Of the six projects I’ve created for the current fiction universe I’m writing within, the Traveler’s Guide has been a particular challenge for me.
It began as a reference for myself. To set some information in stone, in a place where I could access it. As a side note, I am very interested for the release of StoryShop Planner, which would be another great method for me to organize this information. Then it became a project. A book. Something that will be illustrated and entertaining. Something for the members of a mailing list, or patreon rewards, at a time when such things make sense for me to implement.
But the format posed a problem for me. The inter-connectivity of everything that I wanted to cover made it very difficult to organize in a linear fashion. Does the section on my world’s strange geography come first, or the section on the Gods that created it? Then where does religion fall? It wasn’t a nice easy list that I could outline and then expand upon. It was a rat’s nest of details. There were gaps of things I had not considered too closely but might appear in a traveler’s guide. And there were items that threatened to become tales rather than entries.
This morning I added a new podcast to my subscriptions: The Creative Penn. It just so happened that the first episode that appeared in my playlist was an interview with Ellen Bard. Ellen Bard is a travel writer (among other categories of writer).
Now there is a creature brewing in my mind. A being of unlimited range, who can travel across stars and across dimensions, to visit any world I can imagine, in any series, and report back via a travel log diary. My through-line, my Grand Expositor, my pen pal.
I know she is female. I do not know her species, her age, her name. But there she is. A little light. A seed of possibility. The funnel through which prose may tackle the infodump that this project threatened to become.
This is pretty exciting. This is something tangible. It vibrates with a potential, itches under my skin, tastes like copper and tea, heavy with the infinite potential to help me communicate my worlds to their readers.