The Happy Writer with Marissa Meyer

Bonus: World-Building with Tamara Moss

June 18, 2020 Marissa Meyer Season 2020 Episode 19
The Happy Writer with Marissa Meyer
Bonus: World-Building with Tamara Moss
Chapters
The Happy Writer with Marissa Meyer
Bonus: World-Building with Tamara Moss
Jun 18, 2020 Season 2020 Episode 19
Marissa Meyer
Transcript
Speaker 1:

Hmm,

Speaker 2:

[inaudible]

Speaker 1:

hello and welcome to the happy writer. This is a podcast that aims to bring readers, more books to enjoy and to help authors find more joy in their writing. I'm your host, Marissa Meyer. Thanks so much for joining me today. We are having our very first writing craft bonus episode in which we are going to discuss the topic of world building, um, as per your request on our recent listener survey, um, it sounded like a lot of you were really eager for more craft specific advice. Um, so I hope that you guys are going to find this episode very helpful and informative. Um, that said a lot of the fun for me in doing this podcast is getting to talk to writers that I really love and admire. Uh, so rather than just like me talking for whatever half an hour about my writing process and how I do my world building, um, I decided that I wanted to bring in a guest author, um, someone who is particularly fabulous at this area of craft, um, to have a discussion about it. Uh, so I think it's going to be really fun. I'm super excited. Today's author is the author of a middle grade fantasy trilogy. That includes linting and the pirate queen Lynn Tang and the forbidden Island and linting and the brightest star. She also happens to be my critique partner of nearly 20 years. Uh, so she and I over the years have had loads of discussions about world building. And I know that she has lots of wonderful wisdom to impart now, joining us all the way from Australia. Please welcome Tamara mosque.

Speaker 3:

Yay. It's so good to talk to you. Yeah, you too. Uh, not too bad, actually. Uh, we're all opened up for the most part, so it's nice, but we'll see how we go. I'm still hiding away

Speaker 1:

still in your, your writer bunker.

Speaker 3:

I am, yes. It's still nice to listen to your podcasts.

Speaker 1:

So here you're opening up down there. Um, we're, we're still fairly locked down in the States. Um, but there are signs of things starting to open up and maybe he's maybe starting to get back to normal a little bit. So fingers crossed.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it takes a little while to be less afraid to go to the shopping center. I have to admit, I didn't go to the, stuck down to the shops to pick up some milk and I had my hands already.

Speaker 1:

Right. I know. I know. And are people still wearing masks and that whole deal?

Speaker 3:

I actually don't. I think I'm saying one person where I'm asked, we haven't seen many people wear masks at all. Oh, interesting. Yeah,

Speaker 1:

I think I can, you know, I think it really depends here where you are. Um, you know, I live in Western Washington and it's been massive everywhere you go. Um, but we have a second place over in Eastern Washington and it's much, much less over there I've noticed. So I think it kind of varies by location here.

Speaker 3:

Hmm. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Anyway, um, so I'm so glad that you're joining us today. Thanks for, for getting up early, to talk to me the time difference of work.

Speaker 3:

Thanks for inviting me and thanks to the PA the people who requested me, that was pretty exciting.

Speaker 1:

That's right. Yes. You had a couple of requests when we asked people who they wanted me to talk to. And of course I'm so excited. Like, yes, I would love to have tomorrow on where there are so many things we can discuss. Um, I was already even leading up to this episode and preparing, you know, my, my discussion topics about world building. I was already thinking ahead and like, Oh, we should do an episode about, you know, beta reading and critiquing and yeah. There's so many things that we could talk about. Yeah. Um, but today we're talking about world building. Um, so actually before we get into the nitty gritty, why don't you start off by telling readers a little bit about the Lin Tang series?

