Saturday, October 27, 2012

Building a Fantasy/Sci-Fi World

My number one favorite thing to do as a writer is world building. Some people like building characters, but I find my imagination prefers creating a unique world all my own and then finding characters that fit in it. It's so complex, involved, and overwhelming. Non-fantasy/sci-fi writers tend to get big eyed when I tell them I write fantasy novels. The first question they usually ask me is, "How do you create a whole world like that and make it believable? Isn't it really hard?"

I admit, it's no walk in the park.

However, the challenge is part of the fun. I have learned so much about weather patterns, ore mining, environmentally based cultures & religions, and weather patterns over bodies of water versus large sections of land. Though much of the information I have learned hasn't made it into any of my writing, I had to know these things to make my world believable. Putting an ore mine in a place where ore couldn't possibly be found might make your reader question the author. Once a reader is pulled from your story enough to start asking questions about your validity, you've lost them.

And that, my friends, is bad. Very bad. Even for fantasy writers.

As a follow up of my post for my collaborative blog, FoF, I wanted to share one of the sites responsible for helping me learn so much about world building. I have learned a ton from other writers within this fabulous blogging community. So I wanted to give back.  If you haven't been to it and you are also a fantasy/sci-fi writer, I think you are going to love me a whole bunch! *grin*

Creating Fantasy and Science Fiction Worlds by Michael James Liljenberg

I hope you'll come back and tell me what you think about it.

Do you like creating your own worlds or does the idea of attempting such a fete scare you senseless?


Patrick Stahl said...

Nice post. I would like to point out, however, that there is a massive difference between world-building fantasy and world-building science-fiction.

Sabrina A. Fish said...

Of course there is! But whether you write one or the other, you still have to make it believable. The site I shared is geared toward helping with both.

Patrick Stahl said...

I simply find it a little odd that they'd be lumped together like that. You need to world-build in any genre, assuming that you use a secondary-world setting.

Sabrina A. Fish said...

Yes, but I have found that there is sometimes an assumption that fantasy has loose rules for this when in fact any genre, from science fiction to fantasy, must create a believable world. This being said, the point of this post wasn't about whether science fiction and fantasy should be lumped together, but rather, to share a site that I have found helpful. I hope you enjoy it despite your dissatisfaction with them being lumped together as they so often are.
Thanks so much for visiting, Patrick.

Elise Fallson said...

Thanks for the links Sabrina! I'm currently writing a paranormal type book, but I do have some world building, (more specifically an "underworld" type organization on Earth), and some of this can even help someone like me. Thanks again for sharing. (:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I will need to go read it, as that is one of my weak spots!

ELAdams said...

Great website - thanks for sharing! I find the following website useful, too: :)

Samantha May said...

I haven't built any science fiction kind of worlds, but that's something I would love to do someday. The world I'm in now is quite similar to our own, but there are a few minor differences :P