Writing Tip 26: World Building Dont’s

These are some world building no no’s you should not do

  1. Too much information

Do not include information that is not relevant to the story. If your entire first 5-10 pages involves a detailed explanation about buildings, greenery, the phonetic pronunciation of your characters name or some mundane interaction such as brushing teeth then cut that scene to a few paragraphs.

Solution: Write scenes in which your characters interact and casually insert important information about what you want readers to know. The reader can learn about the world by reading the story itself and when each characters interact with others and the environment.

2. Too much description

Don’t pay too much attention to places where your characters will only spend a chapter in or maybe 3 sentences in and then they travel to another location. If your characters are not returning to this area any time soon then a brief description of what they encounter and what they see is fine to write.

Don’t create an entire kingdom with details about this world people and how they live and act and your character never travels to this place. This is wasted time that you could’ve spent on writing the actual plot.

Solution: The best thing to do is just focus on the places where your characters will travel to when they encounter that place in your story.

3. Mythical Powers and Magic

This is the area where your creativity can reign freely. Since magic doesn’t have a set of rules and regulations, you can practically make up anything (that makes sense and it’s original) to your story and give special powers to your characters.

Don’t just tell about magic in your story. Don’t just randomly add magic in your story as if everyone reading knows how the magic system works. Also don’t just write about people walking home in one scene and then all of a sudden they’re flying home in the next. Leaving the reader feeling like why didn’t they fly home in the previous scene or leaving the reader thinking I didn’t even know this character had special flying abilities.

Solution: Keep your storyline consistent. Show or tell readers how magic is used through an example or a scene interaction. Establish how people use their power, its limits, expectations, and who can use them, as well as how it’s controlled or better yet how it isn’t controlled.

4. Diverse Characters

Everyone in your society will not agree with the form of government, its leaders, or the way things are run in your world. Therefore, you should have a variety of people with different views in your story.

Solution: Involve different kinds of religions and practices. Create diverse characters with different opinions, views, religion, cultures. And most importantly add a bit of drama for excitement.

5. Color and Race

I live in Miami which is a pretty diverse city. Everywhere around me there’s people of different cultures, races, and ethnic backgrounds.

Solution: Just add different races and cultures to expand the dynamics of your story and so that many readers can relate or learn from other cultures. If you’re not familiar with other races or cultures then doing research is a great way to learn to expand your story.

Psst… by the way also try to include different sexual orientation to appeal to other readers and to enlighten readers that are not aware of this as well. It such a believable feature that many authors fail to include in their story.

Let me know what other mishaps you’ve seen in world building in the comments.

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