In crafting a compelling work, you will inevitably have to flesh out more than just the characters and plot. A play cannot be performed without a stage, and yet it seems to me that so often the stage is rather bare, particularly in the hands of novice writers. Crafting a complete and authentic landscape can seem utterly exhausting if not
superlative. Why bother with the trouble when surely you can just have the characters make it up as they go along? If your character lives in a big city, you can rely upon the concept that most people will walk into the story already envisioning what a city includes. If your character lives in a fantasy setting, you can once again rest assured that any bizarre detail you accidentally form into being can be cleanly nestled under the excuse of ‘it’s not real so it doesn’t have to make sense’.
Yet I’m afraid friends that such handicaps will never do in full, complete writing. To push yourself to the next level and to attain the kind of readership you idolize in published authors, you must be willing to bite the proverbial bullet and put paint on the paintbrush.
Bob Ross would be proud of us today: today we are going to begin tackling the enormous topic of landscaping.
In order to do the topic of landscaping justice, we must first divide the core concepts that build a truly believable atmosphere (quite literally), thereby allowing your original works or fan fiction to step to the next level. From there, I will be taking each concept individually and writing a full length article on them so that you can truly get the best details from my experienced as a published author.
Landscapes can be divided into 4 concepts, each of which build on top of one another like stepping stones:
Weather and Climate
Vegetation and Animal Life
Human Habitation and Culture
Each of these concepts, naturally, can be broadened off of in their own due course. But they cannot exist fluidly without one another, much like the good components of a well formed cake. In order to build an original work that is inclusive on the topic of Landscaping, you must be willing to put in the effort to emulate the greatest artist of all time: Nature. While that might seem baffling at first, you have the incredible advantage of living in nature and being able to view the works of naturalists in your own good time, whether on Netflix or at your local natural history museum.
I myself am a massive fan of nature documentaries, and have made a habit of exploring any work related to my favorite naturalist, Sir David Attenborough. I urge you to do the same, and to likewise take a closer look at the landscape in which you live. It’s human nature to glean over the smaller details that we take for granted everyday, in particular such things as the foliage on trees or the shapes of the hills and valleys that make up your neighborhood. As an author, you will have no such respite. It is your job to bring to attention that which people normally pass up. There is no such thing as a lazy writer; merely an exhausted one.
There are, of course, a few novelist settings which cannot be helped by Earth’s natural atmosphere and consequential exploration. If your novel is set in space, you will obviously have to do in depth research into the lives of explorers above the International Space Station, as well as look to the investigations of such astronomers and scientists as Neil deGrasse Tyson, Carl Sagan, Bill Nye, and Steven Hawking. You also wouldn’t be amiss to touch on Michio Kaku, Richard Dawkins, and Ann Druyan in my personal opinion. In due time, I will be happy to touch on space exploration and the efforts of writing space life effectively in the SubRosa Writer Blog. Par the moment, however, we are going to keep our feet solidly on the ground and begin our journey on that most humble of all planets…Earth.