One of my favorite aspects of fiction is having the ability to be as imaginative as possible. Cars are important to get around in, yes, but what if they could do more? Maybe they can hover or drive themselves (yes, I know we’re on our way to that anyway, but play along) or maybe they can float in water (now I want to watch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang).
You’re able to play around with real life things and turn them into something else. Make them your own and have it fit into your story allowing your characters to treat it as a normal everyday thing for them.
World building is one of those things, as broad as it is.
What is world building?
World building is exactly how it sounds. You’re building a fictional world, a brand new setting that’s all your own. It’s an imaginative setting for your fictional novel (or whatever you’re creating) that includes various places and terrains, a thorough backstory, people and their history, and so much more.
Is world building just for fantasy?
While world building is the most common in fantasy as people create their own maps and races, I don’t think it has to be limited to fantasy only. As long as you’re writing fiction, I think you can throw in some world building.
You don’t even have to create something brand new either. You can make a city based off of your hometown but alter it to cater more to your characters and story. That doesn’t necessarily have to be fantasy.
Why is world building so important?
In order for your readers to get the full effect of your story, you need to paint a realistic picture for them. How much time passes between your characters’ going from their house to their work? Or to the park? What kind of people do they meet along the way? What landmarks do they pass by?
Speaking of time, establishing the setting is important for the time period. Time period shows how people dress, how they speak, where they work, etc. It also, as stated before, shows how much time has passed between one point in the story to another.
3. Make It Real
I know I made the first point to be “imagination,” but, at the same time, you want it to be as real as you can make it. You want to make your readers want to live there themselves. Or maybe you want your reader to not want to live there. I don’t know about you, but I’d love to live in the Harry Potter world but the Hunger Games? No, thank you.