Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Guest Post: LM Preston

LM. Preston was born and raised in Washington, DC.  An avid reader, she loved to create poetry and short-stories as a young girl.  With a thirst for knowledge she attended college at Bowie State University, and worked in the IT field as a Techie and Educator for over sixteen years.  She started writing science fiction under the encouragement of her husband who was a Sci-Fi buff and her four kids.  Her first published novel, Explorer X - Alpha was the beginning of her obsessive desire to write and create stories of young people who overcome unbelievable odds.  She loves to write while on the porch watching her kids play or when she is traveling, which is another passion that encouraged her writing.
*Bio taken from LM's website 
 I am more than happy to have the lovely LM Preston, author of the upcoming Bandits, and last year's The Pack and Explorer X-Alpha. LM writes sci-fi for teens and middle grade children and does some crazy world-building in the process. Here's a great guest post detailing how she goes about making her worlds.
How I, a Sci-Fi Author Build Worlds – My perspective of World Building
World Building ... my way

I once participated in a Sci-Fi critique group, where one of the authors asked about World Building. Our leader never expanded on this topic. When this topic was bought up, I pondered what I did when I build the many worlds I create for my books.

I believe everyone has their own methods. However, here are some of mine that help me throughout the process.


I love to travel, as I have mentioned many times before. Traveling and exposing yourself to different wonders of our world can be a catalyst for the creation of your new world.


If traveling is not possible, or even if it is, take time to study and observe your surroundings. Things that may not seem interesting initially can become an integral part of the world you create. When you are walking, or touring areas take your time, allow your imagination to go beyond the obvious and ask yourself many questions. For example, when I am flying in an airplane, I ask myself, “What if the clouds were black, blue, grey?” What if the sun was white? Or lower to the ground? What if the plants had fingers? Push yourself to expand on the world around you.


I do a lot of research on the internet. Truth be told, I don’t do a lot of reading about places, I just look at pictures. I tend to look at pictures for a long time, and sit back and see if it fits into my world.

I note what extremes I want my world to have.

I note what rules my world should have.

I note what kind of species could live in that world.

How would a human sustain this environment?

Should I create something artificial in order to allow my humans to live here?


I draw out parts of my world or cut out pictures of places or things that fit in the world I am starting to create. I build sort of a map of places, I morph them in my daydreams and note what fits in my desired world.


I tend to create this elaborate world, and then I take out a lot of the microscopic pieces that I believe the reader can fill in. However, I give the backdrop in the world the reader creates. I note the rules for that world, its species, animals and weaknesses.


Research other mythological worlds, and change them, pervert them or and enhance them to fit your characters needs.


Address the main guidepost of your world. How is it powered? Is it advanced? Is it rugged? What’s the climate? What does the land look like? Does it has a sun or moon? Are there animals there? What are the major species?


Note how your character fits into this world? Are they from here? Do they visit? How do they survive? Communicate with the species on this planet?

When I world build it comes natural to me, because I’ve always loved science and like to spend time pondering its wonders. However, taking notes, going exploring, drawing it out, and making DA RULES has helped me greatly in creating the worlds in my novels.

by: LM Preston, author of Bandits, The Pack and Explorer X-Alpha, http://lmpreston.blogspot.com or www.lmpreston.com

Thanks for sharing LM! You can check out my review of Bandits posted earlier today and make sure you visit LM's blog and get your FREE e-book of Bandits.

Find LM Preston online:

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Bere said...

This is a fantastic post! Whenever I read a novel where the author has created a whole new world it just completely impresses me. And I'm always wondering where in the world they come up with the things they do. To me, this is pretty amazing! ;)

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

Bere - That's my thinking exactly. I'm blown away when an author (like LM) is able to create a world that is so outside our own. It is definitely amazing.

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