Speaker 3:

Yes. Okay. So Lynn Tang is a story about a young girl who lives on an Island in a village, and she wants to go across the seas and have adventures she's very daring and brave and gets into a lot of trouble, but she's not allowed. She has to stay at home and do chores and things. But there are movies in this world which are mythical creatures. So you've got your pictures and your norms and things like that. And there are dangerous ones too. And Lynn Tang fights off a dangerous when in a plantation and is seen by a pirates queen who is pretty impressed by Lynn Tang and takes it on her ship and they grow up and they have adventures and there's mystery. And there's a stowaway who ends up being best friends. And you weren't telling her why. So there's lots of adventure and it's full of different world building things, which is very relevant.

Speaker 1:

Yes, it is. It is a very complex world. There are lots and lots of different places that Lynn Tang visits over the course of this series. And they all very much have their own unique personalities. Um, which is, you know, just one of the reasons why I thought you were of course, a natural fit, um, for talking world building with me today. Um, but in addition to the Lynn Tang books, um, of course you and I have been critiquing for each other for so long. And so I've read all of your various manuscripts over the years. Um, and you've written in a number of different genres, science fiction and fantasy and contemporary and thrillers. Uh, and no matter the, the plot in the Meadows Gianna, I always come away from reading your work. I'm just so impressed by the, the world building and the, the details that you, you put and construct into your world, um, which is why I wanted to talk to you about it. Cause you know, I'm ready to hear all of your secrets. Um, so my first question for you is when I read your books, the world building feels particularly effortless. Um, and I want to know, is that true?

Speaker 3:

Uh, well, no, it's not, but the scale is to make it look effortless all. Alright. Have you got a couple of hours? Yeah. Okay. Um, starting off, you have to think about what type of story you want to tell and how it matches with your world. So this is specifically for people who are looking at fantasy worlds rather than contemporary, but I'm sure that you can use it for your contemporary world as well. Just like little bits and pieces might help. So you've got your, your world. Okay. So what is the basic outline of the place that your main character lives, not the whole world yet just where your main character lives, is it lack of a village or a city or a FOM set in the middle of nowhere or in a forest? So you need to start thinking about that and that that's kind of where you start.

Speaker 3:

Um, the next thing that I do is believe it, or not draw a map of the entire world and sometimes that map changes, but if you get stuck, Google is your friend. And I will be saying this as a whole podcast, but if you just Google fantasy maps and then you've got a whole bunch of options to choose from the ones that you like, um, and then just draw your own. And then you've kind of got an idea of your geography and your locations of different cities that might be involved in this story. So geography is the next thing. And whether does your character live near a volcano or near the sea? What's the weather like? Is it less hot all year round? Is it deserty? Those kinds of things are going to affect your culture and, um, the way that people are living everyday lifestyles. So from there, then you can start at the nitty gritty thing. That's what I found. Please take everything with a grain of salt. If you don't do it this way, then that's fine. But I'm just kind of hoping if you've got no idea where to begin. So that's where you begin.

Speaker 1:

So when you were answering these questions, you know, deciding are we in a village, are we in a city? Are we by the sea? Are we by the volcano at that point for you? How much of the story and the plot do you already have figured out? It varies book to book.

Speaker 3:

Usually I do have the main threads of the story already worked out because I've known what the story is going to basic for. Let's use Lynn Tang. I knew I wanted an advent shop and I wanted her to travel to lots of different places. I didn't want her to know too much about the world, but I needed her to know enough because I tried to write it where she lived in a place with absolutely nothing that had anything to do with the rest of the world, which meant that when she got on the ship, she didn't know what a desk was. And I thought that's just too hard to explain everything bit by bit, especially because it's a middle grade, I'd spend my whole book explaining to Lynn Tang, what these different things, and that's not what you want. So I ended up changing it. So she did have a better idea. And by doing that, I felt well, why would she have all of these things? And that's where I had the invading forces of the United regions coming in, um, you know, giving them teachers and medical supplies and stuff and introducing her to all of these things.

Speaker 1:

Interesting. So the, the political aspect kind of almost came secondary then to kind of figuring out this, this original starting point.

