World-Building for Every Genre: A Checklist

“World-Building for Every Genre: A Checklist” by Mia Botha | 13th July, 2016 | Writers Write.

“Last week I discussed the importance of setting and what we can learn from sci-fi and fantasy writers about world-building. By following  their guidelines, we can strengthen our setting and make our worlds more complete.

Here is a checklist to get you started. Below the checklist are questions you might consider for each category. I tried to use examples that are not considered fantasy or sci-fi.Word_Building_For_Every_Genre-1

  1. Genealogy
  2. Work life
  3. Clothing
  4. Food
  5. Hygiene
  6. Rituals and holidays
  7. Technology
  8. History
  9. Religion
  10. Language
  11. Gender roles
  12. Family life and structure
  13. Procreation
  14. Politics
  15. Education
  16. Geography
  17. Water and resources.

I have left a few blank squares for you to add your own ideas. This will vary from story to story, but I hope it will help you shape your story to create a complete world.”

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What Fantasy Writers Can Teach Us About Setting

Awesome_Lessons_Fantasy_Writers_Can_Teach_Us_About_Setting“What Fantasy Writers Can Teach Us About Setting” by Mia Botha | 6th July, 2016 | Writers Write.

“World building is a word or term used mostly in the genres of Fantasy and Sci-Fi, but if you think about it, it is pretty apt for any story. You have a character who lives in a world.

 If this world is real and on planet earth, it is easier, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend less time on your setting. You, as the writer, should still be able to transport me to a place I have never been.”

“We can learn a lot from the world creators about setting. We tend to skip the details, because everyone knows what Johannesburg or New York or London is like, right? Maybe we do, but we want to know what is radiant or unique about that setting for your character. Regardless of whether we’ve been there or not.

If you write historical or dystopian fiction you are playing with time. If you are writing about a place you have never been you are dabbling with geography. Historical facts and geographical settings can be researched, where sci-fi, fantasy and dystopian writers have to make them up.”

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7 Simple Things To Remember About Setting

“7 Simple Things To Remember About Setting” by Mia Botha | 15th June, 2016 | Writers Write.

  1. Town, country or kingdom
  2. Present, past or future
  3. Ball gowns or bellbottoms
  4. The minutes, the hours, the days
  5. Weather
  6. Walk like an Egyptian
  7. Geography
Consider each one of these aspects when you write. Creating setting is an art. Work hard to hone your skills.

Happy writing.”

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Are You Making These Setting Mistakes?

“5 Key Settings Mistakes to Avoid in Your Fiction” by Cris Freese | 9th April, 2016 | Writer’s Digest.

“My writing students come from all over the world and write in every genre and sub-genre imaginable. While their writing is often solid, sometimes it lacks key elements. This is hardly surprising since there are so many things to juggle in creating a good story. One element is key, however. When handled incorrectly, it makes the difference between a story that sings and one that flops.

That secret key element? Setting. Setting can empower a story on so many levels, but until you realize exactly how to use setting effectively, it can create unnecessary stumbling blocks. Stumbling blocks that can stop any reader—including an agent or editor—cold.

Here are the most common setting mistakes I see repeated over and over again, as well as a few insights on how to correct the challenges.

  • Mistake #1: No (or very little) setting on the page.
  • Mistake #2: Including too much setting, which impacts your pacing and makes your story grind to a halt.
  • Mistake #3: Vague details that don’t allow the reader to see what you, as the author, see in your mind’s eye.
  • Mistake #4: Forgetting we live in a sensory world.
  • Mistake #5: Forgetting that different characters are not going to experience the same setting in the same way.

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