Last time we talked about the concept of going deeper with our worldbuilding ideas to create a richer story and setting. Today, I’d like to give you some ideas and tools to help you do that. Some of these will work better with technology or magic, some with more cultural or people-oriented ideas. Either way, the next time you get a great idea for your worldbuilding, try running it through this little gambit to see where your new idea can take you. Continue reading
Tag Archives: worldbuilding
It’s an old adage. Nobody notices a clean bathroom, but everyone notices a dirty one. Worldbuilding, in any genre, is this way. Done well, your world will be a rich tapestry supplying the backdrop to your riveting story. Done poorly, your readers will be looking past the action and poking at the painted cardboard of your world to see if it can really hold up. That said, I’m going to offer you my number one rule in worldbuilding. It may sound familiar, but bear with me. Continue reading
I’ve been told that the two places you should never attempt to talk to an editor (or anyone in publishing for that matter) are an elevator or a public bathroom. Seems logical and polite. No one wants anyone shoving a manuscript at them when 1) they have no exit, or 2) they are in a delicate situation. I state again, it’s a matter of being logically polite.
So imagine, regardless of knowing this tip of etiquette, I committed this faux-pas. Now, before I mislead you, I didn’t have my manuscript in hand, nor did I intend to solicit the editor with my manuscript, but for a brief moment you could tell she was wondering if I was going to try and shove one in her bag. Continue reading
You finally have a moment to write, but what to do with your limited time? Here’s a practical prompt to kickstart the story you’re working on right now. The clock is ticking, people. Start writing.
Write a page or two on a character, culture, or situation you know very little (or nothing!) about. Don’t research this. Just take that teeny tiny seed an of idea and write. Use your imagination. Now, look up the closest approximation of the real character, culture, or situation, and research it. How does your creative fantasy version compare? Is it vastly more interesting and dynamic than the real deal? Or, after some research, do you see some glaring stereotypes and cliches in your made-up version? Sometimes life is stranger than fiction, but sometimes fiction is vastly more entertaining.
One of the less talked about worldbuilding problems is organizing that metric ton of information without causing your eyes to glaze over. I’ve found I do my best work when I allow the process to be as organic and unstructured as possible – lots of brainstorming and free-writing. This is great for creating, but not so wonderful for finding key details later when I’m steeped in the actual writing. There are lots of ways to sort this out, I’m sure. In fact, maybe you can get some good ideas from these guys at Writing Excuses. They have a great conversation about story bibles that I’ve found helpful. Continue reading