World Building: Build A World You Love (Part Four)

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This week’s guest post is brought to you by Nthato, about world building. This is the last part of a four-part series. In case you missed it, you can read Part OnePart Two, and Part Three here. Thanks, Nthato!

a new world
Via Karlwennergren from DeviantArt
It’s very easy to get lost in the details of the world or get bogged down by things you find irrelevant to your story, and that is the perfect time to really get to know both your story as well as your world.


Pick out things that are relevant to your story and help it move forward. We do not need to know every grandparent’s name, middle name and favourite football team, unless it is relevant to the story.


Know how much detail to put in your story from the world. It’s not necessary to describe every building your character walks past but perhaps there’s one that stands out, or one that really gives your readers an understanding of the area, people or world.

Keep it mysterious

The reader doesn’t have to know every nook and cranny of the world their reading about. Nothing like a quiet island off the on it’s own, referenced only as “the island” to pique the interest of the reader, instill wonder or curiosity.

Build a world you love

Your characters have life. Your story has life and so too does the world you are building. You want to enjoy writing about it as much as you do about the people living in it. You want your readers to fall in love with it as they move through the pages.

How you put all of this together is really up to you. Each person has a unique way of detailing their worlds, from drawn out maps listing each and every location, to flash cards for each area a character will visit to spider-diagrams tying in character to location to story.

At the end of the day you must love to tell stories of your world as you do about your story; the two are intertwined.

What techniques do you use to build your world?

South African born writer working as a freelance writer for Gamecca Magazine, hobbyist blogger and writer of short stories. An avid reader and aspiring digital artist hoping to finish a couple of novels from previous NaNoWriMo years, including a Steam Punk novel, a political thriller, and a South African Historic Fantasy.

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14 thoughts on “World Building: Build A World You Love (Part Four)

  1. I loved this series, Rachel! Thanks to Nthato for writing it.

    I’ve done quite an extensive amount of world building for my Ólarunàe series, and it’s very easy to get bogged down in details instead of writing the actual story. One method I’ve found that works really well, is to world build the basics, then write the rest into the actual story. If it makes it into the story, it gets added to my world building files. If it doesn’t end up in the story, it doesn’t exist in the world (unless it’s a really cool idea that may make it into a later chapter or book).

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the series!
      Also, that’s a great way of looking at it. There’s so much information that goes into world building that for your readers’ sake (and your own) you need to have the right amount of information.

  2. I love the phrase “build a world you love.” It’s so simple and yet so important. World-building is often the first thing to get shredded during the editing process, but if you’re not passionate about it, the reader won’t be either.

Let me know your thoughts!

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