Speaker 3:

I knew that always was going to be a political thing because I studied Asian studies at the university of Western Australia. And we did a lot about globalization and westernization and all the coaches and how they've changed and the flow between Western cultures and the other cultures. So I had already thought all of that through and wanted to write a story about it. So it was definitely there. I just didn't know how involved it was going to be in the first book and Len Tang. I was going to slowly bring in more and more of the you are and how they affects Linton's world. Just like, as a background thing, fighting with these mythical creatures, but I'd wanted it still to be that that was always in my head originally.

Speaker 1:

That's interesting. Cause it definitely, I mean, it's been so long now, maybe not so much in the first book, but definitely over the course of the series, the politics do play end up playing a pretty major role, um, in the story, uh, how much like when you're developing the, you know, the adventure aspect and that she's going to these different locations, um, by that point, do you now have a pretty good idea of this, this political situation and the almost kind of this evil empire, like lording over everybody and making all these decisions? Um, or was it kind of being developed that storyline being developed as Lynn Tang went on her travels?

Speaker 3:

No, I developed it before hand because I had the plots for each of the books and I was like, this is how much the you are, is going to be invading in the first one. This is where they're going to be in the next one. So I, I had for each book was getting worse and worse progressively. Um, and it was culminating into something. Yeah. I feel like when I'm

Speaker 1:

world building and world building, like to me in my mind is the most difficult part of writing. It's the part that I struggle with the most, um, which is part of the reason why I love talking to writers about world building. Cause I feel like one of these days someone's going to unlock the secret and it won't be so difficult. Um, but I've kind of gotten to this point where I think of it kind of like in a, uh, a pyramid where like the base of the pyramid is the politics and the history of this world. And then you move up the pyramid a little bit and it's more the, the culture and the language and the, the food, the traditions, the holidays, that sort of element, those sort of elements. And then at the top of the pyramid, you have like the really nitty gritty details and the, the sensory things, the smells and the tastes and whatnot. Um, and so that's kind of how I've started approaching world-building is like establish the foundation and then build from there, which takes multiple drafts of a book. At least in my mind

Speaker 3:

always take multiple drafts. You never going to get it in the first one?

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So how much do you feel like your world change or develop over multiple?

Speaker 3:

Oh, so much. So remember how I said, I kind of got those basics. That's when I write the first draft, I barely know anything else. I just know the absolute established basics. I might look up a couple of pictures of what I want this thing to look like. I definitely, well, I'm sorry that the pictures are really important. I feel like you can Google fantasy villages or real life villages, and then just get a sense of what it would be like to stand in that picture and see and smell and hear everything be yourself. But then I just start writing. So in the story that I'm the manuscript that I'm working at on the moment, um, my character is kept talking about this frost that was coming. And I was like, Oh, this is interesting. What is this wondering that eventually the prostate, because I was like, Oh, something has to happen.

Speaker 3:

Oh, I'm a pants. By the way, I was just making these up as I go along, I don't do any flooding. I just kind of know my base elements that are going to happen in the floods. So, um, they're talking about the frost and then, you know, it reached a point where I was like, okay, the process to hit. I I've sensed that the tension has built up enough. The process turns out this frost is a pretty big deal. So I had to go back in the next drop and figure out how people were going to survive this frost every year after year after year. So I had to think about the architecture, um, and the food manufacturing and all of that stuff. So it made it that just wasn't incidental. That ended up being a huge thing.

