaac’s “gift” of being compelled to visit his people’s dreams once they’ve wished for his help would end up being a pain in the ass in book 2, and would give me about a month of writer’s block, I wished I could have just ignored that part of the world I had built, but it doesn’t work that way.
All in all, the awesome part about being an author is being able to write whatever your imagination can devise. But never forget that real life is inconvenient sometimes, harsh at other times, and never works out the way you think it will…which is exactly how a book should go, too! :D
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