Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Rebuilding a World

There were always little thing about my Aria novel that I never fully envisioned or that I decided upon, then realized later were problematic. Specifically, I'm talking setting. From the shape of the country to the layout of the temple at which Aria trains, I've been reworking, reimaging, reimagining.

This is what I call the daydream phase. When I spend a lot of time examining images in my head, rotating them to make sure everything looks right from all angles, adjusting size and placement of objects. Most of what I see in my head will probably never make it on paper, not in this detail. But it's the hundreds of thousands of little details that I need in order to capture the perfect descriptive sentence that explains everything else.

Along the way, I'm realizing how much of Aria's world is a blur. The immediate world around Aria is crystal clear, but the sounds coming from the street three blocks away are foreign, the shape of the stores near her house are indistinct, the elevation of the temple compared to the rest of the city is undefined. Even the location of the city in comparison to the rest of the empire is tenuous. In the last few weeks, I've jumped it from one location to the next, eyeing the tactical advantages and disadvantages of each location, the economic ramifications of each position, the impact each location will have on the future adventures of Aria.

All in all, I've spent a great deal of time looking at pictures in my head, and not a lot of quantifiable time in front of the computer screen or my notebook. It's both rewarding to find that perfect texture and image, and frustrating to not be making tangible progress.


TikiBird said...

I love that you can envision this whole other world. It must be a good exercise for your imagination after a very different kind of world in Madison!

Rebecca Chastain said...

I ended up envisioning myself to the point of frustration last night. I can picture everything so clearly in my head, so I was trying to sketch out some basic maps, and they came out like crap. Part of the problem is that I'm trying to figure out building placement and shape, so I'm moving things around a lot. But most of the problem was that simple pencil strokes were not producing effortless masterpieces. Either way, I'm taking a break from the drawing part for a while. :)

TikiBird said...

May I suggest an area in which I've been having a lot of experience lately...Legos! Seriously...easy to move, reconstruct, tear down, as you see fit. Plus, hours of fun!