Speaker 1:

Hmm. Sorry. It was, um, it is all part of

Speaker 3:

I'm sorry for the plot, but it was all part of this pant thing process of, Oh, okay, well this is, this is a thing now. So, um, but as you're going along, your character walks into a room, but you're in a fantasy world. What are you going to say in the room? It's not going to be ordinary things. You have to stop and think,

Speaker 1:

what is it that

Speaker 3:

that is going to be that bad? Is it going to be a pile of pillows? Is it going to be a straw mattress? Is it going to be a massive, uh, four poster bed? You don't, you don't know, unless you are thinking about what matches with the world. And then that's when you start adding in all these little details,

Speaker 1:

that's just the first draft. That's funny. Cause those sorts of details, like the, what type of bedding it would be for me are often the things that come in, like in the third or fourth draft, like I'm not usually thinking about those like very specific things, um, until quite later in the process. Um, but that's just the first draft for you.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. Yeah. Because, because I'm thinking because maybe because you're a plotter, it's different, you'll focused on the plot and I'm trying to keep the plot from happening. Cause I'm trying to figure out what's going to happen next. Oh, I have the character to look around the room and then stop being will happen in the room or someone will come into the room or something will change. And then I think, well, this is where this character needs to go now. Or this is what this character is going to notice.

Speaker 1:

Interesting interpretation. I'd love to pull, you know, people who consider themselves more. Um, pantsers which I'm just going to pause. And for anyone who maybe isn't familiar with these terms, a pantser is someone who writes by the seat of their pants and just follows the story and sees where it goes and applaud her as someone who plots or outlines it in advance. Um, and yes, as you mentioned, I I've always been a plotter. I'm a big fan of the outlines and you've always been a pantser. And so it's one thing that we've always been very different on. And now I'm curious, I'd love to pull people from the different ends of the spectrum and ask them about, you know, how much setting details are you putting in, in the various drafts and see if there's any overlap. That would be a fascinating experiment. Yeah. That would be, I would be very interested, especially there are some books out there where you just, you just

Speaker 3:

a dog at the world building because it's so good. And now I'm wondering whether are photos.

Speaker 1:

I know. No that's funny. Cause I know like one world builder that I know you and I both really admire is Laney Taylor. Um, yeah. In her world building is just spectacular in her, her way with pros and language is just unbelievable and beautiful. Um, and it's been a while since I spoke to her, uh, so you know, don't quote me, but I, I believe I'm pretty sure she is also a pantser. Um, and, and now I'm wondering if that, that method of writing lends itself more to like incorporating more of these less details from the outset,

Speaker 3:

because you're putting off putting the flights, there's no right or wrong. Sorry, that's just the first draft. That's when, uh, you stop and you leave it for a little bit and then things get interesting because that's when you have to really sort out what's going on in your world. So you have the little things, you have those little incidentals and you have the broad things and now it's time to create a world. And that is, uh, this one, this manuscript that I'm working on, I'm going to use that as the example because when time was so long ago that I've forgotten how I've done. What I did is I drew my map. I drew my map of the world and I drew my map of the city that my character lives in. And then I worked out all the way from the creation of people, how it started the migration of people and how they came across each other from the different areas of the world.

Speaker 3:

Um, what happened during that time, the conflicts and the, um, the people coming together as well. And when it became a monarchy or when it became settlements, how the city that my character lives in actually was founded because nobody lived there before. Um, will there be indigenous people in that land? Not in this one, but there could be, whoever is listening to this draft at the moment. Um, and, and then it's like, okay, so how does the infrastructure work? Where did they get the materials from? What did the planes or the forest look like before they started building the city? Um, you've got your rivers and you've got your mountains and you'd go to there's things that might prevent or help. Uh, you've got, um, politics come into it, who was in charge of that point, where did all that start setting up? Uh, and then what happens when other people come in or like, do they trade with other people?

Speaker 3:

So it starts at the very beginning, the very, very beginning. And if you are very stuck and you don't know anything about all that race about how, uh, why colonies were formed and, uh, have a look at what, what kind of stuff was happening and what kind of building materials that we're using, if you're going to be doing a city that is from the beginning, like from the very beginning built up on like marshlands or wherever case. So definitely not effortless. No, no, that was again, like I said, just the beginning. Uh, and then, and then I went into details about everything from the gambling dens to the churches, to the zoo, that's there and the history and the invasion era and the rebellion of resurgence and where the architecture of the paintings came from and all that kind of stuff. So I have pages and pages of pages in my file of where all this stuff is coming from.

