Worldbuilding 101

You realize for writers, it’s not anything new.  Every time a fiction writer picks up his or her pen, a world is created.   Do you realize how tedious the prompt sounds

Interplanet Janet
You get to design your own planet: tell us all about your planet — the weather, the seasons, the inhabitants. Go.

Seriously people? I design my own planets all the time. Every writer does. Some better than others.

Chuck Sambuchino did a whole post on it for Writer’s Digest: How to Make Your Imaginary World Real.

There isn’t a certified qualification or course on world-building (well, not in my neighborhood), but every story requires it. Whether your tale is set in a real place or an imagined one, you need to establish your characters’ world so that the reader can suspend disbelief and fully engage with their story.

So many don’t.  Seriously don’t.  Or they go into such boring detail you fall asleep before page 5.   My problem is mainly with the writers who create a fantasy world then their own language then go into such detail, it bores the living shit out of me.  There is a fine line between creativity and absolute boredom.  For example if we have a perfectly good word in English for a concept, use that damn word, do not go and create one.  For something we do not have a concept for such as the hour between sunset and dark, feel free to create. [It’s called L’heure Blu in French]  Don’t make me learn a whole new language for something I already know the word for.  It’s worse than badly written dialect.

The 7 Deadly Sins of Worldbuilding covers some of the flaws you may have in your world if you don’t think it through.  Easiest worlds to build are reality based worlds but then you have the hard task of convincing us this can occur in this world.  So that leaves you with the problem of  how much of my world do I build.   Holly Lisle has an article about that.

In Standing Stone, the worldbuilding was bare.  Everything is taken on something that I know and experienced or that you have or could experience.  Even my Serial Killer is based on my Forensic Psych experience.  He exists.  Perhaps not in that particular make up with those particular parents and not with that psychosis but he exists in fragments of those I worked with.  My imagination simply put the fragments together to create him.  The same with Just One Look [no serial killer here though].

So telling me I get to design my own world?

Lion Yawning

Gotta do better than that to excite me.


2 thoughts on “Worldbuilding 101

  1. Creating a gazetteer when you build a fantasy world is great, but hardly any of it appears in the actual story. It’s somethiig you can post on a blog or publish as a separte ebook for those that read whatever series you are writing.

Comments are closed.