World Building: Build a World You Love

May 7, 2016

It’s very easy to get lost in the details of the world or get bogged down by things you find irrelevant to your story, and that is the perfect time to really get to know both your story as well as your world.

Relevancy

Pick out things that are relevant to your story and help it move forward. We do not need to know every grandparent’s name, middle name and favourite football team, unless it is relevant to the story.

Detail

Know how much detail to put in your story from the world. It’s not necessary to describe every building your character walks past but perhaps there’s one that stands out, or one that really gives your readers an understanding of the area, people or world.

Keep it mysterious

The reader doesn’t have to know every nook and cranny of the world their reading about. Nothing like a quiet island off the on it’s own, referenced only as “the island” to pique the interest of the reader, instill wonder or curiosity.

Build a world you love

Your characters have life. Your story has life and so too does the world you are building. You want to enjoy writing about it as much as you do about the people living in it. You want your readers to fall in love with it as they move through the pages.

How you put all of this together is really up to you. Each person has a unique way of detailing their worlds, from drawn out maps listing each and every location, to flash cards for each area a character will visit to spider-diagrams tying in character to location to story.

At the end of the day you must love to tell stories of your world as you do about your story; the two are intertwined.

What techniques do you use to build your world?

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