Speaker 3:

And again, I'm researching all different kinds of, so for the university, I looked up how Oxford started and to figure out how my university was going to be beginning. And I don't put any of this in the book. Next question, like what percentage of this information is actually going to be in the story? Yeah, I don't, I've barely put any of this in the book, but to be able to set my character in this world and know exactly where this building came from and where they're getting mining these materials from and how the series system works and all of that stuff means that heartfully, the raita will feel comfortable in this world because it feels like where you are and what you're doing.

Speaker 3:

Well, it's become clear to me listening to you talk while you're so much better at this than I am a lot of work. You can just talk, you can just check in, you know, a statue that means something to you, but it doesn't necessarily mean anything to the radar, but you described the Sachi in it. And it's something, it's something that's part of the world that feels like, Oh, okay, there is a whole history here that you don't really know about, but that's just a little of the name of a lecture theater in the university is named after this person, even though you never go into it in your story. That's so funny. I feel like, you know, when I'm

Speaker 1:

writing, because I do try to create like the big things and I need to know what is the political situation and what is, um, if we're in a city we'll roughly how big of a city are we talking and what is the transportation like? And you know, so there definitely are things that, um, you know, I'm having to figure out kind of at the outset, um, or in my, my outlining stage. Um, but then as soon as I like, feel like I've crossed over into territory where it's like, I'm never gonna use this, this information is never going to come up. And then I just throw up my hands and I'm like, Nope, we're done moving.

Speaker 3:

Oh yeah. But it's good to have just to, in your folder for sure. I'm sure it there'd be no reason, especially when do it, but when you're, I'm harping for series, you never know when you're actually going to need that. Yeah,

Speaker 1:

no, that's true. It's funny. Cause I'm trying to think back. Um, when I was doing the lunar Chronicles, I definitely spent a lot more time designing the world and the history, uh, for that than I have for any of my books since. Um, and I remember ending up with, uh, you know, a story Bible that must've been like 60 or 70 pages long and I'd expected that story Bible to be like so useful as I was writing the later books in the series. And then I never looked at it once. And I think that, that might've been the start of me thinking like, Marissa, you really just don't have to do with,

Speaker 3:

but it was in your head though. It's not like he didn't read it. Cause you wrote it. You wrote the Bibles that was still in your head, whether or not you used it later, um, to some like physically used it. You used it in your brain.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. It'd be fascinating. I wonder if I still have it anywhere. Cause it'd be interesting to go back and see how much changed.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. It does change and it will change. Absolutely. You can even change your maps and everything to see if your pull isn't working. There's some things to go back in and fix and that's okay. It doesn't have to be, as soon as you've written it down, that has to be the way right. Otherwise it gets a bit tricky. I would also highly recommend, um, researching a bunch of other cultures from all over the world, just for inspiration because people do everything differently. Do you know what I mean? They family, the family unit is different or the way of eating is different. That the utensils that you use for eating the rites and the rituals and the religions, that was also a big thing that I put into my books is just what do these people believe in and how do they show that faith and how does that affect them and all of those things. Um, so just, you don't have to take from anything, but you can just think, okay, it doesn't have to be this way just because it's this way in my culture. How can this be different in a, in a different way? How does the living space change in my world than it does in my real world? Yeah.

Speaker 1:

No, and I completely agree and I, you know, travel, I feel like is one of the things that for me has influenced, um, my world building and just like my, my thinking about creating fantasy worlds, um, which of course travel. Isn't an option for everyone. Um, but if you, if you can't travel, you know, read travel books or like you're saying research, other cultures and other places in the world, cause you do you, there's things that people do differently that would never even occur to you that might have done differently. Or there's um, of course, foods from elsewhere in the world, they have fruits that they eat here that you can't get here in America or probably Australia. And like you don't even know that that fruit exists. Um, and so to, to learn about things, uh, I agree can really go a long ways toward just kind of expanding what your imagination's potential is.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, yeah. And the different technologies all around the world in, in ancient civilizations as well, the, the, the advanced things, but they were doing that. People just don't give them credit. I know it was the aliens.

