Why I Wrote It: Sex and Worldbuilding

(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com and Steve’s Tumblr.  Find out more at my newsletter.)

I’ve decided to take the time to discuss just why I’ve written some of my books. I figure every week or every other week I’ll talk about just what I did, why I did it, and what I learned.

Sex and Worldbuilding was my first “Minibook” in the Way With Worlds series. It originated in a series of interesting events.

The story of my Way With World minibooks is complicated. They originated with an idea of doing small books on specific subjects to tie into the core books. They would be almost supplements, exploring a few areas I wanted to help people with more, using a coaching approach. Then I found people really liked them and I liked writing them, and a quick exploration became it’s own project.

But let’s talk the first book, Sex and Worldbuilding, and why I wrote it. That is pretty simple.

  • Fictional worlds often were very un-creative about sex, merely mapping existing cultures, ideas, and biologies to an imaginary setting.
  • Too much writing about sex in fictional world ignored what it was and how it could touch on every aspect of life. Weddings, child-rearing, contraception, all come into play once you start thinking about sex and reproduction.
  • A lot of discussion on sex in fiction didn’t focus on worldbuilding.
  • We get embarrassed talking about sex.

This set the stage for what I wanted to write. I would need to cover a broad amount of things like marriage and gestation. I would also need to make it less embarrassing or prurient.

In short, I had to write about sex, reproduction, and culture and make it really calm, rational, and even boring. I realized that if I didn’t do this, people would see “sex” not “worldbuilding.” Setting that tone early helped me write a good book.

At that point, it was pretty easy to come up with the proper coaching questions: I looked at important areas to discuss about sex and reproduction, and areas that were often ignored. This let me get a pretty good amount of questions and produce a good book.

This is really one of my prides as a book. I covered a lot of important areas, I did it in a tone that didn’t distract, and I helped people out.

But really, it all goes back to finding the way to discuss an important subject and focus on often ignored issues.

Steven Savage