I started a blog yesterday that dealt with the historical context and current affairs of the future world in Coldfire. The posts are inordinately long, so I don’t expect anyone to read them, but I’ve already learnt new things about the world my novel is set in. It also inspired me to try my hand at writing a little blurb.
As an example of what I’ve learned, I hadn’t realized how much information I had about my werewolves crammed into this little head of mine. The first post was starting to get so long that I split it in two. I probably should have split the second one as well. By doing this I learned more about the leadership system within werewolf groups and the differences between their ‘packs’ and their ‘colonies’. I also worked out what the hell vampires are about in my story, and they’re not there for the romance. They’re there to be disgusting creatures that nearly kill my main character’s love interest, partly because my characters were snooping around and partly because her blood is particularly sweet to vampires. Yeah, yeah, there’s Twilight again. But no. Because the love interest is part-Demon, it adds a nice taste to her blood.
So I’d encourage writers, especially fantasy and science fiction writers, to write out their world-building and backstories. The blog was a kick in the butt for me to get it down out of my head, but you don’t need to make your stuff publicly accessible. I’m a little wary of leaving my stuff out so I might eventually make the blog private. But for now, you can read incredibly long posts written in the dry, verbose style of Agatho Wiles, a historian I made up for the purposes of the blog. Maybe I’ll find a place to stick him in one of my later novels 🙂
(Edit: the blog still exists but I’m going to remove links to it. It’s no longer searchable via Google so if you do stumble onto it, that will be due to a strange piece of luck.)