Worldbuilding 101

This is a post I’ve been meaning to upload for a long time. World building is an important aspect of all writing.  Fantasy usually involves maps, and I’m sure we’ve all done plenty of those.  It’s important to have a basic understanding of geography and climate so you don’t make a mistake and have two things together that wouldn’t be possible in the real world. We all suspend our disbelief for some things (eg the possibility of space travel, or indeed, existence of magic), but there’s only so far you can push this. Best to reserve your reader’s goodwill for the big stuff.  I would recommend reading a textbook on it aimed at the primary school level – easy to understand and hopefully not too dense!

Think about aspects of your world such as landscape features, food sources, trade and technology, and resources that might become a basis for trade or war. Other aspects include political structure, spiritual framework and social class. All of these things will impact on the people who live there, will shape who they are and influence who they will become.

How your protagonist and antagonist are placed in terms of these things will determine how they act, what they say, even what values they have. And you’ve probably spotted it already – they can yield the conflict that will move your story forward and make it compelling.

Of course, there’s a trap too. I have to carefully time limit my world building phase, as it’s a really lovely way of putting off writing! How much of it you need depends on the writer, but I would argue you don’t need much to start your first draft. You can always drop the detail in later, and it’s just so satisfying seeing that word count go up, isn’t it?

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Upcoming New Fiction

I’m pleased to announce that a couple of talented writers I know have had success in getting their novels published!

Graham Storrs is an Australian science fiction writer who has just announced that his book Timesplash will shortly be available in e-book form from publisher Lyrical Press Inc.  Click on Graham’s name for a look at his blog and more information.

Luke Keioskie is also an Australian speculative fiction author, and has just published his zombie book Dead America with publisher Severed Press.  To get a taste, click here and see Luke’s website for the book, complete with sample chapters and info on how to get a copy.

Well done guys!

A bit about this blog

 

I’m an emerging Australian Speculative Fiction writer with a passion for stories and the craft of writing in general.  I write Fantasy, and am currently writing my second book. 

 

I’m interested in psychology, history and archaeology, and these interests inform my work.  I’m also passionate about the craft of writing and love exchanging tips on writing with other writers.  When you’re starting out, there’s so much to learn that it can be daunting.  There have been some very generous writers who have helped me, and I’d like to ‘return the favour’. 

 

The other thing is, writing is a hard slog, especially when you write tomes of 100,000 words or more.  Sometimes it’s hard to remember why you’re in this gig – until you hear from other writers!  The encouragement you get from those who are going through the same ups and downs that you are is worth water in a desert.  The more you get, the more inspired you are to keep at it. 

 

Hence this blog.  It’s to remind me and other emerging writers of why we do this.  I hope you find it useful.