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World-Building and Detail

There are certain things that you can do when you are world-building. First, what do we mean by world-building? It means that we look at the world we are creating for our characters to live in. When is our story set? The 1940s? Future? Dystopian? Modern day? These are all things that need to be addressed when you are writing. This will depend on whether you need to do some research or if you are going to use modern-day events. If you are going to be talking about the modern day, something to use would be the current virus that we are dealing with, and the masks we are supposed to wear. There are some brilliant books about the pandemic and how we deal with it. However, I have a few tricks to help your world-building experience.  

Firstly, if you are able to sketch and you are good at drawing, I suggest that you draw your world and you give it as much detail as possible. Draw all the places your story will take place in. The ramen stand, the sake bar with the geisha, the spaceship’s internal hull, the room where your character sleeps. All of that needs to be on paper. Color it in if you so wish, and make it vivid for yourself. Put those pictures up on the wall and go back to them need be while writing about your world. 

If, like me, you either cannot draw or you are a little rusty, try your hand at writing about your world in as much detail as possible. The old teapot with the orchid in it, the coffee mug stain on the map of the ship, the smell of hot bread wafting through the window every morning, or the loud music at the party and the elaborate fireworks displays. Go into as much detail as you can without losing any of your characters. Don’t just focus on the world around you; focus on whether your character really belongs there. The opportunity might arise that you have to tweak your character to suit the environment you have created. 

Second, try to write down in the story the little things that you have that are special to the character. The toaster that is not working but they still keep it because it is the last of the old-style appliances in their world or the coffee mug that the captain has been keeping since he was a cadet to remind him of where he comes from. Everyone loves rags to riches stories or one where the hero overcomes all obstacles and becomes the captain of his own ship. All those little details are part of world-building. 

If you have a clear idea about when and where your story plays out, you might have a better idea of who goes into your story. I see that many people have touched on this topic so I will not go further but you should at least try it out for yourself.

Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Anelynde Smit