CHRONICLE OF DESTINY, and its sequel, takes place on a world called Lucksphere in a galaxy far away from Earth. (Insert Star Wars joke here.) A world where anything and everyone is literally made of power/magic.
I don’t honestly remember when I first conceived of this tale. I do know I have very old notes in a notebook from some ten years ago, but those notes bear only a superficial resemblance to the final product. I can’t even tell you what first brought it out of the cosmos of my brain-i-verse. It was just there one day.
Whenever I’m building a brand new world, I always do what I call a ‘hard outline.’ I detail everything down to the last nut and bolt. I make up the rules of the world, establish the societies/races, and figure out exactly what makes the planet tick. The more complicated the story will be, the more complicated my outline. Oh, I definitely deviate from my original plans at times—I have very strong-willed characters—but the actual world rules don’t often fluctuate.
For me, the fun of a fantasy world is trying to keep them Earth-like in some ways to be relatable, but also making them a new experience all at the same time. One of the interesting things that I’ve discovered is the use of the word ‘earth’ itself. We use it a lot: earthquake, element of earth, earthy, earthen, etc. But, let’s be fair here. In a fantasy world, are they going to even know what ‘earth’ is? One could argue that they spoke a language that evolved the same word, sure, but that’s stretching it even for fantasy. (Etymology here.)
Lucksphere, therefore, needed to use a different word for that particular element. I ended up choosing the word ‘soil.’ I also made sure that earthquakes were merely quakes, and that other variants of the word were changed to something of a similar meaning. (FYI, this is another reason sci-fi is not my normal writing style. I’m nitpicky.) I ended up encountering the same word games when I opted to use Magi instead of humans. Words like ‘humanity’ and ‘humane’ had to go out the window, too.
Setting built, I moved on to outlining the races and how they generally looked. It was then on to the powers that said races could use, and the physiology of the races as well. I built my societies, which in this story is arguably one of the most critical aspects since it is the laws of the world that drive the entire plot.
Then, finally, with all that done, I built my characters and started to give them the rough shape of their story to move within. It can take me days to get around to writing even the first page just because I get so involved in my outline. Yet once I have that outline done, I can rush headfirst into the tale and not worry about contradicting myself down the line. For Chronicle, it was especially important that my world be secure before I started messing with it. The last thing I want to do to my readers is tell them one thing then change my mind later. (Well . . . most of the time anyway. Plot twists are like a force of nature: they just happen without my control.)