Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Imaginative Power behind World Building in Fantasy and Science Fiction by Suzan Battah

The Imaginative Power behind World Building in Fantasy and Science Fiction

By Suzan Battah

There is so much to say about creative world building within the fantasy and science fiction genres. Technically in all literary fiction works, as authors, we are developing our own worlds as a base for our character’s story to evolve. The excitement for me in particular as a creative is especially powerful in developing fantastical worlds. My creative brain runs wild and my imagination can unleash into the most interesting canvas of different worlds. In fact, I truly believe that fantastical and science fiction world building is a main character in its own right on the page and a most important aspect of fantasy and science fiction. The fantasy worlds created by authors have their own heart and soul. Examples of exceptional world building include Hogwarts for Harry Potter’s fantastical world, Middle Earth is where Lord of the Rings evolved and another great example is the Terran Empire for the Valerian a French-Belgian graphic novel soon to be released as a film. These are great examples of speculative fiction world creation. They each have their own character and there are many more creative worlds out there from amazing authors.

As with character development, we must strip our characters bare until all flaws, personality traits and quirks are revealed to us the writer and to you the readers. This is the same process I took when writing for BaSatai. I knew that the parallel worlds had to be definitive in character. I was taking earth and transforming it into a supernatural paradise. There were many questions I wanted to answer for the BaSatai world. What would live there? How would the inhabitants behave? What would be the rules and values of the H-traen world? How would Earth and H-trae be separated? So let’s begin by breaking it all down.

Breaking down the Fantasy World of BaSatai

When creating H-trae, I started by working out how the landscape of my world would be. I knew that on my supernatural world of H-trae there would be no pollution, the air is crisp and fresh and without pollution the world was lush, vibrant and earthy. The H-traen people and creatures at most respected the planet and so lived in ways that allowed the worlds growth. The BaSatai would live on H-trae and they were humanoid shifters. They had the ability to adapt and transform with animalistic features as part of their identity to protect and maintain the world from evil they were classed as BaSatai Warriors. There were BaSatai Guardians (male only), BaSatai Intellects, BaSatai Healers and the rare female Guardians a Warriorna. Each had a pivotal role to play in the growth of H-trae. This utopia  world could not be complete without S’teuqoubs with too much evil in their heart. S’teuqoubs were BaSatai born but had chosen the darker side of the BaSatai power. Guardians and BaSatai Warriors protected the gate between the Earth and H-trae and policed any trouble making S’teuqoubs.

Based on the behaviors and values of each inhabitant on H-trae, the rules and values of the H-traen world started to form. Each individual personality trait of the BaSatai classes and the Guardians developed. I could see the Guardians supremely arrogant as their power and strength far exceeded a BaSatai Warrior’s ability and to counter this I took away the gift of shifting from the Guardians. Not that a Guardian cared. The masculine identity of Guardians took place. They would be male, celibate (by choice for more power) and annoying in their arrogance. Guardians became pivotal in destroying S’teuqoubs on the prowl. As the inhabitants evolved in H-trae, so too did the dangers between the parallel worlds of Earth and H-trae with the trouble making S’teuqoubs always looking for evil satisfaction. I imagined the the two worlds divided by an energetic force like a large belt that wraps around both worlds. There would be 7 points of entry for cross-over to Earth. These entry points moved every Full Moon and every New Moon cycle. H-traen’s can cross-over to Earth and survive but humans could not cross over to H-trae and survive. Humanity was oblivious to the supernatural world beside them. The gate would be monitored by Guardians and BaSatai Warriors. The worlds would live in harmony for millions of years without incident.

That’s how I created the world behind BaSatai. The technique is as simple as breaking down a character. Think of the world you’re creating as a character and by answering the questions as I posed or your own ideas slowly and carefully break down it down to uncover your very own fantasy world. The personality of the world is the inhabitants, the characteristics of the world is the landscape and setting and the morals, beliefs and values of the world are the rules/politics of how it functions. You can keep breaking it down further and further but this is a great starting point for creative development in your fiction story. Remember there is no right and wrong in fantasy, it’s all up to you. It’s your truth on your creative world how it works, functions and thrives is completely up to you the creator. How things go wrong, again, is up to you. As long as you believe in the world you’re building, I believe will be immersed in it as a reader. Creating H-trae was exhilarating because it’s my own creative thought process and baby. I hold the BaSatai world close to my heart as a writer for that reason.

How to Develop a Story in a Fantastical World

Setting up the utopia of H-trae was amazing. I had worked out every single aspect of how the world functioned, the values and morals of the inhabitants, the supernatural creatures who lived there and most importantly the fantastical world had it’s own characteristics, heart and soul for readers to fall in love with. From this basis the main characters formed. When building your story on a fantastical world, you must delve deep into your imagination. Remember this is your world, your rules. Best aspects of a fantasy world is finding the unlimited in the limited. The story conflict of Basatai was no struggle I wanted it to be both internal and external based.     I knew the parallel divide gate between the two worlds would be threatened, the external physical conflict was set up easily and I wanted to link this threat to an internal aspect of identity – this is where the blood curse was born in one BaSatai. The internal confliction and external conflict was linked up perfectly. The struggle with identity in a BaSatai hidden away on Earth is at the core of the story and the external threat of the parallel divide breaking and destroying both worlds increased the stakes in story. BaSatai is a complicated yet highly epic fantasy novel and as a trilogy I wanted to increase each stake and link the threats together.

The BaSatai fantasy world as a central connection to the story was a must for me. Threats and conflicts in fantasy world building is exciting as a creator. Why? It’s unlimited to what you can create, remember, it’s your world. You don’t need permission from anyone to create your fantasy world. Make the story compelling, relatable, exciting and packed full of imaginative characters, crazy adventure and your fans will fall in love with your world.

The Imaginative Power as a Creative Writer

As a writer I get to explore so many imaginative avenues and immerse my readers in different worlds. This power is phenomenal because I write the stories I love to read. I know the readers who love the stories I write will join in on the journey. For each book that I write, I look to make it emotional, exciting, adventurous laced with a bit of danger. Each story, no matter what genre is a creative journey. Each fantasy story is an explorative journey into my creative imagination. To my readers, all over the world, I wanted to thank you for enjoying the amazing world of BaSatai.

About Suzan Battah


Suzan Battah is an Award-Winning Screenwriter, Film Director, Film Producer and Independent Author. The screenplay adaptation of her fantasy fiction book series BaSatai: Outside In has received several awards at International Film Festivals since 2012. Suzan started her Film Production Company, MRG Light Media in 2013 to pursue her passion in producing film and television projects. She is passionate about creating quality film/television, entertaining fiction books and graphic novels. Suzan writes quality fiction independently in a variety of genres including romance, drama, fantasy and psychological thrillers. If you love to read, check out her books.

Suzan loves dogs, dancing like no one is watching, all things creative and reading historical romance. She’s a big health and fitness fanatic, is terribly afraid of heights and struggles when a cockroach is nearby. Her favorite TV shows are Vikings and Outlander. She has too many favorite films to list. And she is the biggest romantic on earth. She loves to travel the world even though she gets overwrought from the motion of the plane ride. She does think she tells funny jokes, though some people may disagree. Suzan is a big believer in following your dreams and allowing your imagination to take you to places.

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