Today I’m celebrating the release of Janeen Ippolito’s latest world building resource, Irresistible World Building For Unforgettable Stories: A Creative Writing Guide For World Building That Sells. World building is one of my favorite parts of writing, and in honor of this awesome new release, I’m going to share a glimpse into the world of my Star-Fae novels!
Name your spec fic subgenre!
Epic fantasy mashups! The Star-Fae Trilogy is a fusion of epic fantasy and steampunk, plus a large splash of whatever I want. 😉
Why this subgenre? What makes it awesome?
Epic fantasy has a special place in my heart because of the vast stories and worlds, intricate world building, and high stakes. That said, I love a wide variety of speculative subgenres, and I get bored when trying to stick too strictly to a single category. Epic and high fantasy are the foundation of most of my stories and worlds, but I also weave in elements of steampunk, science fiction, superhero stories, and older folk tales and balladry. The fun thing about epic fantasy is that it’s easy to fuse it with other genres in new, creative ways!
What is fresh and different about your world building that hasn’t been done before?
The world of the Star-Fae Trilogy combines ancient Celtic fae mythology with modern speculative fiction tropes and concepts. There’s also a mix of magic, alchemy, and technology, which makes for some unique conflicts and situations.
What universal feelings do you explore in your world building—and why?
Love, friendship, and unconventional family. Embracing your true destiny and finding your place in a confusing world.
What cool superpowers does your character have related to your world building?
Thanks to her mixed fae/human heritage, Sylvie has a double set of superpowers. She has soul-sense, an hereditary ability in some humans that enables them to do alchemy. She also has fae magic, although it manifests in unpredictable ways…much to her chagrin! While most fae have convenient powers like illusion-casting, shape-shifting, or elemental manipulation, Sylvie suddenly gains dragonfly wings, plus a few other abilities that may or may not be useful and that refuse to work on cue.
Tell us about an aspect of your world that causes problems for your characters. Any dangerous weather patterns or geographical complications?
Faerie is a treacherous place! Tunnels that change locations, pools that burst into flame if you touch them, swamps that don’t want you to escape—you name it. If you travel it with someone who knows the lay of the land, you might be okay, but many hapless mortals have wandered into Faerie and never been heard from again.
Are there any cultural or racial tensions? What are they?
Quite a few. Fae and humans have very different cultural values, and they aren’t fond of each other. The different fae clans don’t always care for each other, either—the Solasa and Dulahna are assumed to be evil because of their past abuses of power, pookas (horse shifters) and the Wild Hunt (hound and wildcat shifters) are often seen as uncultured rednecks, and so on. All of these tensions play into the story.
How is your character special/significant in your world building? Note that this doesn’t have to be a good kind of special!
Sylvie is significant in the world building because SPOILERS!! Seriously – can’t share too much, but she’s the latest link in an ancient, magical legacy, and the Fate of the world depends on her. No pressure or anything. 😉
What was the first thing that inspired your world building?
The world-building (and story concept) for Halayda began with a dream in which someone got dragonfly wings as the result of a mad science experiment. That opened up a bunch of questions: what kind of science (or magic, perhaps) would give someone dragonfly wings? Do the wings have any special significance? Why did THIS particular person get dragonfly wings when no one else did? The story started to fall into place from there!
Name at least two aspects of your world building that you want in the Real World RIGHT NOW?
The ability to create alchemical potions! Especially the ones for healing and unlimited energy. Also, I want a storm dragon. Just sayin’.
What are two aspects of your world building that you never want to see in the Real World?
Fate threads, and the fact that certain powerful people are capable of messing with them. I love playing around with destiny in fiction, but I’m glad those things can’t actually happen.
What is your favorite made-up creature from your world?
The storm dragon!! Sirugan is ancient, made entirely of rain and storm clouds, and has an unshakeable sense of fairness. He’s also really good at counting for some reason. He showed up, unplanned, while I was drafting Halayda, and now he’s found a way to appear in Rothana as well. I’m not complaining. 😉
If you could fix anything about your world building (something that is broken “on purpose” for plot reasons), what would it be?
I’d fix Fate so the characters’ lives wouldn’t be screwed up and they could just be who and what they were meant to be! But, since I’m a terrible person and actually want to have a plot to write, Fate gets to be tied up in knots for a while!
I had the privilege of receiving an ARC of Irresistible World Building, and it’s a fantastic resource if you’re a writer who wants to create worlds that will linger in readers’ minds. Check it out below!
Write stories with worlds that create lifelong fans and fandoms!
Irresistible World Building for Unforgettable Stories contains key methods and tips on how to weave your world building into every aspect of your story, from theme to plot to character arcs.
-Use writing prompts and exercises to jumpstart your creativity
-Get ideas on how to refresh world building genre tropes while still hitting reader sweet spots
-Learn to embrace your inner geek and passions to connect your world building with readers
Vivid world building is great. Vivid world building that sells? Even better!
About the author:
Janeen Ippolito is two authors for the price of one! She creates writing resources and writes urban fantasy and steampunk. She’s also an experienced teacher, editor, author coach, and the editor in chief of Uncommon Universes Press. In her spare time, she enjoys sword-fighting, reading, food, and making brownie batter. She believes that words transform worlds and that everyone has the ability to tell their story. Two of her goals are eating fried tarantulas and traveling to Antarctica. This extroverted writer loves getting connected, so find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and at her website: janeenippolito.com