World Building and Wonder

partofyourworldLast week I mentioned that I like to jam out to Disney music when I’m feeling down. Recently, due to writer’s block, I’ve been trying to clean more regularly and, sure enough, that’s what I listen to while I clean. Now, I don’t know if it’s due to track popularity, simple chance, or what, but “Part of Your World” has been playing a lot.

A lot a lot.

Like, “I know all the words and I’ve only seen this movie twice” a lot.

You see, I never grew up with The Little Mermaid. It probably had something to do with Ariel back talking her father, marry a men she doesn’t know for very long, and almost destroying the natural order by unknowingly helping Ursula the Sea Witch, so my mother was probably onto something. Now that I’m grown, however, I have to admire Ariel a little bit. At least during “Part of Your World.”

Contrary to popular opinion, I don’t think Ariel decided to be a human just for Prince Eric. He was more of a tool in rather than an end goal. The song “Part of Your World,” detailing how much she loves humans and their culture appears before she even lays eyes on Eric and there is a lot of passion, curiosity, and wonder in that song, which is why I’ve come to love it and, like I mentioned before, admire Ariel.

“Part of Your World” is the sort of mind frame wish I had while laying the ground work for a writing project. I think a lot of writers can relate to the sense of dread and boredom that comes with outlining and character sheets. The hours of bullet points, check lists, and pages about character’s back story, inner workings, and favorite colors aren’t usually as exciting as the actual writing part, but I’m learning the hard way that, at least for me, they’re pretty important. But, instead of looking at building the foundation of a story as a chore, but as a chance to learn about another world, regardless of the genre?

What if we tried to step outside ourselves and looked at the people and places we’re creating with new eyes? What if we pretended we’d never met people like our characters ever in our lives, no matter how ordinary they seem at first? How much more interesting would they be? What if we took ourselves out of these characters’ worlds for this part of the writing process and tried with all our might to be a part of it anew?

How much brighter their fires would glow and how much more curious would be we to know why they burn?

I’m not sure yet, but I’m excited to try. I think it’ll be interesting to be a part of a new world as much as I’m trying to create it. Leave a comment about what you think about the idea. Or to say you love outlining! If so, why? If you don’t outline, why? I’m curious to know. 🙂

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