Start your week with T.K. Toppin

Monday, May 16, 2011
Today we're here with lovely Champagne Books author, T.K. Toppin, who wrote THE LANCATER RULE. She has graciously agreed to tell us little about world building in her story. So please give it up for T.K!!!

Building The Lancaster World

I’ve been asked a few times how I came up with creating the world for The Lancaster Rule and all the interesting characters that fill it up. Honestly, it just sort of evolved on its own.

Primarily, I wanted to create a world that was believable, not too far-fetched, but enough so that there would be that wow-factor. Looking back through history, I picked up the trends that stood out: wars, upheavals, disasters, victories, great achievements, etc. So, in a nutshell, you get a sort of seesaw trend. After wars, there’s strife and famines, followed by decades of peace filled with great things, then someone decides to pick a fight and it starts all over again. However, each time there’s a progression as the world marches into the future and grows more sophisticated—from new methods of warfare to scientific achievements.

In The Lancaster Rule trilogy, it’s based three hundred years into the future. While that may seem like a great big leap in time, it really isn’t too far into the future. Three hundred years ago, we didn’t have the modern conveniences we have now, but it was fast approaching. We leapt forward in great big jumps soon after electricity was captured in a jar, to when the first planes were catapulted into the air. From there, radio waves manifested into microwaves and you were glued to the TV, then computers snuck in and before you knew it, you were sending interoffice emails and learning the WIFI dance while playing on your Wii.

The world I created, pretty much progressed like the world did three hundred years ago. Okay, with a few embellishments that are totally believable. Stasis pods, hyper-speed vehicles, holographic communications, super-duper weapons and gadgets for warfare…you get my drift. Of course, a great big world war sort of hampered progression, and the fifty-year reign of a tyrant with old world values didn’t really help that much.

The next step was the people that populated my world. Again, looking back in time, you see how people progressed from the dark ages to the techno ages. We grew and learned how to speak, write, foster manners, and in general become socially acceptable individuals that your parents would be proud of. Add three hundred years to that, we’ll probably grow a little bit more and have a decent enough polish that even Santa will believe you’ve been good all your lives. But people will always be people…i.e.: humans. No matter what we do, or how many social skills we learn, at the core, we still love, hate, want, need, fear, laugh, eat, sleep, and have to deal with annoying bodily functions that can cripple us if we ignore them.

Incorporating said ‘advanced’ people into my world was fairly easy. I had to keep in mind that these people have to behave normally, as they would in any other time that they’ve called their own. Throw in a relic from the past, my protagonist, and there you’ll find a culture clash. Like how our parents, and our grandparents would react around us, I reversed the effect. My protagonist, Josie, was now the one causing quite a stir and raising brows by her profanity with the so-called civilised future generation.

Weapons and the art of fighting, well, they’ve always sort of appealed to me. I mean interested me—that sounds better. With advances in technology and medical sciences, I’m hoping that people in the future will have a longer life expectancy, as well as amazing new gadgets to play war with. I will admit, a lot of the ideas for my weapons found in The Lancaster trilogy have mutated from playing various video games—from pulse guns to Snare Guns, to krimas (my version of a light sabre). A lot of the fighting techniques, I borrowed from true and trusted old school modes of combat: the various martial arts, stick-fighting, and the down and dirty fist fights. I then combined all these things and made the people of the future more combat wary, physically fit, and downright sneaky. After all, they’ve all had to live through, or have been affected by, a generation of war and treachery. Acts and thoughts of self-preservation can only be enhanced after that.

So that’s it really. Weave a story into it, join them up, and out popped The Lancaster Rule.

Thanks Linda for allowing me to share some of my world with you.

Where T.K. Toppin can be found on the web:

Facebook: The Lancaster Rule / Written by T.K. Toppin

Twitter: TKToppin

By the way, I'm over at T.K.'s Blog ( today, yapping about writing!


  1. Just wanted to say: Thanks Linda!!

  2. Your creation makes sense. I'd wondered how you futuristic people go about it. Thanks for the insight.

  3. Very interesting insight into your creative world, T.K. But you make it sound too easy!

  4. Hi Allison, Rosemary! Well, in a nutshell, right? I omitted the many hours of pondering, and head-shaking and saying: nahh, that won't work...
    Thanks for stopping by!!!

  5. Being such a sci-fi geek myself, I am always fascinated with the worlds that other people "build". Very interesting!

  6. I admire writers who can create fantasy worlds and not bore their readers with it. It's not easy to do.

    Love the cover.

  7. @Ashley - Thanks!!
    @Marie - I'm such a geek too.
    @Stina - Well, I'm hoping it wasn't boring. :)
    Thanks everyone for stopping by. Much appreciated.