Yep, you read the title right--When Writers Minecraft. At first you may be thinking, "What does a game like that have to do with writing?" but actually, since Minecraft is a large part about building, it can have a lot to do with writing.
Lately my sister and I have been playing together on a creative Minecraft PE world in which we're building the fictional country in my Warriors of Aralan series. We started with Linfort, (the small village most of my protagonists are from), and when we finished that, we moved on to the capital city, Freymont, and built the castle, the city around it, Norwynnd, and now we're working on the North Mountain.
"Well that's kind of cool, but why on earth would you go to all the effort of building an entire country on Minecraft?" Because it gives me a little thrill to see all the places I've envisioned so long in my head popping up before my eyes. Granted, it's Minecraft so nothing looks just like I thought it would, but since we writers like to dream about the (admittedly highly unlikely) day that our books are adapted into movie form, it's a little bit like seeing that happen.
Before we get started on how to do this I just want to say that everything below this point is written from the point of view of someone that has only played Minecraft PE, and is therefore geared towards that. Also, I'm an Apple person, so I don't know if the apps I list below are also available on Android.
All right, so here we go. The first step, and one of the most daunting, is to find a world that has a landscape somewhat similar to the one in your fictional world. (The only alternative to that being sculpting a flat world to suit your needs, but ain't nobody got time for that). We used a randomly generated world, but if you don't want to leave it to chance and possibly have to generate world after world after world, you can use a seed. I have limited experience with this, but I have used an app called Minecraft Seeds Lite when I wanted one.
Also, you have to decide whether you want to build in creative or survival mode. For me the choice was obvious (I certainly didn't want to mine all that cobblestone to build a huge castle with), so I went with creative. Of course you can always change that if you change your mind, but for building purposes, creative makes sense.
After you have your world picked out, you can make a skin that resembles one of your favorite characters to make it even more fun. This is a relatively new feature on PE, the platform I play on, and to do it I used an app called Minecraft Skin Studio, and once you get the hang of it it is pretty simple to do.
So now that you have a world and a skin that makes you look like one of your characters, you have to figure out which part you want to build first. Unless you're really devoted to Minecraft already, I would say don't be too ambitious. That's why my sister and I began building Aralan with Linfort. It's a small, comfortable village. Not too complicated. It warmed me up for tackling something more challenging.
After you've decided what you want to build, let your imagination run wild. I try to make everything look similar to what I see in my head, but sometimes, Minecraft doesn't have items that you need. For example, chairs. Depending on the situation they can be as simple as wooden stairs, or as complicated as doors paired with strategically-placed trapdoors to form armrests. Another small problem I've run across has been beds. Yes, Minecraft has beds, but sometimes a twin size bed with red covers just doesn't cut it. Do you really think the king and queen of all Aralan would settle for such a thing? No. So my sister and I made bigger beds with blocks of cactus green wool (their colors) for the sheets, and white wool to form the pillows. Much better.
So there you have it, how (and why) writers should and could Minecraft. For me it's just another extension of my writing passion, and I hope it will be for you too. Below are a few more pictures of my sister and I and Aralan's castle, to hopefully further inspire you to build your own fictional country!
Welcome to Katelyn Buxton Books! I'm a Christian author and blogger, with a passion for writing stories that are not just enjoyable, but also lead people closer to Jesus. Feel free to look around, and enjoy your stay!