Guest posts for the Ways into Worldbuilding series will appear most Wednesdays through early November. This week’s guest is the award-winning author Louise Marley.
Louise Marley is a former concert and opera singer, and the author of 18 novels of fantasy, science fiction, and historical fiction. A graduate of Clarion West ’93, she has twice won the Endeavour Award for excellence in science fiction, and has been shortlisted for the Campbell, the Nebula, and the Tiptree Awards. Her historical fiction, the Benedict Hall trilogy, is written under the pseudonym Cate Campbell. She lives on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State with her husband Jake and a rowdy Border Terrier named Oscar.
Aside from reader expectations, why do you build worlds? Is it more of an obligation than a pleasure? If the latter, what is enjoyable or rewarding about this aspect?
Since my inspiration is often visual, an image that comes to my mind, I love worldbuilding. When I read, I expect to go someplace beyond the mundane world we live in, and when I write, I very much want to do the same. I yearn for different scenery, different cultures, different societies, and a touch of the fantastic become real.
How important is worldbuilding in your stories? Is it a goal for you to create an innovative world, or do you favor having the milieu sit more comfortably in the background?
Worldbuilding for me takes third place. First place is in the firm grasp of character development. Second is plot (hardest of all, for this writer.) Third is worldbuilding, which influences both #1 and #2. I often feel more free in worldbuilding than in anything else, because I can create it in just the way I like, and then adapt the characters and the plot to fit. Read More…