I am not good at worldbuilding.
This isn’t something I feel especially ashamed of; it’s better that I know my weaknesses. My Autistic brain is so internally focused that I don’t see the world around me–which makes it a struggle to imagine the world around my characters, the same way it’s a struggle to mentally picture them in detail.
Even after sixteen years of playing with the same characters, I can’t say I could write out long passages about the town where they live or their quirks of appearance or what their bedrooms look like: that’s not how I think, and will have to be something I figure out deliberately during revision.
But I have had the pleasure of playing with the same world for sixteen years, so inside my head I hold a rich plan for three books, possibly a “next generation” series to follow that, with a villain novella or two thrown in for balance. I know all the characters deeply, in the ways I need to know them.
And I love them, murderers and heroes alike. 🙂
So one of the perks of knowing these fictional people so well is that I can always dip into the well of MirrorWorld and tell a story. With newer ideas, and less developed characters, I can write short stories to help figure things out–but with my favorite, it’s pure fun.
It all adds to the bigger picture, of course. I can discover new facets of my faves that surprise me, or flesh out a timeline or fix a plothole…but that’s not required. Writing MirrorWorld, outside of my actual novels, just gives me a chance to revisit a place that makes me happy.
Which is why, a bit later this month, I’m going to be returning to the short story community In Want of A Reader, with the blessing of the co-owner. Two years ago, it sat dormant for long stretches before it was abandoned but never officially closed, and that means it holds a lot of prompts I never tried my hand at.
Today’s excerpt comes from a prompt fic I wrote in 2014. When I return to posting short stories over there, many based in MirrorWorld, I’ll link to them here as well to keep you updated. And if there’s anything you’d like to see me write, or you want to volunteer prompts, leave them in the comments on either blog.
Today’s Excerpt: When he knocks on her door, she has already poured the wine. He didn’t call; he didn’t have to. She won’t ask what happened. She will let him be. Between the failed relationships and daily work disasters, they will exist in these quiet moments as though they never let go.
Later, when she turns toward him in the candlelight, he will wonder if they ever really did.