Saturday, April 9, 2011

SPOTLIGHT ON: World-Building

I'll tell you a secret: I'm not very good at worldbuilding.  Oh, I can offer settings and descriptions, but I'm often blind to the little nuances and tiny details that need to be included so fresh eyes can follow my story and feel the depth of my world.

One of the primary values of critique from people who don't know and love me (and haven't heard me talk AD NAUSEUM about my book), is that they start with a clean slate.  They can highlight where my worldbuilding is lacking... or where I'm hammering the point home.

There's a lot of tools out there, but just in case you have similar issues, I thought I'd offer up a few resources here to help.  And let me suggest: If you look at these and think "that's going to take too much work" you're running the risk (like me) of your final product lacking depth.  If the work isn't done at the beginning, it'll be much bigger job later - possible (like me) AFTER you've got an agent / editor. 

World Building for Fantasy Writers

30 Days of World Building Exercises

Organizing & Tracking World Building in Fiction

Unearthly or Unknown World Building

Your Turn: Do you have any tips or go-to websites you use for world building?  Add them in the comments!


  1. I have no tips for you (sorry!), but these are good links (I like the sound of organizing and tracking world building) for those who have to build world. I'll take a look because although I don't write fantasy, I created an island where I've crafted at least two stories.

  2. In one way or another, all authors build a world. It may not be an alien planet or preternatural creatures. It may be a grandmother's house, a "boarding" school like Aimee's. Each place, each group has a dynamic, a history and rules. They may not be as dramatic or obvious but must be just as consistent. Love the links and agree that time spent upfront is time saved at the backed end. Or worse yet. do you want to risk not getting that agent?