World building is hard. You have this thought in your head for this amazing and complicated place where your characters reside but once you get ready to start writing it all down it’s incredibly difficult. I mean how can you really create a world and yet still focus on the character and plot?
Well, as always, balance is needed. Much like how I explained in the post earlier this week about setting, it’s all about how you present it. Unlike a regular setting, the world your story takes place in has a more prominent effect upon the plot and your characters. Laws of physics, magic(k), as well as the laws of civilizations will be large components of this world and they can either be a help or obstacle for your characters. You have to be much more indepth than you were with your setting alone.
Since setting is a place, it is involved with the creation of your world. This is why you see some fantasy novels written with maps included within the covers. It’s a good way to start out when working on world creation, this way you have something to refer to when you are working on the novel itself. Never want the writer to be lost in their own world right?
Apart from locations, something to seriously consider the mythos of the place. What is their religion, if they have one? What types of medicine do they use? Natural or have they developed the synthetics that we have become so comfortable using? Do they have a government system, or is it more tribal? What is their law system like? Lots to think about there.
If you use a separate notebook strictly for world building, fill it. When you are done with that one fill another. You need to know more about this world than a Dungeon Master does for the game session he is working on. It won’t be real until you make it real to yourself, your characters, and finally your reader. Like backstories not all of it will be involved in the story right away but it can and will be important at some point in time.
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