World building in original works is a huge part of the process. Without a believable, well described backdrop, the characters remain two dimensional; regardless of how well they are written, how brilliant the dialogue is, or how awesome the action is.
Yet, this is the area that I found most difficult, because like my drawing, I like to concentrate on the characters, and not so much on what goes on beyond their actions.
So how do you build a world? Do you use something similar to another world already established? Do you try to create something completely original (Increasingly difficult to do btw...)
A friend and full time Beta reader of mine once told me something I consider the best advice, "When world building ensure you engage all five senses..."
What does the world look like?
What sounds can be heard?
What does the area surrounding the characters smell like?
What textures can be felt?
What can be tasted?
Asking these questions can help flesh out the framework of world building immensely. Each section that the characters move through should be examined in the same ways. Not all five senses need be employed each time, but they do add more depth and quality the the backdrop the plotline moves against.
Her advice has helped me to improve the background descriptions in much of my storytelling...but I have my moments where I fall behind on that...get caught up in the moment between characters...LOL
How about you guys, any other advice to those of us who's worldbuilding skills aren't as great as our other talents?1/31/2010 #1
|Zeal of 1200BC
The planet in my story (An alien home-world called Lintsyia) is the result of countless fictional history writting. I have half a composition book full of ramblings of Capitol City and the Matwenica Islands... I think I may have thought too hard about it, though.2/16/2010 #2
I find that the pleasure of world building can actually overshadow the fun of writing a story, my problem is writing characters to act in my worlds. I am also complete crap at dialogue, all of my characters sound exactly like me. Whenever I start world building I usually start off with a defining event (ie first ftl space travel, great war, etc) really anything and decide what the outcome of that event is and how the world was shaped by that.10/6/2011 #3
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