Continuing with my theme of Firsts… My First Attempt at World-Building
So there I was. I’d written my shifter story (affectionately known as Wolfie), had it critiqued and beta-read, submitted it – and had it accepted – and was now on the home straight. Right?
Wrong. My lovely editor came back with a request:
“Can we please have some more world building.”
I have to admit, I scratched my head at first. I’d kept world building deliberately light. I was nervous about creating rules that I might want to break later, you know, like JR Ward. She allowed a bonded vampire widower to take another mate, when previously everything had screamed that bonding was a one-time thing. She could get away with it because, well, she’s JR Ward.
My editor had a point though and together we explored some options and wove them into the story. I’m planning another three or four books in the series (I’ve started on two of them already) and that allows me to drip feed information rather than dumping it all at once. It’s kinda fun now 🙂
My rules so far:
– Evolution: shifters evolved alongside humans, and so long ago that nobody knows who, or where, or when
– Secrecy: their biggest fear is discovery by humans, and being used for experiments by the government / military
– Dream-links: shifters can share their Mate’s dreams – not to control them, but to join them
– Pack structure: shifters started in Wales and spread across the world. Each regional Pack has its own Alpha, a title & responsibility passed down through the bloodline. Alphas can be challenged though, if they are perceived as weak.
– Shifting: this ability develops around puberty. Once they can shift, the wolves feel most comfortable if they spend at least some time daily in their animal form
– Mating: they Mate for life and recognise their Mate easily. It’s a cause for celebration as not all shifters will find their one true Mate
– Half-blood: they occasionally Mate with humans, but it’s rare. You can’t mess with biology though, and if a human is their true Mate, they have to either adapt or go without
I’m looking forward to building my shifter world even more, and I hope you enjoy it too. There are so many possibilities, so many decisions. What to incorporate into the world? How tightly should I control it? Oh sweet indecision.
And if you could do anything (‘cause let’s face it, when your creating something new, you can do anything…), what would you build?
Here’s a snippet for you, to whet your appetite.
The look Sasha flashed him was actually sympathetic. “She’s the hottest pop star since Madonna. I’m gonna break it to you gently, Cuz. You have less than nothing in common. There’s more chance of you walking on the moon than claiming her as your Mate. And she’s human. Don’t you need to mate with a wolf?”
“Wolves mate with humans. Sometimes.”
“Not when they’re Pack Leader. And the last of their bloodline.”
Why did it have to be Sasha that pointed out the ugly truth? Sasha, who didn’t have a responsible bone in his body. If Jake didn’t produce a full-blood heir, the next Pack Leader might be the first non-Bledri in hundreds of years. Any human-shifter offspring would be half-blood. They might not even be able to shift.
Wolf At The Door is available 13 May 2013, from Liquid Silver Books.
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* image courtesy of 123rf.com