Even though I could never write the stuff, I love SciFi/Fantasy stories and movies. I think it's because I'm in awe of the talent required to pull them off well. Can I tell you that I view J.R.R. Tolkien as some kind of god, considering that he not only invented Middle Earth but several milleniums' worth of history to go with it? Plus a cast of literally thousands of characters. And languages. The guy invented complete languages, for crying out loud! Ones that actually sounded realistic when coming from Liv Tyler's mouth.
Anyway, if I continue down the path I've chosen writing-wise, I won't be required to do any major universe shifting. But I still have to build a world in which my characters work and play and love and fight. I'm a big fan of series featuring the same characters across stories (coughBrockmann'sTroubleshootersandTallDarkandDangerouscough). I have so many characters running through my head who all know each other and work together I've got a solid dozen books waiting on queue to be written, all of which take place in the Lynn Version of the world.
As such, I've spent the past couple of weeks doing some serious world building. My world actually takes place in the very near future. Because here's the deal. By the time I write my books, edit them, shop them around for months/years/decades and hopefully get The Call, plus the year to 18 month lead time between The Call and Book On The Shelf, whatever I write today is going to be years obsolete.
I know I can get around that little issue by simply not dating my books. Don't say more than "Present Day" in any timeline specified. I get that. What's harder, though, is that time is passing between real world events that I might want to reference and the ages of my characters. For example, say I have a guy who served in the First Gulf War when he was 22 years old. Today that guy would be 36. Since I can't move the War out of 1991, every year that passes my hero gets older and older, unless, of course, I want to have him get younger and younger when he was overseas. I don't imagine publishers are too interested in a story about a hero who served in a war when he was 12 years old.
So, do you see my problem?
Yeah, you are telling me what I need to do is just shut up and get busy writing and this all becomes a non-issue.
But, I would argue, I'm having a lot of fun building my world. I'm having a blast assembling a team of warriors, coming up with the things about them that are the same and the things that are different. I'm enjoying the research and loving creating their histories, both as individuals and as a group. I have several large spreadsheet cheatsheets that help me keep the facts straight, and since I'm a true spreadsheet geek at heart, this act of organizing and arranging is just pure geek heaven for me.
Too, I'm enjoying manipulating the world as it is to create artifical bad guys and crisis scenarios that require big time heroes and heroines to solve. It's fun making up fake countries and cities full of imaginary intrigue, danger and chaos. And it's even more fun giving my guys and gals the powers to fix everything in the end. Talk about feeling like a god.
In fact, I can kind of see why JRR Tolkien spent decades immersed in his own imaginary world. I'm certainly not about to invent any languages, but this