Friday, February 15, 2013

Day Job Can Make You a Better Writer: World Building

In this series I plan to explore ways the Day Job can actually improve your writing. One super huge way in which your Day Job can make you a better writer is World Building:

All jobs are full of jargon, legacy, and ritual. Immersing yourself in the wild world of the DJ helps exposes you to the rich detail of another world. Albeit, the other world may not be glamorous or involve hot guys who slay dragons. *sigh*

I work in the health care industry which has a lexicon comprised of acronyms (HMO, PPO, DMO, HRA, FSA, etc.), jargon (Par, Non Par, Caid, Care, etc), and even numerical codes used to represent language (99213, 99214, 99215, etc). Imagine how much I could learn if I studied the language like these hippos study...marbles:

Language is a huge component of world building. But that's not all we can learn from the DJ. There's more *said in manner of slap chop salesman*:

All DJ's have processes, procedures, and rituals that must be followed. There’s a hierarchy to the society: those in the trenches, managers, executives, and senior leaders. And most importantly every DJ I’ve held, from McDonald's to Corporate Office, has had a culture and system of values. These are all important elements of world building in fiction. Whenever I begin plotting a new WIP I ask myself these Day-Job-inspired questions:

a. What words/language will the characters use?
b. What rituals are important to the characters?
c. What hierarchy is established in this world?
d. What do the people of this world value?

Has your Day Job helped you with world building? What other things have inspired your world building?

Need more on how our Day Jobs can make us better writers?

Check out this post about taking criticism.

Or this post on Stability and Creativity.

Or this post on Discipline - you gotta have it.

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