World Development

StoryShop Forums Building Your World Pre-Writing World Development

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    Jeremy
    Participant
    How many of us have sat staring at a blank page that is supposed to be a map? I know I sure have. What are the tips and tricks everyone is using for their world development? Are you starting small and building outward? Are you developing a grand scale and then zeroing in? Or are you just pretty much writing as fast as you can and hoping that the world development will eventually catch up? C’mon – share with the rest of the class?

     

    – Jeremy

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      Marie Robinson
      Participant
      Generally, I like to start big. What’s cool about this world? What makes me excited to write in it? Then I get smaller and smaller as I figure out what my story in that world is, and I decide on specific details as I want/need to. Building the world without knowing the story I’m trying to tell has rarely worked for me with the first dive into that world, though usually once I know a bit about the world, story ideas pop up like dandelions. Someone mentions “the Colonies” in a throwaway line during a conversation about the ocean, and suddenly I’m like, “Ooh, maybe I could write a book in the Colonies.” Stuff like that. 🙂
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      Sophia Uhlenhoff
      Participant
      I’ll usually world build as I outline. I have a fun world-building questionnaire that I fill out. It basically has me answer questions about my world’s culture, history, animals, garb, and so on. When I want to get really detailed, I use this great book called The Planet Construction Kit by Mark Rosenfelder; it even shows you how to calculate how far away your planet can be from its star/sun! And then when I get to the writing part, I’ll do more world building as needed.
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        Jeremy
        Participant
        A world building questionnaire? Fabulous! Is this part and parcel of the book you mentioned, or did you discover this somewhere else?
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      Leenna Naidoo
      Participant
      I start small then let the world suggest itself. I tend to write more magic realism, so I often use our world to springboard into new ones. I fear if I started a world without characters, I would never get down to writing! That said, the realities I write about have set rules, and I find that more useful than building up localities first.
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