I’m super excited for today’s post! Though I may not currently be writing, I blame my author coach Janeen Ippolito for a newfound love in world-building. I’m seeing now just why it affects characters so profoundly as well as how it even us in our own world too.
When I saw author Rebekah Loper was releasing a book about world-building, I couldn’t help but jump on band wagon so to speak and learn more.
Curious as to why world-building is so important? Let me introduce Rebekah’s book The A-Zs of Worldbuilding and then hear why it matters in fiction.
About the Book
Worldbuilding is the ultimate act of creation for speculative fiction writers, but how exactly do you worldbuild? You ask ‘what if’ and use each answer as a springboard to more questions and answers about your fictional world.
In The A-Zs of Worldbuilding, that ‘what if’ process is broken down into 26 themed chapters, covering topics ranging from architecture to zoology. Each chapter includes a corresponding set of guided exercises to help you find the ‘what if’ questions relevant to your story’s world.
Fair warning, though: worldbuilding is addictive. Once you get started, you might never put your pen down again.
Get the ebook of The A-Zs of Worldbuilding for only 99 cents (USD) now through September 30! (Regularly $3.99)
Let’s Chat: Why Worldbuilding Matters
I’ll be honest, the INTJ part of me (really, it’s the whole of me) wants to just say “Worldbuilding matters because how else will you know the setting for your story?” but I’m really going to try to be a little more verbose than that.
When you write speculative fiction, you don’t get the option of ignoring worldbuilding. You cannot ignore the setting of your story, especially when the setting is not what your readers will be familiar with from our own world. The setting is just as much a part of your story as the characters are.
But more than just the story setting, worldbuilding helps you know your characters. In a different world, a person’s priorities and values will be different. There can certainly be similarities, but something vital will change simply because of how they live.
You can’t know your characters without knowing their cultures, and you cannot know your cultures without knowing their world. Culture is greatly influenced by the resources in a region, the climate, and how hard it might be to survive. Culture is created by how a group of people come together into a community, and what their common goal is (usually survival, especially in a ‘new’ world).
Once you know the culture, you can begin to understand why your character thinks the way they do. You’ll be able to see the nuances of the plot that were eluding you before – why something a character found offensive is offensive, why that same thing might be a great honor in another culture, why they believe what they do. Everything is connected in a story.
When you write fantasy, you’ve taken on the task of creating a story that for some reason doesn’t fit in our world. When you start from scratch, it’s both freeing (anything is possible!) and incredibly intimidating (where do you even start?). Having a process for worldbuilding makes it less intimidating, and helps you find what is most important for your story setting.
What story problems have you solved with worldbuilding? Have you ever learned something about your story that you didn’t expect to as you built your world?
About the Author
Rebekah Loper loves to create worlds – whether they are magical and fictional, or a productive farm in her suburban backyard where she makes futile attempts to curse Bermuda grass from all existence.
Rebekah lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her husband, dog, formerly feral cat, a flock of chickens, and an extensive tea collection. She blogs at rebekahloper.com, and is also a contributing blogger at Fantasy-Faction.com and The Rabid Rainbow Ferret Society.
Blog Tour Schedule
Sep 23 – Author Q&A at unputdownablebooksblog.wordpress.com
Sep 24 – Author Interview at the fictionalferrets.wordpress.com
Sep 25 – Review at deborahjayauthor.com
Sep 26 – Review at marisamohi.com
Sep 27 – Guest post (Why Worldbuilding Matters) at unicornquester.com AND review at www.annatsp.com
Sep 28 – Guest post (Worldbuilding Cultures: Cultivating Sensitivity through Creativity) at www.annatsp.com
Sep 29 – Author Q&A at purpleinkwriters.wordpress.com
Sep 30 – Launch Day! at rebekahloper.com