Speaker 1:

Um, I was gonna, Oh, so that actually brings me to a question, um, because in Lin Tang, you know, you do have this plot in which she is traveling to different places. And as I mentioned before, each one kind of has its own, you know, unique flavor. Um, so was that inspired by, um, your researching of different, uh, cultures from around the world? Or how did you go about like making sure that every place in this world felt so unique?

Speaker 3:

Cool. Okay. Well, I definitely used our real world as a basis just to get started. And also because I'm, this, this book is for children, so they, they're not gonna recognize a completely different world that there's nothing that's the same here. So they need to have some kind of foundation that they can, they can clean to, to start with. Um, so yes, Lynn Tang lives in a world that in her village is very much Southeast Asian inspired. There's nothing specific from it, but it's just because I live in Western Australia where I think every single person I know has been to Bali and all of the students, when I go to visit schools, they've all been to Bali. So when I say, well, Lynn Tang lives in a place that's really hot, but really wet. They understand what that means. And, and we talk about, um, rainforest and things like that, which in Western Australia where desert, we don't see rainforest, but because they've been to Bali, they have some understanding of it. So that had a lot to do with, um, why I chose that particular weather and, and geography full in Tang. Um, so that was my basis. That was my start. Uh, and, uh, like I said, I did Asian studies. So a lot of them were Asian based, Asian inspired, but I didn't want to take anything specifically from there, but it's nice to, to kind of brush by those things that kids might recognize.

Speaker 1:

[inaudible] you touched briefly on, uh, using, researching or Googling fantasy maps, um, or Googling pictures of different things. What are some of your like favorite resources that you use, um, to get ideas for different elements of your world?

Speaker 3:

There isn't one, because I think that finding it all from all over the place is great. Um, and it's for different things are going to have different needs. So I have literally Google image search and I will look up, you know, fantasy cities and I will just scroll through and I will be inspired, Oh, I want to make this graphic or, Oh, that looks interesting. Made out of censoring or, um, Oh, the Amalfi karst Serbia. So, um, it's those kinds of pictures that, that make me think, what do I want this story to feel like? And, and I'll, I'll click on one and then I'll definitely go to Pinterest and have a look through there as well. I'm sure you are well aware of that considering you use it all the time. Love Pinterest. And look, I use fantasy name, generators.com. Um, I don't usually use the names that I find there, but they will inspire me to come up with my orange, if you're really stuck for a name overhead or something that you you're like, Oh, I don't know what to call this constellation. Then I go there, get an idea of roughly what constellation names look like. And then I just kind of worrisome some lettuce together until it makes a cool sounding word. That is a cool, that's a great tip. I love that idea. Yes, it's very good. And I just thought, look, this has got nothing to do with world bedding, but I just discovered reverse dictionary. How did I not know about this reverse dictionary?

Speaker 3:

Oh, it's been my last day. So you're just talking a couple of words about what you're trying to get the word that you can't think of it. And so you just talk in a couple of ways to do with it, and then it just comes up with some possible suggestions for what the word you're looking for.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Yeah. When you have those brain blips and you're like, it's right on the tip of my tongue. Yeah, yeah. That's dictionary. That's a good resource. Um, but now I also like Pinterest is one of my ultimate go tos. And like, I've, you know, over the years when you're just scrolling through Pinterest, you're not looking for anything particular, but you will come across just these amazing photographs of, um, like ruins from ancient civilizations or, you know, old decrepit castles that are falling apart or like these lush jungles or just these amazing settings. Um, and so, you know, I years ago started just throwing all of these cool pictures into an inspiration board, um, and whatever I'm now starting a new fantasy project. It's like my first place that I go to, um, to just kind of go through those pictures and see, okay, what feels right? What what's inspiring me today.

