By Holly Lisle

I had the most amazing breakthrough today. Still writing the Think Sideways course, and was sitting in the little snack area in our local Target brainstorming the whole world-building/pre-planning process for novels (Lesson 7). My two guys were off looking for video games, and I had my carry-along notebook out and was drawing flow-charts, trying to figure out how to make the whole process of what you need, and what you don’t need, and why, and WHEN, clear.

Scribbled the word “Why?” on the left page, opposite the flow chart. “Why” is the best question on the planet, and my “why” here was simple. “Why worldbuild?”

The answer isn’t obvious, but it is beautiful, and elegant, and when I had it staring me in the face, I experienced my own Eureka moment. Not just for how to explain it to students, but for myself, as well.

That was a question I’d never asked myself, because I always thought I knew the answer. And now that I know the answer, what to build, and when, and how, becomes simple.

I love writing. These moments are part of why. You never know everything, and the more and deeper you explore, and the more mysteries that you unfold, the more you realize how much is left to find. It’s wonderful.

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