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Building basics (Part 1)

Emma_Clare at 12:00AM, Feb. 14, 2020

A key aspect to creating a story, be it a modern day slice-of-life, an epic space opera or a high fantasy saga, is the world in which the characters inhabit. Now there are lots of aspects to consider when building your story and, this week, we’ll be going into the first few building blocks you’ll need to construct a solid and fleshed out world.

What is your world?
A key question to ask yourself when building your world is, “What kind of world is it?” Is it a world floating in the sky or at the bottom of the ocean? Does it have an atmosphere with vast plant life, or is it a dry, deserted rock floating through space. Take a step back and consider the big picture of your world as it is the foundation the rest of it will be built on.

Slice it up!
Now that you have figured out what sort of world you have, you can begin slicing it up! Worlds are made up of territories and countries and whilst you don’t have to name everything, pick a place and begin carving up bits of it and name them. Once that is done, start picking out towns, villages and cities that might be relevant to your story. Keep doing this until you have a good sense of your world. This will help you get an idea of the type of society you’ll soon be placing in there. Plus once you name it, it’s yours.

Let it grow!
No world is complete without animals, flora and weather. What’s the climate of your village? Is it always wet and yet verdantly green, or is it an arid desert? What type of seasons do they experience, if at all? Once you’ve nailed down the weather, think about the types of animals and plants that might thrive there. If you're stuck, take the time to do some research on what types fauna and flora live in those types of conditions and draw your inspiration from that.

What do people live in?
People have to live somewhere and, so, the question you need to ask next is, “What do their houses look like?” Are they yurts, castles, mud brick houses? The architecture of your world informs the type of society your character belongs to. Consider their station in that society as well, as that will influence the type of buildings they’ll have access to.

What’s the world history
Now this can be quite the rabbit hole, so, to just focus on the history that is needed to tell your story. How did the current government come to be, if there is one? How did the people in power get there? How did the town/city come to be? By keeping your history relevant to the character, you won’t run the risk of overwhelming the audience and, thus, keep them interested. Remember there’s always time to flesh out the history…later.

What do you start with when building your worlds? Let us know in the comment section below! And join us on Sunday evening for our Quackchat at 5:30PM(EST)!

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bravo1102 at 5:30AM, Feb. 14, 2020

"If this goes on..." Read a news item and extrapolate how that could change a world.

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