At this point, I've gone far enough that I have a very decent idea of what the world is like, but I don't have a story yet - and while some stories might get away with having a really interesting world and no plot, that wasn't really my intent.
Ah, you say, but isn't establishing intent supposed to be one of the first things you do?
Yes, I agree, it is. But I was impatient, and no one is perfect.
So, since the intent of building this world is to give my story an interesting setting (which I should have established to begin with) I can now move forward into actually dipping my toes into the narrative.
It's important to note, I think, that while I did a great deal to establish the world up front, I didn't set everything in stone. The world is not "complete," but there's enough information that I have something to go off of when a new question comes up. There's no "wrong" way to do this, so there's no "right" way, either. It's important to keep your own strengths and weaknesses in mind, though. I have trouble making things consistent if I don't develop the world up front, and if I overdevelop then I get to be too concerned with facts and figures - that's when my narrative starts to suffer.
So for my own sake and for that of my readers, I'm going to quit while I'm ahead and start developing the story that I want to tell in this world.
In most cases, I discard the majority of whatever story came out of my dream in favor of something more consistent and coherent. This time, I'm still very interested Violet and her brother.
I'm going to set a 5-minute timer and freewrite on them and their story (which is, I find, an excellent method for getting past writers' block or inconvenient starting points).
Ready, set, go!
Violet watched the sunlight stream through the window, thinking to herself that if she could just get to one that didn't have a teacher watching it or a camera pointed at it, then she could get out of school for a couple hours and finally process what it was they were trying to tell her.
But since she hadn't had the chance, she sat at her desk with her chin on her hand, looking out the window at the clouds that passed in fluffy herds, like sky sheep. The teacher was sitting quietly at his desk while the class (supposedly) worked on their assignment. There was nothing to do but to work - or do nothing.
There was a moment, just a moment, when she considered trying to reach out to her brother. Siblings were allowed to contact each other at any point, which she thought was odd considering how much effort they put into breaking up the family unit. But they were less than a year apart, and this would affect him, too. Surely he was learning about it in his classes, too.
Ah, no - but it was consistent, even though it seemed not to be. They separated the children from the parents, but they wanted children to forge alliances and rivalries in their own age groups. It made things more interesting for the Players.
"Yes, Violet?" The teacher was looking at her. When had she put up her hand?
"May I use the restroom, please?" Maybe he could have answered her questions, but he worked for the people that wanted to control her. He would give her only the information they wanted her to have.
The teacher glanced at the clock. "There's only 5 more minutes to the period. Can you hold it until then?" He was smiling pleasantly, but there was a pointed look on his face when he glanced at her assignment. The paper was still blank.
"No, sir. I really need to go right now." Let him deal with a blank assignment. She would pass the tests that actually mattered.
"Very well, then. Here's your pass." He held out the slip of green paper, and Violet walked to the front of the class to take it from him.
"I hope you're not planning anything that'll get you in trouble," he murmured, as she folded the pass and stuck it in her pocket.
"No, sir. I never get in trouble if I can help it, sir."
This piece may never make it into the final story, but it's a good place to start with my scribbles. Expect to see more of Violet (and maybe some of Charlie) in future posts while I develop more of her and her world. :)
Until then, Inklings, what worlds have you built recently, and why did they capture your imagination?