So it’s Friday again, and that means time for another help post for writers. I would like to express here that I am still learning a lot of the craft. In fact, I think most of us are always learning new things and new ways to better our careers. I certainly don’t know all there is to know, but I’m glad to share what I do know with you, and some helpful things I learn along the way. If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comments, and I will do my best to answer them, or find the resources you need to help.
This week I want to take some time to talk to you abut the importance of world building. Why is that important? Because it builds your world silly! But more than that, it gives your writing depth, it makes the place you are writing about seem so much more real for the reader. Believe me, if you don’t know the place you are writing about, it’s going to show through in your writing.
Imagine for a moment if some of the great fantasy authors of our time hadn’t world built. Can you imagine Hogwarts without some of the classes? Can you picture the elves of Middle Earth without their language? Think of your favorite author. Now, imagine the history of the world you love so much cut in half. If you don’t know your world, that is what your readers are going to get, half of the story, because that’s all your going to know to provide. It will make your book a little less engrossing, and it might even lead people to put your story down and forget it once they have.
I have an amazing world builder I use (click the link to go to it). I didn’t make it myself, but it is so in depth that by the end of filling it out, there is no doubt you will know your world inside and out. Some of the questions you will never use when you are writing, but fill them out anyway. Why? Because the more you know about your world, the more comfortable you will feel living in it for the time it takes to write your book. Also, don’t forget that all of this knowledge will show through in your writing.
Even if you are writing about an alternate Earth, you need to world build. An alternate Earth is still a fantasy land for your readers. They are going to want to know what happened to make Earth the way it is in your books, is it an alternate reality, or some future time after an event that changed life as we know it? Treat an alternate Earth as you would a fantasy world, and you will be doing great.
The benefits of world building are vast. Who knows, while world building, and mulling over a pretty interesting part of history, you might decide to write more about the world you are creating. Like Mercedes Lackey, you might write an entire history for your world as she did with Valdemar!
Did you know I’m an author?!? Holy crap! Find my fantasy and horror books on amazon!