how to world build like a pro
Hello my friend and I hope you are doing great. Today we are talking world building. But before we get started with the post are you doing nanowrimo? if you are i hope its going great but if not i have a post on how you can write faster and this could be for you even if you don't do nanowrimo so check that out. Now let's talk about worldbuilding.
World building is sometimes so overwhelming, but it is an important aspect of your story. Then again maybe not as important as you think. Yup, that makes total and complete sense right?! But we’ve all seen those people who spend years building their world and never get to writing the story in which the world takes place? Yea don’t do that. Even if you do build your world for years, it may not be enough. Here’s the deal outlining is great. In fact, I’m going to say that right here. OUTLINE GUYS.
And before you pantsers come at me hear me out. Well, I do have an entire post on OUTLINING, so be sure to check that out. But especially if you are writing a genre like fantasy or sci-fi an outline can do you wonders. There may be some very complicated components in your world and you might have to figure this out rather than winging it. And you know I’m just going to say it even if you do write a rom com an outline isn’t a bad thing. Guys now that I’ve got the tip Obvious out of the way let’s get started with the real tips but before than you know what I’m gonna say subscribe, like, comment and share this post. You know all the goodies for subscribers but if you’re new. You’ve got a novel outline template, world building template and also a character profile. You know you want them so subscribe and also be sure to get updates every time I post! Yup now let’s get on with the tips.
1. It’s not just a fantasy or sci fi element
Yea you heard that right. This really annoys me that when people talk about world building, they talk fantasy and sci-fi and dystopia. Don’t please don’t. world building is literally present in every book you read. It is exactly like it sounds, building a world. Who ever said that a world could only be full of fantasy and magic. Yea well the world I live in doesn’t really work that way. I know major let down, but let’s get serious when was the last time you see witched and fairies and vampires walking around the world. I mean nor have we seen magical buildings or magical treehouses or anything. World building is literally just developing the world around you.
Now even if your story is set in a high school there is world building elements. I mean you’ve got classes with diverse students and teachers. You have so many elements just in a school. You’ve got the bullies and the quite kids and even those who fall out of the average stereotypes. Guys even when you point out a flower in your story, you are building up the world. I don’t think any of you are have ever seen someone point out a sunflower in the snow. Every single thing you point out in the world is building something up. So even if you are writing a contemporary story or a realistic fiction one you are still building a world.
2. Start from the beginning
Now where do you start with world building? The answer is simple, the beginning. Does your character stumble upon this world or is it a place they have lived their entire life. If they stumble upon the world, you know where to start. And do not info dump. Again I am not making this a separate point but here’s a quick tip for that. You can show the world through your characters eyes. We have all seen the one conversation where a friend explains to the protagonist literally everything that goes on in the world and it all feels so forced. I get that your MC may ask questions which could be answered but not like the person answering it swallowed a thesaurus.
Now if your character has lived in this world their entire life you can still do the same. They can have conversations about politics or anything with their friend and guess what it won’t be an explanation here. You can give so much insight to your world just by a friendly knowing conversation.
Where does your story start? Build up from there. Don’t introduce dragons and vampires and faeries all in the first chapter. And that magic system of yours, maybe take your time with that.
Now I know I used fantasy elements there sorry about that but it worlds the same with a high school setting. Start with the people or teachers and do not introduce all two hundered students and fifty teachers in the same first chapter. High schools have cliques and our ever favourite bullies. Introduce all these slowly and build the world from the beginning. Starting from the beginning also helps you avoid the unecessary details.
3. Power scale
Again, do I need to remind you that power scale isn’t just magic. It could be the government or the most popular kid in school too. Now our world has a government right and now look at who has more power and how the power is distributed. And no, this doesn’t take all that much time.
Now if you are writing fantasy here are some things for you. Fantasy writers probably have magic in you world right? now take a look at that magic system and see how it works. Now magic systems are a whole new and elaborate topic but I want you to take a notebook and jot down the answers to some questions like
How important is magic in my world?
