Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Finding Balance in World Building by Shannan Albright

Or better: How to Rule Your World

I’ve spent more time in my head than out of it, much to my family’s frustration, I’m afraid. Called a dreamer as a young child, I don’t think anyone was surprised when I became a writer. I claim a distinction within my eclectic relations, as being the only writer, as the majority of them are artists of some renown.

If I chose to be a brain surgeon, they wouldn’t have been more surprised, and though they cannot understand why I went down this path, I have found encouragement. I do know if my Mother still lived, she would have been thrilled, and perhaps, understood me a bit better. As it stands, my sister Lisa is a wonderful support for me, along with a few of my closest friends, I couldn’t ask for more.

My ideas come as moving pictures, much like being in a theater, only it’s all being done in my mind. The images flash in living color, complete with emotions. I quickly note the high points and get the gist of the plot. Once I know the conflict and a few character quirks, I start building my words.

Whether it’s contemporary or set in another time the world building still must hold rules to the world that can be broken and those, which can’t. In my paranormal world, all beings have a weakness to compensate for the special abilities they hold. As with this world, there are limits to what a human can endure, same holds true with my characters.

Though my vampires don’t go up like a torch in the light of day, they do grow noticeable weaker. A dangerous condition to be found if you have enemies, which have no problem with sunlight. Newly turned vampires have no endurance in daylight, needing to build a tolerance to sunlight over time. Usually falling unto a death-like  sleep until the late afternoon when the sun is weaker.

My Dark Breed world is filled with paranormal characters, which, though they have incredible powers, also must live by the rules I set down in the world I built. It’s a give and take relationship between my characters and me. I give them great powers then balance it with conditions. Hey, even superman had Kryptonite and his attraction to Lois Lane to battle.

In The Knights of Excalibur, the same rules apply. In a world of magic, there is always a price to pay. For Gwen, my witch, she has great power, but suffers insecurities, which hamper her magic. Juliet is a rare Druid who can commune with the earth and animals, but she can also make mindless zombies of humans when she subjugates their will.

It’s this yin and yang in my worlds deepens the characters and gives me the foundation for conflict to build from. The line from Spiderman comes to mind and holds true for all my worlds, ‘with power comes great responsibilities.' 

Growing up Shannan Albright was the dreamer in her family, something not always thought of as a positive thing. As a child she would draw and build stories around her pictures, so writing was a natural extension for her.
Recently a family member told her that from now on she would encourage those dreamers she knew. Stating with hard work and focus dreams can come true.
Shannan Albright is proof that dreaming can be a positive thing. When not writing she spends her time between oil painting and reading. She loves writing paranormal, urban fantasy, historical and fantasy romances because of the world building and rich characters she finds. She loves dark, edgy heroes and heroines overcoming impossible odds internal and external. She is a "hopeful" Romantic who believes a healthy relationship built on respect and a strong partnership is the key to a happy ever after.

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