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Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday Spotlight: Lyncee Shillard

What is….believable?

Creating a believable world for your romance is key, but often the most difficult. While I've never stopped reading a book because the hero has a beard and I'm not a fan of facial hair, I have when the world he is in is too far out there. This isn't saying I don't read paranormals; actually I do and I have written two that will be released this year. What I am saying is, if you're going to have a werewolf, then have a world that supports him. Just like with my female pirate, I couldn't force her into a historical setting without it being a disaster so I created a world she would fit in.

So what makes a world believable? Details. As with every element of writing, details are key. If a writer has a werewolf living in Chicago then the author needs to set it up so I can believe it. I'm not necessarily saying tell me about the stoplight on the corner of Jackson and Carver. How does he roam the street in his wolf form? The streets of Chicago are never deserted so don't go there. I'm willing to give an author a wide path, I mean, I'm accepting the fact there's a werewolf but it has to have solid elements to the world. And a deserted street in Chicago isn't it.

World building isn't just for paranormal or sci-fi romance authors. Every romance needs to happen somewhere and by including a believable world, the reader becomes more invested. While Treasure Hunt takes place in an entirely 'made-up' world, The Gamble takes place on a horse ranch. I included details of the ranch, but also of landscape so the reader knew they were in California.

What have been some your favorite settings? How did the author use it to enhance the romance?

2 comments:

Carly Carson said...

Someone, I think it was Robert McKee in his book 'Story' said the reader will give you one leap of faith. In your example, you'll buy the idea of a werewolf. But, after that, every detail needs to be realistic, not real, necessarily, but believable. You have to know details about that world that never actually make it into the story. I do a lot of scientific research to support my other worlds, but I know the reader doesn't want to be bored with all that. She just wants the details I do provide to be possible according to what she knows in this world. It's a tricky balance when you're making up a world.

Lyncee said...

I agree entirely, you have to know your world at least 10x better than the reader. You won't share all the tibits with her but your knowledge will show in your writing.

Thanks!
Lyncee