Hope everyone’s week is going well. It’s 4 in the morning and I can’t sleep. Third Thursday in a row. I won’t ponder why that is here. Let’s get down to business. Welcome to this week’s Craft Post, and if this is your first time reading this blog you’re in luck. Today we are starting a new series on World Building. As I have been saying for the past two weeks, this series will probably be longer than my other series as I really want to write an in-depth series on World Building. Let’s get started.

If you are new to writing or maybe you have been writing for a while and you are just now coming across this idea of World Building, you may ask yourself what is it or more likely why do I need a world? If you are thinking this question it is a good thing to be pondering. If you’re not it’s okay maybe you thought about this already. To answer this question, you need to know one thing, every story you or anyone will ever tell has a world. It may be exactly like our own, but it is a world. Stories that take place on earth that alter anything actually take place on an alternate earth, because it something that different it is not ours. (Yes, I get the idea of many stories is it is our world, but we just don’t know about it. I am just being very literal here.)

While every story has a world, not every story needs to worldbuild. What?! That’s right if you are writing a world about a crime drama, or a love story of two lovers who grew up together, etc. You don’t need to worldbuild. Why, because you’re not adding anything. It is earth. You just need characters. Now you set that same kind of story on a distant planet or in another world where magic exists, then you need to worldbuild. Why?

Simple. It is where your story is taking place. You need to know about your world. There are two approaches to this, what I call Tolkien and Story. To put it this way. The Story approach,  is you develop the world only enough to fit your story. Nothing else. If it isn’t going to effect your story you don’t need to develop it. Tolkien approach is that you spend years building your world up and full and complete where there are little to no continuity errors. Meaning, everything works together with little to no holes.

There are more than these two approaches but think of it like this. These two approaches are placed on a line Tolkien on the far left and Story on the far right. You take a pen and go back and forth on the line and stop. Unless you stop dead center, your approach to Worldbuilding will be more story or Tolkien. If you stop at either end then you are all of one them. Note: Very few people develop their worlds as richly as Tolkien. There are a few, Patrick Rothfuss is one. Those who like to develop their worlds in more depth usually fall somewhere between the center and half way to Tolkien from the center.

For new readers, I am a Tolkien World Builder. I am not that far on the line, but I would love to be there. I just have too many worlds and stories that I can’t spend a decade working on one, well consistently. This series will be mostly focused on developing rich detailed worlds beyond what will show up in your story. This doesn’t mean, Story Worldbuilders can’t get anything from this series. It just means if you are one, that you will take from what you are looking for in this series and be done.

If you are wondering why I prefer to develop my worlds beyond what will fit into the series. It is very simple. You never know when you may come up with another story to take place in your world a sequel to your first story. If you develop your world only to what is going to fit into the story, then you have a. More work to do to flesh out the world. B. When you are adding to what you already have, many writers aren’t usually that good at it. The results feel forced and only added to write another story. I am not saying it can’t be done, in my experienced reading books, this has happened it wasn’t done well. This is just my opinion.

I am going to end with the best advice I ever heard on world building. It comes from some of the best fantasy authors out there. It is this: When you worldbuild, pick few areas you like about worldbuilding and really build them. Everything else can be added after. This advice is great because Worldbuilding cane becomes all you do. If you want to write a novel, then worldbuilding can be a trap to procrastinating. You become so focus on having a perfectly created world that you never write your story.

Now if you want to spend years working on your world, by all means do so. Just note the more time you waste building the world, the less time you have to write your story or stories you want to take place in your world. That is all for today’s post. Actually, I thought this post would be shorter. Oh well. Come back next week when we will start digging into World Building. The topic, Cosmology. Check back on Monday and see how the rest of my writing week went.


  1. […] before I do, if you haven’t read the first two posts in this series, you can find them here (intro to series) and here (1st post on […]


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