Monday, September 29, 2014

World Building

            One of the most important parts of writing is world building. It doesn't matter where a book or story is set; the writer needs to know the world inside and out.

            Some world building is easier – for example, a book set in the real world tends to need very little creation, although it does require more research. Other times, world building can be challenging – like a book set in a fantastical city in another world where the various people and establishments are critical to the plot.

            What I chose to do is, in hind sight, nearly impossible (at least for one person) and exceptionally challenging. I decided to build an entire fantasy world, the same size as ours (or, at least, close enough).

            Why is this task so difficult? Try to picture our entire world. Can you name all the countries and their capitals? What are the diplomatic statuses between each country? Where are the trade routes and what do the countries trade?

            Those are the easy questions. There are a whole lot of other details to come up with as well, like plants and animals unique to the world or ones that appear in other books and mythology that have their own twist in this world. Famous historical figures and locations. Religions, cultures, societies, politics, regional moral standards. The list goes on and on.

            Luckily it can be cheated, at least to a certain degree. Do I really need to know about unicorns if they don’t appear in the book I'm working on? No, I can leave that until I actually need it. But the more that is developed in the world, the easier it is to add flavour.

            Recently I decided that it was high time (after four and a half years and books of writing in this world) that it was high time I named the months and days of the week in my world. It seems like a relatively unimportant task, but now that it’s done I can actually set my characters’ birth dates in stone. Plus, whenever I feel like naming the day or the month in which the story is occurring, I'm ready to do so. I may even go back and add them into the books I've written, adding a new depth to the realism of my world.

            Of course, that whole process opened up a whole new can of worms for me, because now I'm working on the moon cycles. It sounds easy enough – and it was. For the first moon. However, following in my footsteps of craziness, I decided that the moon has a couple moons of its own. Now I'm working on coming up with the rotation patterns of those moons, trying to find a pattern that will allow me to have an easy reference for when I'm writing.

            It’s a good thing that I found a program for making my own encyclopaedia. I have the right mind for storing all this information, but having it all written down and organised in one place has made my writing infinitely easier.

            Nevertheless, let this be a lesson to you. If you want to build a world, start off small or you might find yourself drowning in the oceans of your own creativity.

Click here to find the charity anthology containing a couple of my short stories.

To see my chainmaille, click here.

If there's any subject you'd like to see me ramble on about, feel free to leave a comment asking me to do so.


  1. It’s a good thing that I found a program for making my own encyclopaedia.
    What software do you use? This sounds like a great idea.

    1. It's called Biblioexpress. Once you know how to navigate it, it's great :)