I covered character creation. If you missed it, you can check out the blog article here.
Some would say that world building should come before character creation. It’s your book – do it in the order that makes the most sense to you.
I had finished the first draft of my first book when my son, who was three or four at the time said “water table” to me. And it changed my books completely. Originally, Shari lived on a floating island somewhere near Canada, and the gateways between Realms were trapped in the shallow caves on the edge of the island. It was very much an urban portal fantasy… until those two words.
Then it became a world full of houses made of flames sitting next to ones made of water. Earthen domes and towering bereni trees. A place where plasma crackles up the wall of the house next door, and booms when someone inside yanks the blinds down.
Now, I can’t say what your world will be like. But if you’re writing fantasy, there’s usually some sort of difference. Start with the what if… what if tables were made of water? What if the fae existed? What if dragons were still around, but they could shape-shift, and we see them in those who collect things?
And if you’re struggling with your world building, drop me a line. I have a resource that may help you out a bit.
Once you’ve done your world building, it’s tempting to share that info with everyone in one massive chunk. Think about how you, as a reader, like to receive info about the world you’re reading. For me, I love having it woven into the story. Take, for example:
The fumes from the foaming acid river stung all three of Sanithane’s eyes and forced his nostrils to close over.
Looking at the frothing acid, he could see the dull grey of worn scales just below the surface. The beast under the acid rumbled, and clean-picked bones spewed upwards from the basin, clattering against the ground near his claws.
Someone shrieked. Others laughed, the pitch too high and the sound too loud, trying and failing to cover their nerves.
Sanithane gulped. No matter what, this was going to hurt.Shadows – Chapter One
There’s not pages about how the beast came to be, why there’s an acid river, or how he plans to get across, but there is information in those few paragraphs that leave the reader wanting more.
Weaving your world into the story leaves your readers (and sometimes the author) wanting more. What happens next? How can the beast survive under the acid? How will he cross and not die?
Just remember that the characters drive your story forward, not the world they inhabit.
Stay tuned for what comes next.