Build, Therefore, Your Own World

“Build, therefore, your own world.” While Ralph Waldo Emerson, in the conclusion to his essay “Nature,” was referencing action in the real world, I couldn’t help but think of this line this morning while brainstorming ideas for my follow-up to Wendall’s Lullaby.

Writing fiction is the act of creating worlds–people, places, things and cultures. Even fiction “based in reality,” like Wendall’s Lullaby, allows the writer (me!) the freedom to create.

One of my favorite parts of writing fiction is the exploration of new places–the research–that goes into choosing and developing a location for part of the story. In Wendall’s Lullaby, I enjoyed “revisiting” Tortola–an island in the British Virgin Islands that I had visited twice in reality. I was lucky enough to spend a few days there in 2001 as I paddled, biked and ran during the Expedition BVI adventure race. I later made it back for a day while on a cruise with family. Something stuck in my mind, because Tortola became the location for Jasmine Summers’ Dolphin Towne.

As I start to sketch out ideas for my next novel, I’m looking at some new locations in which to set some of the old (and some new) characters. Sometimes, the locations I choose are places I’ve never visited. That’s where the fun starts–the research; the learning about new places. Google Earth helps tremendously in visualizing new places (both with satellite imagery and tagged photos)–especially locations I’m not ever likely to visit.

midway atoll wide view

The remote islands of Midway Atoll in the middle of the Pacific Ocean are high on my list of locations for the follow-up book and a great place to build a fictional “world.” The coral atoll is most famous as the location of the World War II Battle of Midway (June 1942). Historically a U.S. Navy facility, Midway was “operationally closed” in 1993. A National Wildlife Refuge since 1988, it is now part of the larger Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument (now, Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument). The atoll is currently under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior and managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA and the State of Hawaii.

Of course, in a fictional world, it’s quite possible that there were some loopholes specific to Midway built into the executive orders and legislation creating the wildlife refuges and national monuments. But to find out more–just exactly what kind of world might be constructed on Midway–you’ll just have to wait for the follow-up to Wendall’s Lullaby.

~ by kipwkoelsch on August 17, 2017.

2 Responses to “Build, Therefore, Your Own World”

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