What are the limitations of magic?
What is the most power or the most that can be accomplished by magic?
And so on but there’s more if you are writing fantasy too the power scale doesn’t have to be magic but it does include it. It could include jobs or the government and I think you know what I’m talking about. But your main character’s powers is probably a huge part of this. But like I said before a post like this is coming soon. Comment down below and let me know if it’s something you’d be interested in.
4. Problems in the world
Do not tell me that your world is perfect in any sense. I mean we’ve all read about the most messed up fantasy worlds. Think about the problems in the world because it is very vital. What kind of problems will be thrown at your MC. Now let’s not just think about the people but also everything. Yea I know I get brownie points for being super vague. I’m talking the jobs and if there is anything with any problematic religious beliefs or the jobs that the common people get stuck with. There’s a lot of things in your world you need to flush pit but the jobs and everything may not be as important.
Ask yourself this with every single element you plan on building up to the smallest detail
How will they affect my characters and/or story?
If something in your world doesn’t affect your character or story, you my friend know exactly what to do. Cu them out. No seriously you have already built up on this, spent months on it, I’m sorry to say this but this is just another thing that will slow down your story and is inevitably something you must cut out of your story.
Now if you haven’t already developed these details, ask yourself the question and do yourself a favour.
5. Setting and themes
Cool, now we are down to the settings and themes in your world. What are the common themes you see around in your world? And I mean the things buried under the surface. Let’s talk about equality and everything. See what sort of things are judged unfairly and what are the stereotypes. (yes, this counts as themes.) If your genre is contemporary or something like realistic fiction, all you have to do is take a look around you and see the way you look at the world.
Then there are the obvious elements to theme like dark themes or happy ones. None of these are better than the others, I just want to put that in. A dark theme could have just as much hope as a happy and hopeful story. Your theme for the story could be adventurous, and that could affect how you create and showcase your world. Your world is supposed to contribute and support your plot. They should be woven together. So the theme of your story, that is things like what your characters will learn, will probably affect how you showcase your world.
And there’s setting which is also woven intricately with your setting. But this is probably obvious. Your setting is what you see. The theme can also be the things woven into your world and they may not always be visible to the naked eye. But your setting is here to compliment them and make them more visible. Now I’m obviously not going to tell you what to do about this. Look at books around you and study what makes them so amazing. Now study the setting. You’ll be surprised by the fact that a gloomy climate with lightning may even translate to dark. (but not the rain, the rain is beautiful, and it doesn’t have to be dark guys.
6. The time period
Cool now we are down to the time period. When is your story set. If you are writing about a fantasy world you may not think it important to study the time period then. But let me tell you that it really is. Give your reader something to draw parallels from. The clothing could be similar and so could their eating habits. Also consider if your fantasy world exists besides the real world, if it does then there may be more similarities. Now if you aren’t writing a genre like fantasy, then you should definitely do your research. Read about the food and the clothes and the jobs and even the way they talked. Read about the kind of music people listened too and read books from then. You can also watch some amazing tv shows. (and yes tv shows aren’t always accurate. But some of them are.) Have fun with this guys. History doesn’t have to be boring, its just that way in school, unless you have a good teacher. You do not want to be writing about smartphones in the medieval time now do you? So research is important.
That is All I have for you today, i hope this helped you and you are feeling exited to go build your world or maybe just fix some things in it. Comment down below and tell me what part of world building do you struggle with the most. Be sure to grab my world building template. All you have to do is scroll down and you'll see my newsletter form on the bottom of the very page. I'll then send you a welcome email with the templates plus you'll get notified every time i post. and that is every Monday with even an extra post. Follow me on Instagram @writerashmikaa to know before i post and so you can vote on my posts. Leave a like on this post if you enjoyed it and share it with anyone you think will be interested and I'll see you next Monday.