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?

8 comments:

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

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    1. 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.

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    2. 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.

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    3. 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.

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  2. 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. (:

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

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  4. Great website - thanks for sharing! I find the following website useful, too: http://www.sfwa.org/2009/08/fantasy-worldbuilding-questions/ :)

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  5. 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

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