Everyone has memories of good times or of things that brought them joy. Like books. And reading. Well, me too. I can remember the first record albums I ever received. They were Christmas gifts from my brother, and to be quite honest, I don’t know whether he got them for me because he wanted me to have them or because he liked them so much himself. Either way, Led Zepplin came to roost at my room and really has never left. I received Led Zepplin II and a black album that I cannot recall the name of at the moment.
But books have always been my mainstay, and reading my favorite pastime. I remember reading Gone with the Wind for the first time. I was sitting in study hall in high school and man! It was like I was whirled away to a different place and time. Study hall became a highly anticipated place through the entire reading. And then I found great fantasy reads-like Lord of the Rings.
After that, I was hooked and wanted to write.
My first writing attempt was a huge fantasy tome that still hangs around in my head. Maybe one day I will pull it out and work on it. Maybe one day I will give it the attention it deserves and whip it into something. I just remember that book consuming me like no other. I plotted and planned and drew maps and made family histories, and well, in general – created a huge world. World building is very important in fantasy literature. I certainly enjoyed creating that one.
Many writers do similar lists for their books. It doesn’t matter what the genre. Mystery has to have good clues planted, romance has to have good goal, motivation, and conflict, and so on. Characters need histories, family info, etc. Towns and places where a book is set needs to be thought about and included to give the story a real edge. But for me, all of that is fun stuff. I spent nearly every vacation for years going to Biloxi to visit Beauvoir for a historical romance. It’s just good for a writer to immerse themselves in the aura of their world as closely as they can to the real thing.
I love reading about setting as much as writing it. Authors who do setting really well are very gifted storytellers, in my opinion. when I grow up, I want to be just like them.