I will list some do’s of world building.
- Setting: Where does your story takes place.
- In a fantasy world you can create any place you want. It can be real or made up. At times it is easier to make it an actual real place. Reasons being is that if you live in said state, town, or city, then placing this place on a map, what is made up of, what are the resources, what flourishes in your world, and what kind of life would be found there (animals and plants)? Would be super easy. On the other hand, if your readers are from said state, town, or city and your descriptions are not accurate well at least close enough then you might’ve lost a tad of credibility.
- Describe everything but not everything. I mean for example keep an accurate description of your kingdom, villages, houses, communities etc and then casually enter their description in the story.
- For example, instead of describing the entire town and then adding dialogue, wouldn’t it flow better if your character was actively doing something and then you casually describe the setting. It would guide the reader into the realm as well as picture the action along with the character.
- Describing that the character is sweating or freezing or its breezy outside would tell readers about the weather without describing the greenery, desert, or mountains unless it’s relevant to the story.
- Make it detailed so that the readers can visualize it as they read but not too detail as where you are numbering plants or how much homes are there in your world. (readers don’t want to know unless that’s relevant to the story.)
2. What is the history of your setting?
- Unless relevant to your story the history is important. If you’re writing a thriller and it’s set in New York for example, I’m sure that the history of how New York became colonized, named, and populated is not relevant to your story.
- However, if you’re writing about gangsters or drugs maybe adding a few info about how prevalent drugs are in the area and a few things about its history in the area would be beneficial for a good back story.
- In the fantasy genre it can be important especially if you’re writing about an entirely made up world. Readers would like to be immersed in this story, setting, kingdom.
- Remember show vs tell.
3. Politics and government
- Most often made up worlds would have a government system that is sometimes differ from our own. So it’s a good idea to introduce their form of government within the story. In some instances, the hero’s journey would be tied up to the oppression of the people and this would be a great way to introduce the government system.
- This would be a great way to explain the monetary system, the leaders, the army, the prison system, laws and regulations, and anything related to government and relevant to your story.
4. What is the society or what makes up its citizens
- I made the distinction of social economic classes in my story by describing how my characters lived, what car they drove, what they dressed like, their restaurant of choice, how they interacted with others, and how they spoke.
- It’s also a great idea to include racial diversity in your world to make it realistic and relatable.
- On that note just don’t add other races to kill them off. Also, don’t just add them and never bring them up again. Oh and a big one don’t make them have such a small insignificant or stereotypical role. That’s very insensitive and can be offensive.
- Also, try adding people of all ages in your story adds a touch of inclusivity. Since you interact with different people of all ages, sizes, religious beliefs, world views, and intellect.
5. What makes your world colorful and unique?
- A great way to make your story stand out is by adding tension, drama, games, people engaging doing things while interacting with the people or things around them.
- I also love reading about pets in books. If it fits the story then why not add them.
6. What are your world technological advances
- In a fantasy world this could be so epic. Giving your world an amazing new tech gadget, weaponry, housing, or form of transportation.
- In any other genre it would also be great. Since technology is everywhere and is a major part of our world. Cell phones, computers, cars, and just about everything.
- Obviously, I’m limited to a lot of things on my post but you can use these as guides and research any others as you write. Not everything mentioned above will be relevant to your world building if you’re creating another world. But these are a good start.
Let me know what I’ve missed in the comments!