Worldbuilding in Action (Part I)
Next year I plan on releasing a dark vigilante justice novel under my alter ego, Nadirah Foxx. Preparing to draft the manuscript requires a little more than simply plotting and creating a synopsis. In order to make it a plausible story, I have to pay attention to the world which must be created.
First, I need a setting. I’m a huge fan of DC Comics and Marvel. I watch the TV programs and the movies, and I’ve learned a lot from them. In developing my location, I wanted a place that had good and bad in the same town.
Naming My Town
I wanted some place that sounded idyllic but was far from it. It also had to invoke the concept of perfection. So, I did a little internet search—city and town name generator for writers—and stumbled across www.mithrilandmages.com. There’s nothing fancy about the site. You get a drop down list for the country, the number of names displayed, and a generate button. It provides REAL places. The name that appealed to me was Liberty (doesn’t that just sound like a place that a super hero or a vigilante would live in?). And, that was how Liberty City was born.
Mapping Liberty City
Next, I wanted to create a visual for the town. I had to know where the bad neighborhood(s) were along with the nicer areas. Since my main character works for the Liberty City Police Department (LCPD), I needed to know where it was located too.
So, I looked up the name Liberty to get a map. For me, the layout of Liberty, Texas seemed to work.
You’re looking at a small picture of Liberty City. Let’s take a closer look:
This sector of town contains City Center—the location for all city services—along with the hospital. South of City Center is the Business District and Downtown. For the most part, crime is confined to the Downtown area and East Liberty City aka Shady Corners:
The official name for the neighborhood is Shade Land, but the locals prefer Shady Corners. It sums up what life is like there.
I placed a commuter airport and the Warehouse District to the north. On the west side of Liberty City are nicer homes and Liberty Heights (the burbs). Finally, just beyond Downtown are upscale apartments and homes.
My main character lives in Liberty Heights. Her husband’s cybersecurity company, Sentinel Security, is in the Business District.
I’ll need to construct the LCPD and Sentinel Security—which will become home base for my main character and her team.
My next posts will give you a glimpse at the process.
2 thoughts on “Worldbuilding in Action with SF Benson”
Thank you so much for sharing this! I’ve been meaning to create a map for my current WIP as well, but I’d never seen one for an urban fantasy novel before. You’re simply amazing, lady! Thanks for all you do 😀
Remember any world can have a map! If it keeps you organized, by all means do it.