Stopping by this morning to layout some thoughts on one of my favorite topics; world building! What is it to build a world and to do it successfully? What does a successfully built world look like? Who can honestly say? Personally, I think that a successfully built world is one that is always evolving, improving and changing. Why should the world remain static when the natural flow of things means that life moves on and adapts to an ever changing universe?
Fear not because this does not need to be a heavy issue, weighed down by a tradition that many authors may or may not feel 100% connected to. The idea of building a world can start as simply as a one line idea. It does not need to venture off into the unknown right away. These tangents can come later. Tangents in world building are much like tangents in regular conversation. They can become overwhelming fast and cause you to loss focus but they can also open up new pathways to explore. Use at every opportunity but cautiously. These tangents are like rabbit holes most of the time and more than you might release they are like gold mines of a untapped wealth of knowledge. They won’t necessarily make or break your world but managing the tangents can become very time consuming.
Still, to the point of building the world from scratch, you can utilize these tangents to expand upon knowledge or you can leave the readers in a tantalizing air of mystery. Often I think of myself as the adventurer and will discover the hidden secrets of the world along with the characters. It can be fun that way. Finding new cultures and new lands is an awesome way to build your world. Detailing history as if in some passed down narrative helps to bridge the gap into the current timeline of your world.
As a reader, it would be difficult to take all the various facts and tidbits about a world and store them all within our brains. The memorizing of such knowledge, while useful and fun, would be a tremendous undertaken. Authors themselves keep notebooks full of notes and journal entries to help them remember facts long after they first dream them up. The best way is to start slow and small. Of course you might feel so inclined to dive right in and create a massive world on par with Middle Earth or Thedas, I know I do at times. That’s alright but have a resource depository handy to help keep track. My recent works are set in a world that is on its 8th age! These ages range from a couple hundred years to several thousand! The history is not fully explored but it is there and will be tapped into but as writers, we do not have to present it all at once.
Give the readers a taste of the world and let them explore it, with you being a few steps ahead leading the way. There is no one set rule in world building with the except of, you have to take a step to begin.
Stop by my YouTube channel and check out my video on some Basic World Building topics!
If you want to see more give this blog a like and subscribe for more content. YouTube too!