I hate worldbuilding.
That's pretty awful, considering I write science fiction and fantasy. I mean, all genres need strong worldbuilding, but if one is creating a world from scratch, it's definitely more work. The rules of the world have to work.
In fact, there have to be rules to begin with, or the world won't be consistent.
And, yeah. I hate the time and energy it takes to think these things through.
I can say with some authority that it is vastly easier to write in a world that already exists. My WIP, which is currently undergoing post-beta revisions, is set in two worlds: the real one (on the Jersey shore), and an alternate reality (in my brain).
Guess which chapters are stronger.
To be fair, I've been to this particular beach town a dozen times. It's my Favorite Place On Earth. Mr. A and I honeymooned there. We've fantasized about moving there (too expensive).
In short, I know the place. And other than changing a few names and Googling the main drag to double check the names of cross streets, it wasn't hard to plunk my characters in the middle of a place that already exists.
Now, you'd think I would also know a place I've created myself. In fact, you'd think a place like this would reveal its intimate details to me in such a way that I start believing it's a REAL PLACE. And, naturally, this would be reflected with ease in the unfolding of my story.
Because--and I'll bet many of you will relate to this--I see bits of my world and I understand them, and then I make the (deadly) assumption that everyone else will understand them, too. I describe just enough to create the setting and hint at facts I feel may be important, and I go on my merry way.
And then the beta readers come back with a big, fat HUH???
Oh. My partially-developed-and-not-well-explained world doesn't make sense?
WELL, WHY NOT?? It makes sense to me!
Okay, I don't say that. I mean, I used to say that, back when I was writing Novel One (*shudder*) and Novel Two (*groan*). But not anymore. I really do understand the mechanics of worldbuilding now. And the importance of clarity.
I still hate it, though. And I still consistently fall short.
Which admittedly makes me feel incompetent.
It's funny. I'm a visual-spatial learner, which means I have to SEE things to truly understand them. And I think that works against me when I worldbuild, because you can't exactly SEE what's in your imagination.
You might think drawing a map would help someone like me, yes? But I hate drawing maps and actually suck at it. Which is probably directly related to the fact that I am irreparably directionally challenged.
It's true. I hold up the thumb and index finger of my left hand to make the letter "L" in order to know which way is left.
So, yeah. That makes things even worse.
Anyway. I know there's hope for my WIP, because my YA dystopian moved from "Huh?" to repeated compliments on my worldbuilding. I can do this thing.
I just hate it.
Some of you love worldbuilding. I WISH I COULD BE LIKE YOU. Maybe if you tell me WHY you love it, I'll catch some of your enthusiasm. And maybe if you tell me HOW you do it, I'll learn something new that just might lessen my struggle a bit.
I'm ready to take notes...