How to Write an Engaging Fictional World
By paul on Tuesday, June 15th, 2021 in No Comments
Do you write fiction? Are you someone who is trying to find their feet in the world of fiction writing? Well, if you’re interested in improving your writing standard, you should carefully adopt and learn from the worldbuilding process – as many other authors find that formula effective.
You must be wondering what exactly a worldbuilding process is. It’s a crucial tool that is applied in the key genres of fiction writing, like sci-fi and fantasy novels. The worldbuilding process will be useful if you’re planning to create an epic yet believable fictional setting for your next fantasy novel. The process can help you create a world of your own – a place where you dictate and rule.
Important Worldbuilding Tips for Young and Upcoming Writers
You must have noticed that many well-known writers juxtapose elements from the real world setting with fictitious features. Reader or not, your world must’ve been rocked by the marvelous world created by JK Rowling – the Harry Potter series she created for us is a prime example of having a juxtaposed world.
However, there are writers who prefer to create a world that is entirely their own – it has its own set of physical laws as well as logic and subjects. You can think of the Lord of the Rings series created by J. R. R. Tolkien’s to grasp this concept. The book is completely fictional and has population and imaginary beings that have absolutely zero correlation or attachment with the real world.
Next, we have writers who create a narrative based on an alternate history carefully weaved into real-life events. Basically, what we’re trying to say here is that even the sci-fi and fantasy genre is comprised of various subgenres, and to understand this format of writing, you need to be well-versed with all of its hybrids. And the good news is that you can benefit tremendously from the worldbuilding exercises and tips in all forms of creative writing.
Here are some worldbuilding tips that you should learn and implement in your next fictional draft:
Select the Genre
You have to answer an essential question: What is the genre of your story? You have to establish the setting before you proceed; otherwise, it can all get incredibly confusing – and a writer’s voice should be anything but confused. So, are you planning to write a dystopian novel or anything else?
Of course, you have the liberty to add ingredients from the hybrid forms of fictional writing. But establish a clear-cut setting – do you want your story to take place on Earth or in an alternate universe? Know where your story belongs, as it will bring clarity to your writing and set the mood and tone for the story to follow.
When and Where to Start
Do you know the timeline of your story? Do you know where and when you’re going to start your story? Have you decided which language your characters are going to speak? Is it a post-apocalyptic setting where the inhabitants speak in an unknown language? These are exciting questions that will help you explore the story on a fundamental level.
Formulate the List of Ordinance
Before you start writing, you should make a list of all the rules and regulations that your world has to follow. You may start your quest by seeking answers to the following questions: What kind of government is ruling your setting? What kind of governing system is there? Is it democratic or does it abide by the rules of dictatorship? Are there any magical elements that are crucial to the storyline? Is the jurisdiction evil? Basically, here you have to draw a line and set boundaries. Decide the ultimatums and the functions followed by the characters of your story.
Describe the Setting
There’s going to be a lot of emphasis on the setting of your story – naturally, because the genre of the novel is dependent on it. Thus, it’s time for you to describe the backdrop of your story. You have to add elements to the story that brings it to life.
Therefore, describe the place and give it meaning. Everything should be placed with a sense of purpose. You can describe the temperature, the natural resources that exist, and the location where the inhabitants reside. Focus on detailing the environment where your characters are mostly found in.
A setting is incomplete without a culture. You have to describe where your inhabitants live and if there’s a higher power that they believe in. Are there any customs and traditions that are to be followed strictly by the inhabitants? Do these characters celebrate any events?
Add cultural norms to bring life to the story. It will help you in building the story as well as these characters independently from the story. You have to give these characters a sense of purpose so that they look like they have a meaningful existence – why else would anyone invest their time and emotions in your characters and story? They should have a language, clothing style, food specifics, and other elements to formulate a culture.
Give Your Setting a History
Do you know the history of your world? Have there been any wars? Does your world have any enemies? Who are the rivals? Bring dimensions to your storyline for it to feel tangible and believable. Describe the antagonist and give them reasons. If there’s a class divide, describe the factors that create the sense of divide. You can also bring sociopolitical aspects of the real world and include them in your story.
Look – the ideas are all around you and you just have to be open and receptive. Find out how your characters are fighting and establish an arc for all. Play with emotions; grief, pain, loss, and love are powerful emotional bandages that will create the spark that your story really needs. In the end, you must keep in mind that you’re not writing a cheap essay writing – you’re writing a fictional novel, and it will take time and a lot of hard work.