Guest Post: Alien World Building

Greetings to all!

Today please welcome sci-fi romance author, Debra Soles!
Debra surprised me by providing an excellent guest post that fits right in with the Designing Alien Cultures series I ran.  Debra's post focuses on world-building, and makes a marvelous complement to the others in the series.

So without further delay:

In an interview this year at-

I was asked these questions. Here is my answer, which I will expand on here in depth for our wonderful host, Mike.

“When you world build, do you use a system? In anthropology, researchers have a top-down or bottom's up approach. What's yours? Do you throw everything in, including the kitchen sink, from line one. Or do you slowly write toward the end and add layers as you're confronted by them (I call this second approach painting oneself into a corner or pantsing the world!). And if you paint the world, how many times do you revise the story to layer religious, political, economic, technological, natural facets, etc. into the world?”

  In my Zogone saga, I give hints about what the Zogone races’ world is like. As each book in the four book saga, progressed I give more detail and more until the Zogone’s home planet of Adrivar and even their surrounding universe seem real. But I can’t say it was all thought out before I wrote any of the books. Actually the first book, Old Dreams, started in Scotland. The monsters my character Arlene was dreaming of turned out to be the alien Zogone race later in the book, along with aliens from allied cultures.

  I tend to let my worlds flow to me. As I write, I let my characters move me in the direction that fits them. Do they come from a harsh poor planet or a thriving green one. Something that important would make the character the way they were.

  Ritter and Petrus, twins from my newest release Talkers, are from a healthy planet that is closer to well off. If they came from a poorer planet like Talker’s heroine Shayle, living on a dieing Earth, I don’t think the twins would be as outgoing and confident. Honestly, I’m sure they would still be just as cocky though.

  So, I’m more of a go back and layer type of writer. Look, listen and add what is right for the characters. If a character loses a family member, what would their funeral be like? Graveside? Fasting? Long silent vigilance? Or their beloved planes flying overhead. I don’t think a farmer would have planes or a playboy a Catholic style vigilance.

  My what ifs, always make me end up editing my books a couple of times, before I’m happy enough to pass them on to my publisher, New Concepts Publishing. If  the character’s  planet isn’t a real home to them, then it isn’t the right world for them and I haven‘t done my job properly. So, it is back to the drawing board to add yet another alien planet to my already expanded galaxies.

My Bio:
Since, coming across her first romance novel at twelve she has been enthralled. By fifteen she knew she had to be a romance writer and help spread the love, but in a new more spectacular way, thinking outside the box. Mainly writing Futuristic Romance, she makes stories of vampires, witches, weres, aliens, a pirate found through time-travel and even a contemporary about Native American Indians, to share her own feelings on the L word. Debra grew up in the Carolinas, but now lives in Massachusetts with her hubby Tim and their wonderful son T.J.

Talkers info-
Rating: Spicy- Adult language, violence and sexually detailed  scenes. My first Epic  length novel.   
When the safety of Ritter’s band is compromised by stalkers his uncle recommends Shayle to protect the band and catch the stalkers. Though famous, talented, gorgeous young men, they have a secret from their past that makes them who they are and fuels a nasty stalker problem. When Ritter decides Shayle is the love of his life, how will she ever resist him.
Doing her job instead of melting into a puddle of lust was harder than Shayle could have ever imagined.


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