Six impossible things

Posts Tagged worldbuilding

The Cool Stuff

The coolness factor is possibly the best and most useful reason for doing worldbuilding in advance that I know of. A few minutes spent deciding whether the heroine’s adventure will be mostly lost in a jungle, shipwrecked on an island, trapped in a weird hotel, or hiding […]

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Why start with a world?

One of the things that constantly surprises me is the number of people who put a tremendous amount of pre-writing work into inventing characters and developing plot, but who never stop to consider their setting or world, apart from “They start in a city, then they go […]

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Magic Worldbuilding

Last week, I got a series of questions from a student who was working on a worldbuilding project. Several of them caught my attention, most notably the one that asked when it is “appropriate” to use magic that has no strict set of rules in a story, […]

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I drove down to Chicago yesterday with my father, and I let him pick the route. Instead of taking the freeway through Wisconsin, which I have done many times and which takes about 7 hours plus meal and gas stops, we drove down the west bank of […]

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Recruiting Extras

I keep running into the problem of “the main characters seem to be the only people in the setting.” Might I beg a post on how to do crowd scenes (or scenes in general) where there are lots of people in the background? –Question from Deep Lurker […]

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Designing Magic, Part 3 – Writing it

Once you have a magic system, whether it’s something that you just know feels right in the story or whether it’s something for which you have painstakingly laid out rules and structure, it’s time to actually write about it. There are three considerations that fall under “writing […]

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Designing magic, part 1

A couple of years back, I was on a panel about magic systems and how one handles magic in fiction. Near the end of the session, someone asked a question about “magical maturity” stories – the sort where children go through a sort of magical puberty during […]

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Where it happens

Setting is one of the things that seems to get short shrift in a lot of beginner stories/novels. Even writers who are devotees of the Tolkien School of Background and Appendices tend to focus on the history and politics part of worldbuilding, and occasionally on various aspects […]

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The other day, my walking buddy and I were discussing the use and misuse of slang in SF and fantasy. She was particularly exercised over an author whose entire repertoire of “future speak” seemed to consist of awkward and obvious portmanteau words like “carrocoli” for a hybrid […]

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Icebergs and soap bubbles

Worldbuilding is one of those basic skills that’s important for all writers, but vital for those of us who write in totally imaginary science fictional or fantasy worlds. There are two basic approaches, the soap bubble and the iceberg. For the iceberg worldbuilders, there’s a whole lot […]

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