I deliberated – having mentioned meridium in my last post – whether I should turn my attention there for my next post on the new series, but I decided that having started with Barra-Dohn, another post on the general category of ‘setting’ was in order.
Part of my early planning for this series, several years ago when I started to first plan and brainstorm about it, was to create a new fantasy world that was truly a ‘world.’ What I mean by that, is that it is typical to create fantasy worlds that, more or less, are just really, really big continents. This is very convenient for placing maps in the front of books – all the action takes place on the single land mass, there laid out neatly for you – but I liked the idea of trying to generate a complete globe.
This concept fit very nicely with the idea of a story like The Wandering that was to follow the adventures of a small band of exiles as they traversed this new world. And so, I committed to a larger geographic vision than a single continent and began to map out an arc for the series that would involve stops in very different locales.
There are dangers here, in that people could fall in love with a place and regret leaving it, or a reader might feel that they are skimming across the surface of the world and not really getting to see its depth, but hopefully these pitfalls will be avoided and the sheer variety of encounters and cultures will entertain as the story unfolds.
As a final note, I’ve been thinking about some of my possible influences here, and two come to mind fairly readily. As a kid, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader was my favorite Narnia book, in large measure because each separate island felt like its own separate story/world, and I liked the variety. More recently, I have very much enjoyed Isaac Asimov’s Foundation novels, both the original trilogy and the four he wrote much, much later in life, and they present not just a variety of continents on a large globe, but a variety of planets in a huge galaxy. The scope of what I’m attempting is large, but not nearly that large, so hopefully I’ll be able to create a varied and fantastical world of similar enjoyment to these others.
I guess we’ll see!