Site icon Douglas W.T. Smith

Three Steps For World Building

As a fantasy writer, I spend a lot of time thinking about the worlds my characters inhabit. Solid world building is essential to the story. If done well, readers become immersed in the tale, but when it’s done poorly, they notice it and put down your novel.

Here are Three Steps For Worldbuilding that will help create believable worlds in unbelievable settings:

Physical Geography and Climate

You should have a good sense of the physical world you’ve created for your characters to navigate. Here are a few suggestions:

Rules and Consistency

Forr fantasy, you are likely to have magic in your story. Here are some things to consider when building these elements into your world:

Social and Economic Constructs

Unless your character has crash-landed on an uninhabited world, you’ll need to think about culture and society. Here are some things to consider:

By thinking through the physical terrain you’ve created and the important pieces of culture, science, or magic that exist there, you will have created a consistent, believably unbelievable world in which readers can experience the story alongside your characters.

But creating an imaginative backdrop is only one part of crafting a speculative story, and good world-building will only take you so far.

Next week I’ll go beyond the basics to discuss problems and pitfalls with world-building, ideas on revealing the world through our characters, and tips on creating depth through complexity.


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