World Building in Science Fiction & Fantasy


tools you need to make a credible World

Most fantasies and science fiction stories have some world-building. The list below gives a view when first build your world:

o the world (for example, on the ground or not)

o physical and historical features (climate, geography, resources)

o Magic and magicians (eg rules of magic, technology)

o peoples and practices (such as language courses, ethics and values, religion)

o social organization & structure (eg, government, politics, conflict, fashion, entertainment)

o Commerce & trade (such as industry, transport, communications)

Science & World Building

Need science to create the world? The short answer is: it really depends on what kind of story you’re writing. If the story is a historical fantasy set on the ground, no, if it is placed on someone probably a planet in Andromeda Galaxy, yes. But, in both cases you owe the reader to be accurate and to do proper research.

Do your research

Part of the reason people read historical epics to learn more about this particular culture and time period. Reader trusts you as you give her the facts of the world, while taking the rights of the story elements. Similarly, science fiction reader opens the first book in the series World Ring Larry Niven has expectations to learn about making a world based on the principals of science.

Make it plausible With knowledge, Detail & Compliance

A lot of science fiction is written by foreign scientists. That said, many science fiction readers- especially those who enjoy hard science fiction-expect science to be not only plausible but quite proven as a prerequisite to be based on sound scientific principles. They expect your research to be seamless because they are expecting to learn something in science. Part of achieving realism in world construction, use common symbols even in a world very different from ours. This allows the reader to make some kind of connection and the vision real world. Use concrete terms is important when describing alien world. You need something real for the reader to pin their imagination on. The setting can be very exotic as long as the tools to describe the setting is familiar. Once you’ve chosen the model do not change mine. Keep rules consistent. If you choose to build a world that is unrecognizable from us, the rules must be obvious to the reader so they can “ground” themselves in some way. If you do not do this you risk losing the reader entirely.

Binda home Theme and plot

What is important to remember is that the world you build is part of the story. It’s not just a lot of “interesting” detail. The world in which you build, as a character in the story, plays a role in defining and supporting its theme. Key features of the world is, the best prepared for the plot and thematic grounds-that come from “history”. The rest-information-are things you can find in books, websites or get from experts in local universities, etc. Do not let science scare you; but make sure you get it right by using the resources and establish contact with the specialist. Using local libraries, universities, colleges, and online resources. Interview scientists, technical people and other writers. It is part of being a writer, too.


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