Tuesday, September 23, 2014

World Building with K.G. Stutts

When I set out to write the first book in my sweet sci-fi series, Mirror Image, originally I didn’t have to do a lot of world building. The story is set modern day, here on Earth, in Charleston, South Carolina. There weren’t space ports or aliens interacting. Just Madison Mackenzie Rhodes, finding out she’s a clone. The first half of the book is all character building. I knew this story would be very character driven and if my reader didn’t connect with Maddie, then there was no point to it.

One of my best friends is also a writer who spends hours world building. She actually spends more time on world building than she has writing some of her stories. To her, that’s the fun. I never quite understood until I reached the second half of writing Mirror Image.

As a sci-fi fan, the possibility of other planets, cultures, and species has always fascinated me. So when it came time for Maddie to leave Earth, my mind reeled in wonder. I wanted something different than what we have seen on sci-fi programs. I wanted to make the reader feel like they were no longer on Earth.

Inspiration for the Aurora planet, which is a neutral world in the galaxy, came from watching the sunset at the beach. The colors were so vivid. I could still close my eyes and see the sky. That’s what I wanted for Maddie for the first time she left Earth. She needed to ease into it. So the planet was locked in a permanent aurora borealis affect. But if there wasn’t full sun, what would the rest of the planet look like? Small vegetation with rough, brown grass. No birds in the sky. No natural water spring. It all made sense to me.

I’m currently writing the third book in the Mirror series. I always try to top myself whenever it comes to creating a different planet or species. I’ve encountered tall, ogre-like beings, trolls, aliens whose arms move like rubber bands, beings with wings, and so much more. It’s a lot of fun to let the imagination run rapid.

Some writers don’t like world building or think it’s hard. Some, like myself, love it. My advice is to not skip out when planning your story or you might miss something important.

Here is an excerpt from Mirror Reformed:

Jackson and Mack climbed into a flyer toward the alpha site to meet with the contingent of representatives in the ISC organization. Races from across the galaxy joined to meet with them. There were dozens that couldn’t meet due to the distance in the short amount of time Jackson gave them, so they were being representative by a hologram.

This looks like the Jedi counsel,” Mack murmured. Jackson nodded.

Over sixty representatives sat on red cushioned rounded chairs in a circle. Mack and Jackson stood at the center with a universal translator droid. They took a moment for everyone to get settled before speaking.

My friends, thank you for meeting with us on such short notice,” Jackson began.
“What is this about?” A tiny voice squeaked the question.
Mack looked over at the hologram image of Rachel from the Agonahan home world. “Earth is being threatened.”
A garbled voice from a yellow skinned Senub race grabbed their attention. It took a moment before the universal language droid translated. “By whom?”
“A race known as the Synth,” Jackson explained.

The gathered crowd began to speak all at once at the mere mention of the name. It took several minutes to calm everyone down.

Surely you must be mistaken,” a representative from Bespe spoke up.
“If only we were,” Mack said.
“The Synth died out thousands of years ago,” the Bespian argued.
“Always been a mystery, the Synth are,” said a Solarian said. “Much we don’t know.”
“If they have resurfaced, this could only spell doom for the galaxy,” Rachel squeaked.
“Bed time stories,” a Zomhun roughly said. “The Synth isn’t real.”
“No, they are very real,” Jackson replied. “If you don’t believe me, check your own sensors in quadrant seven. You’ll see their ship.”

Several of the contingents muttered, pulling out their comms to speak with their ship. Mack and Jackson waited with baited breath as the responses began to filter in. Each ship reported just as Jackson had said.

Seems the human speaks the truth,” the Bespian reluctantly admitted.
“Hu-man need help from Argafforn?” the cousin of the Fabrega asked.
“We’re asking for anyone’s help who can give it,” Jackson said.
A Syareblayn named Murokk snorted. “Help? To evacuate your planet?”
“To fight them,” Mack replied.
“You can’t fight them. You can’t reason with them.”
“So what do you suggest then, Murokk?” Mack asked. “For us to give up?”
“Surrender will save millions of your kind.”
“No.” Jackson shook his head.

A long and loud shriek from a Boshol made everyone cover their ears. After a moment, the droid translated.

Your people will perish. Do not ask for mine to do the same.”
“Arrogant,” a Eaygrn huffed. “You Terrans are too arrogant for your kind.”
“We should help,” a Qeete named Murrsee stated.
“I agree,” a Setol said. “The Synth will not stop with the Terrans.”
“Do you at least have a plan other than asking us to risk our lives?” Murokk asked.
“We have a few,” Mack stated.
“We understand this is our fight,” Jackson said. “We do have strategies in place for this upcoming battle. We’re not asking for you to do anything we wouldn’t do for you in this situation.”

The room fell silent. The droid translated for several of the alien races. A murmur began in the crowd, growing among the gathered representatives.

The Intergalactic Security Commission was created for this purpose,” Murrsee spoke up. “What kind of allies are we if we expect you to come to us, but we turn you away in your time of need?”
Mack let out a sigh of relief. “Thank you.”


Growing up in Texas and later South Carolina as the youngest in a house full of science-fiction fans, K.G. Stutts had her natural curiosity and imagination nurtured since birth by family movie nights where they would watch Star Wars, Indiana Jones and even timeless Disney favorites.

A prolific writer of sci-fi, romance and mystery, K.G. draws much of her inspiration from those amazing works that gave her an appreciation for telling rich, compelling, character-driven stories for all audiences.

She is a sci-fi series writer with Distinguished Press and also has several romance novels available. She is also a contributor to http://iwassociation.com and http://thewritingnetwork.com.

She lives in North Carolina with her husband, Brad and works for a customer service call center full time. She's a lover of Star Wars, Star Trek (original, TNG, and Voyager), Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis, Muppets, Garfield, Disney, Indiana Jones and is a big football, wrestling, and hockey fan.

Social Media:

Twitter: @KGStutts





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