Storyworld Building: Creating the World

In this episode, I . . .

. . . talk about how to begin creating a mythical story world for a novel.

You have the ability to create a whole new world for readers. Isn’t that incredible?

The first thing you need to do is decide what kind of story you’re going to write. Epic fantasy requires a different level of storyworld building compared to a heroic fantasy story. A middle grade science fiction story requires less storyworld building compared to an adult science fiction story.

Consider astronomy, tides, orbits, habitable zones, suns, moons, etc. How long is a season? It’s unlikely that the planet rotates and orbits the same as earth. How long are your days? Years?

Consider the geography of your planet. If you draw a map, remember that rivers flow downhill into bigger bodies of water (bigger rivers or lakes) and eventually into the ocean. Add mountains, canyons, plains, and coastlines. How might your geography influence your plot?

What are the temperatures like in your world? What’s the weather like? Are there any astronomical factors that might affect the climate and the weather? What about animal life? Do you have any mythical creatures? What about natural resources? Any diseases?

The trick isn’t merely coming up with all these cool things, but in deciding how they interact and come into conflict with other aspects of your storyworld. That’s what makes it interesting.

Think about the layout of your settlements. Originally, cities were formed as meeting places for trading goods with other people. Sometimes cities formed because a specific location received a lot of traffic like a crossroads, a bay, or a coal mine.

Do you have any iconic architecture in your world? Something with significant meaning?

Take some time to consider all of these elements of your storyworld thus far. Have you done lots of one but neglected another? What are you missing?

Keep on writing!