Speaker 3:

Yes. And the best thing about Pinterest is when you click on a picture that you're interested in, then it takes you to a page where there's a whole bunch of other pictures, just like it. And you can just fall down the rabbit hole. It's good. Fun. So many rabbit holes on Pinterest. Um, I would also, um, one thing

Speaker 1:

while you were talking that I haven't used this in a long time, but for people who are writing stories, um, set in a real world place, but maybe they're not able to travel to, or don't have access. Um, when I was writing Scarlet, which is set in, part of it is set in kind of a futuristic version of France, I just went on Google maps and there's like that street view option. Um, and so you can essentially walk along the streets of different cities. Um, and that was so useful because again, like there could be a statue or a fountain that you wouldn't know, is there, if you haven't actually been there or like, does this street have window boxes? Do the houses have shutters, like all of these little details, um, that can really help, you know, bring some of that authenticity to it.

Speaker 3:

Oh yeah. Google maps is also your friend. Yeah. And, um, when you talking about cities, if you are making up your own city, try to think about the different districts that you would have in that city and use real world examples or from your own city, a city that you know, well, um, what section is this? What kind of people do you find here? What's the socioeconomic thing that's over here and where's the parliament pod. And where are the outskirts where the farms, where the mining sections, you know, where all the artists yes.

Speaker 1:

And do you, when you're, you know, you've talked a couple of times about that you will draw maps of your world. Do you also draw maps of your cities?

Speaker 3:

Yes. Yeah, I do. Um, again, Google is so good for just like a fantasy city layout. You've got a lot there to get you basis. Just, just to give you an idea, don't be afraid to have a look at what other people have done. Don't feel like you have to make it up out of nowhere. You can start from what somebody else has done and build on that, or change that, or use a little bit of that. You know, people aren't asking you to make it up entirely from your head, because it's just not going to be as detailed. I've tried it. And it's not as detailed as if you've got a base of somewhere to start.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no, that's good advice. Um, I agree. I always kind of start with something in the real world kind of anchor it, um, and to get you started and then you can see where your imagination takes you from there.

Speaker 3:

Yes, exactly.

Speaker 1:

Um, okay. So we, I do have a special world-building centric lightening round for you today. Um, as I said, I'm horrified because I totally studied for your normal lightning round and I am not prepared for this one at all. Well, before we do the lightning round, is there anything else that you wanted to add about,

Speaker 3:

uh, how to be pro world builders? Um, Hm. I would say read a lot of books that have good world-building and, uh, lots of different cultural, different world buildings. So not just the medieval Europe style building. Um, there's so many out there, so you just need to look up those authors, find out what kind of books they're writing in that fantasy world. I've just, I've just picked up, uh, children of blood and Bahrain and I'm reading deathless divide. That's another good one. Um, so you've got to have a look at how other coaches that are being portrayed and then get inspired from that think. Wow, that's really good. Don't don't feel like, Oh no, that's so good. I can't do that. Wow. That's really good. I want to see if I can do something like that. Oh, look, there's another thing that I need to tell you.

Speaker 3:

You have to think of everything where it's coming from and where it's going. So if you have furniture made out of this wood, where does that would come from? If you've got pens or, or quills or ink, where do they come from? How does the garbage collection work and just go through your normal day and think, how would this have worked in my fantasy world? Where does do they have cups of coffee? Where does the coffee come from? Where do the cups come from? What kind of culture is the coffee shop sort of thing. So, yeah, it helps to think of those little things. If your character is interacting with the world, which is the only time that I like to put in most of my detail, it's just when they're interacting with the world, I think about how that actually works in that world.

