World Building

Alright, so, I need your help. Like I said in the last post I scrapped my previous story and am going to begin anew. Well, to start from square one, I need to first build the world in which everything exists. The characters, the plot, the writing scheme and other schematics can be figured out later. The world is the ground, the foundation of the story.

Where to begin… It has never been an issue for me to figure the history and geography of a world; those two things seem to come naturally to me. The problem in world building is conceptualizing what kind of world you think is best conducive to the story you wish to portray. If you will, it is like deciding what size and shape canvas will best compliment the colors of your painting. The first thing to consider when building a world is astronomy. How many planets are there in this world? Is there life on more than one? How many moons? The tides, the seasons, the climate, and conditions all depend upon the order and number of the celestial bodies. 

From the heavens, we move to the earth, time era, flora, people groups, creatures, beasts, kingdoms, and other elements concerning life are now addressed in the earth stage of this world building.  

From the earth phase you go to the civilization phase and enhance the background, economy, government, culture, and environment of your different kingdoms. Diversity and well developed cultures are one of the things for which readers will read a story. Getting lost in another world is the beauty of stories and their #1 enticement. The simplest way to enhance your world is to develop its various cultures.

The story I’m writing is fantasy, which automatically makes it fiction as well and opens the door for new world possibilities. For instance, in fantasy, you could have a creature people who were intelligent and lived in communities or perhaps even kingdoms as people do. The cultures of these creature people would be incredibly unique and a vast deal more versatile.

Also, having creature people in fantasy means having to shape the the world to different living conditions for these beasts. The environments in which they live, temperature, climate, location, and every aspect of their lives is geared around their adaptability to the human environment or displacement from it. The proportions of elements involved in engineering their lifestyles can be tedious but ultimately they inspire your stories in a way specific to fantasy.

After you have laid the ground work of heaven, earth, civilization, and culture, you can now begin shaping characters. However, before you begin the writing of any story, you should answer a few personal questions about the work. Do you include innately good and evil beings or characters? For example: Angels, Demons, warlocks, Wizards, trolls, goblins, gremlins, hags, werewolves, vampires, etc… What about religion? Do you have a God in the story? If so, you need and anti-God such as Satan. Do you make it spiritual, scriptural, allegorical, or just a story for writing’s sake? 

Well, I believe that every story should have a purpose. Nothing should be done just for the sake of doing it. Whether that purpose be to progress your skills in writing, to prove to you that you can finish something, to be published and turn profit, or to help you learn from your mistakes, all stories have a purpose. Then it comes down to, what do you want the story to portray to the reader? What is its goal? Is it to present the gospel?

Really the question is, what are you writing for? From there, the story, the characters, the plots and sub-plots, the motifs and callbacks will all follow. A story is what you make it, it is yours to shape and to mold from start to finish. For me though, starting from square one on this new story, I’m going to need a little help.

Now, we can take this one concept at a time, but if you’d like to be in on the creation of a story, (perhaps you are not into writing or you have ideas just not the means of expressing them), just leave me a comment. Let’s get a flow of ideas going about this world building. What do you think about the cosmos, should I keep it as it is or make some modifications? Do I confine life to one planet or employ many? What about earth? What kind of world makes an exciting or interesting story? What kind of creatures would you like to see in a story? I want you to be part of this.

Feel free to come up with whatever craziness you wish. Any ideas are welcome. If you’d rather keep your thoughts to yourself, that’s fine, but you may have the best ideas of all. 

As always, thanks for reading, and remember: a good story starts with a good foundation.

–the anonymous novelist

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