How Much World Building Is Too Much? [World Building]

You can plan your novel through and through. But when you get the editing stage, you nit-pick every gritty detail and what happens? Most of it gets taken out.

So what do you do with all this extra information you have on your world building? How do you decide if it’s worth it for your readers to know?

Build What You Need | World Building | Fantasy | Creative Writing |

Questions To Ask Yourself

1. Does this advance the plot?

If you throw in certain information about the world you’ve built or a certain location, ask yourself if it has anything to do with the plot. While it may be useful information, it may be something your reader doesn’t necessarily need to know.

2. Does this have to do with a character?

Is this place important to a character? Did something happen there in the past with a certain character? If it aids in the character development, then you could probably keep it in. Otherwise, it may not be needed.

3. Is this too specific?

Don’t hand all the information to your readers. Allow them to infer what the world is like for themselves. Allow them to explore the world through your general writing. If you lay it all out for them it may be too much information and seem like an info-dump.

Build As You Write

You don’t need to figure everything out all at once. You can have a general idea, sure, but for the most part, your writing and characters will help carry you along. If you’re not sure if something should go in your story, just keep writing. If it comes up, it comes up. If not, then you may need to keep that bit to yourself.

How do you decide when your world building is too much? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to chat! Also, if you enjoyed this post, please share it around.

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11 thoughts on “How Much World Building Is Too Much? [World Building]

  1. Tough question. I like putting in enough world building to draw readers in and show that the heroes are in a vast world instead of a bubble. So, I probably push things to the limit. There are times that information I’ve added comes off as extraneous, so I cut it. Can make for interesting blog posts, but no more than that.

  2. Great post! I try to include as much world building detail in my stories as I like as a reader: enough to paint a picture, but not enough detail about every blade of grass that it fills an entire page. Finding the balance is tough, though.

    • Finding the balance is tough, I agree. And it’s hard too because every story is different so you have to make the decision every time, lol.

  3. You need a balance, but I trend to go towards less, because:

    -I’ve personally seen a lot of bad experiences with authors who engaged in too much worldbuilding for its own sake (in many cases it’s because they were more comfortable with it rather than character building).
    -The worldbuilding should suit the story, rather than the other way around.
    -It’s more “efficient”, if that’s the right word, to worry over story details rather than worldbuilding ones, I think.

    • I totally agree with you. I especially like your point about the world building suiting the story rather than the other way around. It’s important, but it’s not the most important.

Let me know your thoughts!

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