I sometimes wonder if God, should such an entity exist, once sat around a table with multiple pieces of A4 paper stuck together and a pencil in his hand, deciding to start with a coastline.
I wonder this, because this is how I start. Most recently, in fact, I started with 20 pieces of A4 graph paper taped together and pinned to the wall in my bedroom, armed with an arsenal of pencils, a ruler, an eraser and other such utensils. You can be assured, as I looked upon my canvas, that I felt like a god. It is with this in mind that I posit; God is a fantasy author. His voice is strong and apparent throughout, his narrative fluid, if not flawless, but then, who amongst us is? Like any good author, he does awful things to the peoples of his world. Good and evil war against each other, so far as such constructs exist. He wonderfully weaves trope and stereotype amongst archetype and originality. This all beside the point, really. Little more than a tangential arc I struck upon whilst circumnavigating the globe inside my head.
I have begun worldbuilding again. This, ordinarily, is a good thing. My favourite thing, in fact. On this occasion, it is something of a burden because it’s interrupted my flow on another story, and has since drained my motivation and inspiration with that project. That in mind, I have new characters and new magic that I’m enjoying, new themes and tones that I look forward to toying with, and women with whom I look forward to dallying. I have trains and guns and steam-engines, slaves and whores and polytheism in its purest form. I have arenas and kingdoms vying for blood by pitting their most vile criminals against one another and honouring the victor. I have steampunk aesthetics and a traditional fantastical sheen. It’s all rather fun again, which I have needed of late.
I am of the opinion that conflicting ideas will battle ruthlessly against one another, appearing like nothing more than a fight scene in a Joe Abercrombie novel, until the strongest is left standing. Or, at the very least, conscious. And so I have opted to embrace this new story, and leave the House of Keys at the Waystone Inn for the time being, to be collected at a later date.
In closing, time to indulge my God complex.