How to Build an Imaginary World

Hey Lovelies!

Welcome to the last day of our world building series. We’re going to be talking about making up worlds from scratch. I know that this seems super daunting, but it is doable – look at all the author’s that have done it themselves.

I really don’t have a lot to say about doing this as a whole. I am just going to give you some tips on how to make this process easier and some things to consider when you’re building your world.

First off, I’m going to give you a couple links:

Welcome to World Building — This is a list of questions you should answer (whether you use all those answers or not is up to you) about your world.

The Dabbler — This is a website full of links to various other sites and resources. There are courses for world building that are now free, question lists, links to other blogs, etc. Seriously, go check it out!

Now here are your tips for today:

  • Pick a starting point. This can be the aspect your most interested in or something simple or you’re most equipped to handle. Building your foundation first is going to make it easier for all the other pieces to fall into place.
  • Ask Questions about your world. Imagine that you’re explaining your home country to someone who has never been there or heard of it. Or you were explaining Earth to aliens. Make sure the questions you’re answering deal with the story you’re concocting. If you don’t have magic in your story then you don’t need to answer the magic questions.
  • Show, don’t tell. When you’re describing your world for you reader, don’t info dump things on them. So when you’re describing your religion or politics or landscape – have your characters interact with it in some way. They can talk about it – as in giving directions to someone who is lost or give to us as if they’re seeing it for the first time. You can also show us the environment, etc through action. Someone could be overthrowing the government and the reason is that they’re enslaving women and beating them publicly.
  • Don’t be shy about drawing inspiration from real life. No matter how hard you try, you’re going to end up incorporating our life events or locations or customs into your story. This isn’t a bad thing! It can make your world more real to you and your readers. It gives your word depth and credibility. George R. R. Martin does this in his Game of Thrones series.
  • Try clashing reality and fantasy. The most famous example of this is J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter. Rowling’s magical world is hidden away from the muggle world. They coexist side-by-side, but without the muggle world knowing about the magical one. This does get us into the alternate reality side of things though and we talked about that last week.
  • Keep your rules and laws consistent. There is nothing as irritating as having someone switch the rules on you half way because it was convenient for the writer. If you’re going to switch things up then you’re going to need a good reason as to why you’re changing that rule.

That’s it for me today! I hope you all found this helpful and please let me know if I missed anything or if you have any good tools that you use and don’t mind sharing with others.

Next week we’ll be talking about pathetic fallacy.

Until next week!

Cheers,

Danielle


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