There are four basic elements in every story: plot, character, theme and setting. As writers we keep the plot compelling - engaging our readers and bringing them along every step of the way. If the plot is predictable we lose our readers to boredom. Characters, whether human or from another genre, have to be multi-dimensional, realistic and identifiable so readers will care about the characters and want to read their story. Theme is what makes the story more than mere entertainment. In the fantasy genre, even if the setting is not the major focus, it is paramount to build a credible world for your story. The key to this is creating a world as a whole – with depth - paying close attention to the many details that interconnect to make it work; it is through these interactions that you build an internal logic to your empire. The process is similar to building credible characters – the realism of your imaginary world is born through the details and back-story of the history of the realm you create. These details are usually revealed, at least in some degree, as the story unfolds.
Over the next weeks I thought I would dedicate Wednesdays to the art of worldbuilding. How much worldbuilding will you have to do and what elements of a new world will you have to consider? The amount of detail you need within your created world will depend on your story line. You may just need enough to keep your world interesting with enough twists to keep the reader’s attention yet not to distract them from the storyline. If, however, the storyline has some element of this world as the cause of the conflict in your story, you will need to delve much deeper into the back-story and the interconnections of this world. Why do you want/need a new world? Could your story take place in our world but you are looking for a new and interesting location or is this new world pivotal to your storyline? These are key questions to be answered, looking closely at the plot of the story churning in your imagination eagerly waiting to be told.
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