Writer’s Algebra

*This post is part of Write 31 Days challenge*

Our world is bound by rules and structure. Whether you agree with them or not, there is in every society, boundaries that a vast majority of the population will follow because it is deemed appropriate and agreed upon by the powers that be. Traffic laws come to mind. In order to not present mayhem among the streets, we are expected to obey traffic lights and signs. Even the streets present a structure because they tell us where it is socially acceptable to drive our cars.

A writer gets to decide where those boundaries will lie within the confines of a written world.

When you create your own world, you get to decide what is considered the ‘norm’ for a group of peoples. Do trees grow huge purple fruit that drop on people’s heads and kill them? Are they always running from the terror of falling purple fruit? If I want it to be so…I only have to present it with enough clarity and persistence so that you, as the reader, will have to believe it is true. If I fail at this, you simply stop reading.

Such is the way with books and writers and the words that they put together to form sentences. It is why we can get ‘lost’ in a world that is vastly different, and often times superior, to our own. With every sentence, every page, every chapter, a world has been set before us to walk in. When the last page is turned, it has abruptly been cut off from our wanderlust and we are left with nothing more to discover. We have reached the proverbial edge of a written world.

I have a big bulletin board and a white board where I map out the world I create and the characters in it…but admittedly, sometimes it is just one big, jumbled up mess. Which is why I ask the hubs what he thinks. He is my first reader and has an insane ability to retain information about my plans that I have forgotten. My brainstorming sessions include him, for this reason. Often, they end up looking like the worst common core math problem you’ve ever seen.

“Honey! What if I  do:  n + x = z ?”

“You can’t do that.”

“WHY?!”

“Because yesterday n + x = p, not z.”

*crickets* because I really don’t want to admit that he’s right and I’m desperately trying to figure out how I can still be right and keep the integrity of my world intact.

“Shoot.” A few more minutes of silence…then…LIGHTBULB!

“What if n + x = p(z + r)? Huh? Pretty good right?”

“I thought r + z = p(r + x)?”

*more crickets*

“It’s my story! Purple fruit falls from trees and kills people, alright?!

Yup, folks. That’s pretty much how that goes.