Building a City

My current work in progress is getting slowed a little. I would have been back here sooner if I hadn’t had a few panics about it. All that is getting straightened out now, though.

This story, which I am planning to be my first novel of substantially more than 100k words, takes place in a city. It takes place in a fantasy city with a lot of weird technology that amounts to being slightly more advanced than our own in places, and a long way behind in others.

I’ve never lived in a big city, though I’ve been to New York, Chicago, and even Delhi. These cities all present very compelling settings to me and have really affected the places I’ve written lately. Delhi, especially, which I visited on a college trip in 2011 struck me as a very vibrant, at times beautiful and, at some others, grotesque city.

I think it was partly the visible layers of past, present, and future layered over each other

The city in my story is even older than the oldest cities on Earth (ah, the wonders of fictional worlds), and it has been built upon and ruined by more creatures than just humans. I don’t want to spoil too much, but I am very pleased with how its going overall.

I’ve also found a place in this mighty and ancient city for a favorite sort of worldbuilding: the lists. I have been enjoying making up streets and neighborhoods, and even specific buildings in a few places all morning (Took some time off the word count when I realized how little I really knew about the city).

I like to do this sort of thing in excel. One cell is for the name, and one for the map-code (So I can write a simple few characters on my map and relate them to the text here). Then I do a basic description of each district. What sort of creatures worked to make it, and the sort of people who live there now.

I’m a veritable ball of energy right now, and very happy both with work and with life.


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