Speaker 1:

No, that's a good point. And it's interesting to think how many times, you know, your brain might go down one of those rabbit holes and you start wondering, well, Hey, where does this coffee come from? Um, and you never know, it might open up a whole other subplot that you hadn't considered. Um, and, and that, that sort of kind of magical connection between setting and plot and character. Um, you know, you never know, kind of, what's going to inspire changes in the story when you really start digging deeper into those details.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely. Okey-doke hour

Speaker 1:

world building lightening round. Number one. What authors do you admire for their excellent world building skills?

Speaker 3:

Oh, okay. Well let me think. Well, let me say a lot, obviously I haven't read any of her other books. Oh, hang on. I have six of cries and I'm not house with unbelievable. I just learn a way it was so good. So, yeah. Um, but I haven't read all the books yet. They're all fabulous. They're all fabulous.

Speaker 1:

What is one world-building detail from your books that you are particularly proud of?

Speaker 3:

Oh my gosh. I wish you'd given me these questions in advance. Um, let me say, um, man, it's the little ones. I like just the little details. I know. That's what makes it feel real. Yeah. Okay. This is the smallest thing that I can think of the rain mosque. They come up after the rain, the little white moths that the birds snap up. Like it's the littlest things that make your world feel real. That is my favorite thing about it. So rain, Matson, Tang. Okay.

Speaker 1:

Um, and lastly, not world-building, but what advice would you give to help someone become a happier writer?

Speaker 3:

So I have, it took me a long time. We didn't talk about this, but it took me 10 years to get published to like a lot of your guests. It was a hard journey. And there were times when I was writing just to get published and it was heartbreaking. And even after, um, Lynn came out and I was writing manuscripts, I was writing with the goal of being published and it hurts when it doesn't work out. So if you want to be happy, you need to write because you love writing. It needs to be about enjoying every word that you write down. It's not about the end product. If you're writing to get the end product and that's it, then you're not enjoying yourself as a writer to just go in and just enjoy it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. I wish we'll have you back on a future episode because I do you have a wonderful, uh, writing journey of adversity and determination, um, that I would love for listeners to hear. So in our next episode, we will dig deep into your writing past.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. Hopefully it will inspire some people because God, I needed that. I needed those podcasts when I was going through that about other authors who really struggled, but I'll tell you what, what got me three often was reading your blog, Marissa journos, that I would go back and I would read about, Hey, I have this idea. What if Cinderella was a cyborg and I watched as each draft was completed, or how many words you did. And I remembered that it was just about the fun of the process, which is where my advice came from. It's about the process. It's not about the end result, which gives you the most joy. We had so much fun back then. And then how exciting it was when you got, when you got your agent and then like three months later, you publishing contracts. So that was very inspiring for me. That was what I clung to every, every time it got hard, I would just read your story again, which is why I'm very sad that you left journalism. I know, and I don't really blog much anymore, but we have Instagram. Lastly, where can people find you? I'm on

Speaker 1:

Instagram and Twitter at writer Moss. MRSS

Speaker 3:

um, I'm on, um, my

Speaker 1:

I'm on Facebook tomorrow, most author and my email addresses.

Speaker 3:

No,

Speaker 1:

try that again. My website address is tomorrow most.com.edu. Awesome. Thank you so much for joining me for my very first craft episode. Oh, I heard it was good. I heard that people got a lot out of it. I know. Well, I feel inspired. I'm like so ready to go. And I'm currently in the process of building my fantasy world for my next book. So I'm, I'm super inspired. I can't wait my try pantsing it. Oh gosh. I can't. That would be a fun experiment though. Alright, thanks Tamara. Um, readers definitely check out linting and the pirate queen and Tamara's whole series a and of course, if you are able to support your local independent bookstore, we encourage you to do so. Please subscribe to this podcast. So you will always be in the know about new episodes. You can find me on Instagram at Marissa Meyer author and at happy writer podcast until next time stay healthy and cozy in your bunkers, or maybe you're in Australia and the world is opening up for you. In which case, I hope you get to get out and get some awesome fresh air and whatever life throws at you today. I do hope that now you're feeling a little

Speaker 2:

[inaudible].