Monday, May 6, 2013

Worldbuilding for YA Fantasy

Photo by eamoncurry123
I'm working on a new YA novel which requires a lot of worldbuilding and this is very new for me. Intimidatingly new. I think at some point in the past I said I didn't know if I'd be up to the task of writing fantasy because creating a whole new world sounds like a daunting task. But here I am challenging myself with that task anyway.

So, what is worldbuilding?

Wikipedia says, "Worldbuilding is the process of constructing an imaginary world, sometimes associated with a whole fictional universe."

The word universe makes this task sound even more daunting, but that's just what it is. A complete world in and of itself where your characters live and breathe and YOU or I in this case, have to make readers feel like it's real.

What does this entail?

Geography
Weather
History
Government
People/Cultures

And these are just the basics, because beyond this, it's necessary to make characters fit within these parameters like it's their natural way of life. And then, yes then, you get the job of making the reader feel like they're in this world as well--and not only that, it's a world that (no matter how upside-down or backward) still makes sense.

So I'm curious any of you worldbuilders out there or readers of fantasy (or even historical), what makes a world feel real to you? What do you want to see in a fantasy universe and how to do you go about creating one?


4 comments:

  1. I have never done that before but I am in awe of those who do it and do it well. You must share what you learn!!

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  2. World building is SCARY!! There are so many details that have to be worked out, the logic has to be perfect, with no conflicts. Yeesh. It's really hard. I think this is why so many people borrow ready-made worlds (like Tolkien). I like original concepts, and I'm sure yours will be great! :-)

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  3. If you've read Cassandra Clare's Immortal Instruments, then you'd read that she creates another realm called Idris where the Shadow Hunters live. It is similar to ours with various creatures, and the landscape somewhat similar to our own. Ender's Games, that book also creates other planets with living creatures. If I think hard enough, I could come up with more, but at the moment I'm drawing a blank. Basically, you need to make it sound believable in your writing.

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  4. Wow, this is interesting! I wish you all the best with this project. Sounds like it would be fun (well, mostly!). Keep us posted on your progress!

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Thanks for sharing your comment!