So starting today and going through the next four weeks, I will be hosting a 4 part series on world building! World building is one of the most important parts of writing a story, and over the next four weeks, I will be helping you master the art of world building by creating worlds that are not only believable and accurate but consistent as well. The beauty of world building is that you don’t have to be a fantasy, science-fiction, etc. author to partake in the art, and every story has its own level of world building to have a proper setting for its plot. With that being said, let’s begin with a solid foundation to get you started!
World building can be an intimidating task if looked at in its entirety, but it doesn’t have to be treacherous from the get go. You can break world building down into simple sections, and by breaking up the tasks it won’t be as overwhelming.
To begin, I would like to discuss the first section of world building.
Every “world” needs a firm ground that it can build up from, so to speak. This is why that you need to start by creating the framework for your world as soon as possible. One of the biggest flaws that authors seem to have with world building is that they don’t remain consistent with the laws and regulations of their world. The logic of their created world becomes muddy and increasingly unbelievable. But if you note all policies, regulations, and rules that apply to your world from the beginning, you will be less likely to mix up important details and confuse the reader.
The best way to begin organizing your world is with 5 different activities to get all of your ideas on paper. These activities can be done over 5 days, or slowly completed over the course of a few weeks. What you need to do is either keep a notebook (my personal favorite) or create a folder on your computer that will contain all 5 of these files for you to reference back to. To begin, create a different page or document for each of the following categories:
- Landmarks (Major buildings, natural landmarks, etc. that are important to your world)
- Survival (What do your people eat? What do they do for a living? What is the purpose of their town or place of residence?)
- Characters (Which characters play a big part if your world? Government, city officials, etc.)
- Laws/Rules (Which rules and/or laws make up the framework of your world?)
- History (What is the history of your world? How did it come into existence?)
If you create in-depth documents or pages based on these different topics, you will create a wonderful framework for your world so that you won’t have any inconsistencies involving the basics of your world. You will also be able to build up from these simple details and create a vibrant setting to pull your reader into. I hope that this first exercise will help get you started, and look out for the second exercise next week!
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