How to Build a World
Full disclosure: I did not enjoy Lord of the Rings. There was too much world I didn’t understand. There was so much to keep track of. In the book. Somehow, the movies brought it all to life for me, and I was able to follow more than when I was reading and doing the work.
Because I’m not a reader of stories with intricate world-building, I don’t write stories with intricate world-building.
That doesn’t mean I don’t craft my stories’ worlds before I write them. My worlds are just closer to the real world I live in than they are to the fantasy worlds of stories like Harry Potter, Hunger Games, or LOTR.
I write light fantasy, sometimes known as portal fantasies, where the characters live in the real world, but they are quickly immersed in a magical adventure. Either they step through a portal or they discover something ‘not of’ this world.
If this sounds like the stories you write or want to write, I have three simple tips for getting started on crafting your worlds.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. Even if you are writing a contemporary story, you need to build the world for that fictional place. Even if you are writing historical fiction, gathering sensory details can help you as the writer be more honest for the reader.
I hope these tips help you get going. I’d love to hear what you do to build the worlds of your stories.