Intergalactic Guidebook – page 2 is now up

Just letting you all know that page 2 of the Intergalactic Guidebook is now up and available for your perusal.

Hope you like it.

World building for fiction – when is enough, enough?

As I mentioned in the previous post, I’m compiling a new page on this site which I call the Intergalactic Guidebook.  I decided a little while ago that it would be fun to create some kind of encyclopaedia of The Lilean Chronicles.  In it I would write a kind of mini wiki all about the worlds and peoples we meet in the series.  This is going to be a herculean task, as I’m finding out but it’s fun to do and I don’t mind it taking a while.  I’m uploading each page when it’s complete and will blog when there’s a new page for you all to peruse.

It’s called world building or rather in my case, galaxy building and I actually did this when I wrote the books.  I built the words, the galaxy as I wrote each volume of the series.  What I’m doing now is putting all that information together in one place, but I’m finding that something interesting is happening as I’m putting it all together.

I know the worlds contained within The Lilean Chronicles very well.  I spent a year writing with my characters and I know all about their worlds, their culture etc so writing it all down again for the guidebook is not hard.  What I’m finding though, is that I’m actually writing stuff I never wrote in the books.  There are things in the guidebook that you won’t read about in the series at all.  The back stories in the guidebook are way more comprehensive and complete than the information in the novels is.  This got me to wondering why I’m feeling the urge to go so much further with these back stories, when some of the information isn’t in the books.

The answer is simple really.  I love doing it.  World building is such huge fun and it’s a total pleasure to invent a whole world, a race of people, their beliefs and culture, even their diseases and sports.   I also feel that the fuller the back story is, the more believable the novel becomes.  When you can find out everything about the world a character comes from, it helps you identify with them more closely and understand them more deeply.  Besides, it’s interesting shit to read..!

So how much is too much?  Should I go so far as to include geological information about the composition of the land masses?  Should I document the changes to air purity over the past thousand years and cross reference this with a graph showing the increase in population perhaps?  Maybe I need to include a political history, complete with list of the last 10 years worth of import and export figures?

No, I think not.  For one thing, it would bore me rigid to write and therefore, probably bore readers too and secondly, it teeters on the edge of OCD.  Readers have enough imagination and sense to know that stuff isn’t necessary for a work of fiction.  Yes it would make it totally comprehensive but it wouldn’t add anything to the story as a whole.

I’d love to one day publish the Intergalactic Guidebook as an actual book to accompany the series but it would involve massive amounts of artwork and I don’t have the money to pay my hugely talented art guys enough to cover the time they would need to devote to such a project.  Who knows what the future holds though; I may win the lotto one day and then I’ll be emailing them..!

Writing as a vehicle for higher wisdom

The Lilean Chronicles may seem like just another science fiction series, with the usual hunky hero and gorgeous heroine racing around the galaxy, fighting evil aliens and just surviving and getting out of danger in the nick of time. It is all of those things of course, but it is so much more besides. It is a vehicle for much spiritual wisdom that has been passed to me by the universal consciousness, spirit guides, creator, call it what you feel comfortable with. This higher consciousness decided that the best way to get this wisdom across would be within a vehicle that people find comfortable and easy to absorb. To run this important spiritual thread throughout an exciting science fiction story would, they decided, help the reader to absorb the ideas and wisdom naturally and easily. This would then encourage thinking at a greater depth, that might help to expand horizons a little, which might then enhance their path through their own lives.

It seems to be working too, as the feedback I’m getting from readers suggests that it’s the spiritual aspect of the stories that stay with readers, touch them somewhere inside and make them think. One man who confessed to always having hated science fiction, told me that after he read the first in the series, the spiritual aspects resonated with him so deeply that he was looking forward to reading the next in the series. For me that is the most awesome validation that the trust I have with my higher guidance is not misplaced and that what we’re doing together is the right thing.

So what are these spiritual wisdoms? Well it’s simple really; the universe is a complete being and it knows best how to regulate itself and keep itself in the right balance, but it can only achieve that balance if we stop interfering and let it get on with it. That love in its pure, unconditional form is the most powerful energy in creation. That thoughts are a living energy that once created, go out and reach their destination and have an effect. That we are all connected, with each other and with those that have gone before and those that will come after us. That we each have a destiny towards which we are moving and which cannot be avoided. That sometimes our greatest learning comes from the greatest suffering and that the gifts that such suffering bestows upon us, are the greatest the universal consciousness can give.

The Lilean Chronicles touches upon many subjects that we all face in our lives; loss, despair, betrayal, fear, death, suicide, murder, love, commitment, strength of character, choices and many others. By seeing how the characters deal with these issues and understanding the spiritual wisdom behind them, there is the opportunity to make these things easier to deal with when we face them in our own lives.