Building Beautiful Worlds

11 Aug

As authors we create worlds in our imaginations all the time. Creating one that exists outside of the experience of most readers, while fun, is a big challenge. You never know how the image in your own head will take shape in someone’s mind. When I wrote Snatch Me, I was tasked with trying to explain a world much like the one pictured in the video above. I had to pull a literary trick or two to create the sense of traveling to an imaginary world and to get across how it might feel more real and appealing than the real world. If you’d never had the experience of stepping into one of these kinetic paintings and walking through them, it’s hard to comprehend how someone could find it more appealing than their real life.

When I first started exploring virtual worlds I was in awe of the creativity all around me. Everything you see in the video above was created by residents of Second Life. As part of my upcoming contest (grand prize a Nook Color) I want to introduce readers to virtual worlds and exploring the beauty it’s possible to create there. I wanted to make a world that was easier to access than Second Life and I wanted something small-scale that won’t feel overwhelming.

And when I say explore, I mean you have an avatar that walks through a world that responds to the avatar just like the one pictured in the video. You can climb towers. You can fly. You can dance. When jump in deep water, you’ll sink. The tree branches move when the wind blows. The sun rises and birds sing. The sun sets and crickets sing.

My little project has been months in the making and has existed on the web for months as I learned to bring virtual worlds to life. I’ve had the extra hurdle of finding a way to make it accessible to readers without the big learning curve that goes with Second Life. Mine are smaller, self-contained worlds that I have control over. I’m not quite ready to post video of my worlds yet. The video above was made in Second Life and my world is based on the same sort of platform.

September 1 is launch day. I’m excited. Hope you are too. Get ready for adventures. Now I have to get back to work.

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