Five Foundations Of Worldbuilding As a writer of fantasy and science fiction, I’m often asked for my tips on world-building. Earlier in 2012, I taught a workshop on it at my local library, and all year I’ve been meaning to put those notes online. Finally I have time to do it! So, here are my thoughts on world-building, with examples for you to investigate on your own. In the Beginning … If you look online or in books about writing fantasy, you often find lengthy lists of questions to ask yourself about the world you’re creating. My hand-drawn map of Ash’s world A lot of these world building guides also suggest that you draw a map of your fictional world. Of course, it is important to spend some time on world building, especially if you’re writing a story set in a secondary world.2 But I don’t think you need to get bogged down in answering 100 questions about the economics and politics and plant life of your world. Five Foundations of World Building Who has it? The ritual of the Sorting Hat The ritual of the Reaping Ramen!
How Much of My World Do I Build? First, let me say that worldbuilding is an essential skill for every writer, regardless of genre. Not all writers need to concentrate on all areas of worldbuilding, but every writer must do some worldbuilding if he hopes to have a novel that is coherent, consistent, and real. Second, writers seem to come in three varieties — those who really have no idea what worldbuilding is or why they should bother with it; those who do know, but figure they’ll wing the details as they go; and those obsessive folks who secretly believe that they really can’t start the book until the whole planet is in place. I’ve spent time in all three camps — most of my time in the last one. The system works. Build only what you need; imply the rest. What do you need? A — Special physics It used to be that the only places where you might run into special physics were in SF and fantasy novels. If you require special physics, however, you must now answer the following questions. Special Physics — Matrin Magic On to step F.
Fiction Writing: How to Create a Believable World for Your Characters When you hear the term “worldbuilding,” what comes to mind? For some, it might be George Lucas’ classic Star Wars universe; for others, perhaps it’s the sprawling, gritty world of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, the not-so-distant future of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, or the richly detailed Middle-earth of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. An author creating his story’s world has the power to develop it in every way. Considering these elements is crucial to creating an interesting, engaging and believable world — in any genre, not just fantasy or science fiction. [bctt tweet=”In fiction writing, give your characters’ world the attention it deserves.”] Why do I need to build a world? Simply put, your characters need a place to live, work and play! Would the story of the two young lovers from very different backgrounds have been as gripping if it hadn’t been set aboard the Titanic? How does worldbuilding improve my writing? Worldbuilding, step by step
Character Trait Cheat Sheet - Kris Noel In order to create a relatable character, you must think about them as having several layers. Knowing and choosing character traits is important because you don’t want them to be one dimensional. It’s all not as simple as saying “this person is mean” or “this person is kind”. Think about the people you know in real life. I’ve listed some examples of character types: Adventurer: high levels of energy, bold, dominant, competitive, fickle, leader. Bossy: confident, competitive, stubborn, close minded, serious, lacks shame or guilt, wants a high status. Creator: artistic, observant, persistent, sensitive, introverted, becomes easily absorbed, enthusiastic, likes his or her own company. Extrovert: outgoing, talkative, not easily intimidated, expressive, enjoys being with others, seeks social situations. Fearful: driven by fears of rejection, unhappy, withdrawn, avoids stress, uncomfortable in social situations, problems being assertive. -Kris Noel My book My goodreads
20 World Building Questions for Authors to ask Themselves Author at work: now is the time to ask yourself these world building questions World building is the art of convincing a reader that a fictitious place exists. What do you do if you don’t know where to start creating that illusion? Well, to get you going, here’s a list of 20 world building questions you can ask yourself to get started. What is the geography like? Don’t fall into the Star Wars Trap of having mono-climate worlds (Tatooine = desert, Hoth = ice, Endor = forest). Why is that city there? Cities happen for reasons. What do people eat? If your world contains fantastical creatures, consider which of them are edible. The first person to discover a creature is either a scientist or an explorer; the second is invariably a cook. If your world is more Earth-like, take a cuisine appropriate to your climate and adapt it to your world. Who or what do they worship? Was your world made by one or more gods? How do they express that worship? Are there organized religions? What languages are there?
Setting: Using Scene To Enrich Your Writing In both fiction and nonfiction, the setting is the general background against which your story takes place—the physical location and time period, both of which influence your characters and plot. So how can a creative writer use setting and scenery to further offset, augment, or reflect the action of the plot? Although we’re going to be exploring this issue in terms of fiction, these techniques work for nonfiction as well. These craft techniques work in all genres: poetry, stories, personal essays, memoir, and books. Suppose you’re writing a novel that is set in the Deep South in 1955 and your protagonist is an immigrant facing prejudice and roadblocks at every turn. You’d have a completely different novel if your protagonist were a Texas cowboy who found himself in Mississippi at that particular time and place. Setting the stage for a short story or novel is a crucial part of engaging your reader. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. QUESTION: What was the setting of the last thing you wrote?
Hanga 25 Things You Should Know About Character Previous iterations of the “25 Things” series: 25 Things Every Writer Should Know 25 Things You Should Know About Storytelling And now… Here you’ll find the many things I believe — at this moment! 1. Without character, you have nothing. 2. A great character can be the line between narrative life and story death. 3. Don’t believe that all those other aspects are separate from the character. 4. The audience will do anything to spend time with a great character. 5. It is critical to know what a character wants from the start. 6. It doesn’t matter if we “like” your character, or in the parlance of junior high whether we even “like-like” your character. 7. It is critical to smack the audience in the crotchal region with an undeniable reason to give a fuck. 8. You must prove this thesis: “This character is worth the audience’s time.” 9. Don’t let the character be a dingleberry stuck to the ass of a toad as he floats downriver on a bumpy log. 10. 11. 12. 13. The law of threes. 15. 16. 17. 18.