Friday, May 14, 2010


Today is Friday. Thank goodness says I! I want to have a little chat about world building.

When I critique, I generally say "improve your world building". I'm asked "what's world building?" Well. I think world building means different things to different people. To me, it is the world in which a character lives, what he/she sees and experiences. Not just where the character is currently standing, but the world around him and where he fits within this world.

Being a fantasy writer, world building is quite important. What's a fantasy without a fantastical world of animals, beings and surroundings? wouldn't be a fantasy, that's for sure!

Close your eyes. Reach deep into your imagination. See what I see. A bubbling brook. Ah, but what else can you see? Reeds dotted alongside the brook. Grass the colour of deep emeralds. Soft. Velvety. Do you feel anything? Cool breeze. It's actually a bit chilly. The water splashing over my feet from the brook is like ice.What's above you? Sky. Hmmm...what else. The sun. Anything else? Birds. What are the birds doing? Flying. Are they making any noise? Yep, they're screeching. Let's go back to the brook. What do yo see there? Water. Obviously. Is there anything in the water? Fish. What kind? Salmon. Ah! Is there anything on the far bank of the brook? A fisherman. Someone you know? No, just a fisherman. What's he wearing? Pants. Colour? Black. He's also wearing a green plaid shirt, and a vest. A floppy hat is on his head. He's wearing gumboots that reach to his knees. Can you smell anything? Fish. What else. Pine. Why pine? There are pine trees behind the fisherman.

There. In a few short sentences, we have described the area and set the scene. We used most of our senses and pulled the reader into the world. My biggest tip when world building, keep it simple. Don't worry about the ants on the rock unless your story is about the ants. Don't worry about what lure the fisherman uses unless it is important to the story. However, worry alot about the unicorn about to push the fisherman into the brook, and worry even more about the Tyrannosaurus Rex about to swallow him whole!


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