Worldbuilding is creating a town, an alternate Earth universe, even a new planet as a setting for your stories. You can even worldbuild a race.
How do you know if your worldbuilding is effective? When the reader doesn’t even know it’s there.
Does it take a lot of time to worldbuild? Nope. But it does take some planning and it takes you knowing your story and the role your city, alternate universe, world play within that story.
Some people say that worldbuilding is hard to do. Others say it’s easy but time consuming. I don’t have a lot of time but I want to create a world that isn’t crap. How do I do that? There are basics that all worlds have in common. You first need to figure out the depth needed and the type of world you need.
Are you building a town, an alternate universe, or a new world? Do you know which is most effective for your story?
Let’s take some questions and see what the answers are and how they help us to determine what’s needed.
- Are you creating a city or town that doesn’t exist on Earth?
- Are you changing any basic laws of physics?
- Does the setting you need in your story need to be special or manageable because you don’t have the time to research a real city?
- Is this a world in which the laws of nature, physics, magic, and races are not like earth?
- Is the world part of the story or is it just a backdrop?
- Will you have various created languages or cultures?
- Does your world have magic and races not known on earth? Or are they done differently than people think of them? Are they earth based in the past or currently?
- Are the characters linked to the world in such a way that taking them out of the world would cause trouble?
The answers to these questions will help us to know if what you need is just a created city, an alternate to Earth, or a brand new world.
So— what are your answers to the above questions for your stories?