Worldbuilding is one of the most fun parts of planning a new story. It can be as simple as remembering the street names and business locations in your own neighborhood, to envisioning imaginary communities, to creating entire worlds and cultures from scratch.
I’ve recently finished a contemporary project set in a real town. Trust me when I say it’s easier to make things up.
For my Farm Fresh Romance series I redrew the map of Idaho north of Coeur d’Alene. This gave me freedom—and I needed a lot of it—to make towns the sizes and locations required for the stories.
My earliest novels were all speculative fiction, both science fiction and fantasy. I’m currently editing Majai’s Fury (a fantasy for adults) for independently publishing in May (hopefully). This novel takes place on an entirely different planet with assorted human nations. I had fun choosing what made each culture distinctive, but the key was making sure those components added conflict.
It’s fine and dandy to have two countries with different viewpoints, but if they’re both willing to live and let live, the setting hasn’t helped to up the conflict in the tale.
You’ve heard me speak of Holly Lisle’s courses. She has a new one out called Create a World Clinic, and I’ve already picked it up even though I have Create a Culture Clinic, with which it has much in common.
Every writer builds worlds, whether we intend to do so or not. In this 70,000 word course, Holly Lisle teaches easy, fast techniques for creating immersive story worlds that help build plots, conflicts, and characters. The clinic contains 11 videos, 8 maps, and worksheets that build techniques PLUS an optional live class forum, so you get a lot of bang for your bucks!
The point of worldbuilding is to set your story in a Here and a Now that feels real to your reader, and allows him to suspend disbelief so he can live in your world. ~Holly Lisle
In my opinion, Holly is a master storyteller and a master writing teacher. If you’re interested in learning to create story worlds that aren’t limp backdrops, have a look at Create a World Clinic.
- Is worldbuilding only for fantasy and science fiction writers?click to tweet
- How do you create a story world that does more than provide a limp backdrop?click to tweet
**Yes, I’m an affiliate. An affiliate who owns all Holly’s courses, because I believe they are that good.