Add one more thing on the list of Things I Hate but Do Anyway:

World-building.

I even italicized it because god DAMN, do I hate world building. I could play with a set of characters for days — even months without doing much to develop the world around them. And well… The Tomorrow Trilogy? Kinda can’t do that. The planet that most of the action takes place on? Not Earth. It’s affectionately referred to as “Second Earth.” It also has a vast, multi-planet Empire that stretches across at least one Galaxy. And there are neighboring races — the Hoobans and the Mirks. Though, the Mirks aren’t going to get much time in the limelight. The Hoobans definitely do. 

So do I not only have to figure out shit for Second Earth — such as how its Empire runs (and how the beaurocracy functions from top to bottom), its people, their genetic composition, the balance of races (hint: white people are a vast minority), the racism (spurred on by genetic engineering), the derogatory slang for Natural Borns, the social structure of Second Earth’s society as a whole, etc etc…

I have to do this for two OTHER alien races, too. Just so that I have the knowledge. Just so that my characters can function within THOSE societies in the rare occasion there’s interaction between races. I know the name of at least one Colony (Ameos). I know the names of government facilities, like The Agency for Planned Reproduction.

Do you know how many years this took? How many unsolicited questions I had to figure out answers to, posed to me by my wife and now my friend Emily? It’s exhausting.

But it makes the world far more realistic. It tells the readers how the society functions, why the characters interact with their world the way that they do. Nevermind the technology questions — those I’m still figuring out. Obviously interplanetary travel is totally possible. How? Can’t fuckin’ tell you. But I play the technology off as so omnipresent that the characters don’t think twice about it — so I’d hope the readers would, too. Still, my brain turns over questions of “How does Ryin keep a cell phone on him and charged at all times if he’s on the run from the very government his uncle is in charge of?” 

And honestly — doing this character alt for LJI has helped me fill in a few more gaps, especially for the Mirks. I’m also learning what Mitchel is like when he lets loose, just a tiny bit. And that? That makes me happy. Because he will probably provide me with the most information about the Second Earth’s Empire. After all, he’s the only individual with a “normal” childhood — as far as that entails. He may have been an Orphanage kid, just like Jazz — but he’s not a Natural Born, and therefore wasn’t treated as if he were dirt. 

Thing is, for every question I answer, another one pops up in its place. Clearly, the world is still growing and breathing.

And that’s how I know it’ll never die.

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