What a week! I had a blast, but it's time to get back to work. The Paladin isn't going to edit itself!
So, seeing as how it's Earth Day, let's talk about world building. One of my favorite things about a new story is world building. Do you start large and do an entire world? Do you keep it tight and put your character in Smalltown, USA? Either way, I feel like the techniques to create worlds are the same, it's really just a matter of scale.
If you're out there and you're wanting to start you're own story, world building needs to be paramount. A good setting can be its own character, can act as an obstacle, or can give the story a cohesive feel. If you make a good enough setting, having several stories in it can create a thread for the reader, giving them something familiar.
But the biggest thing is, your story has to make sense, therefore, your world building must make some sense. If your medieval village is out in the desert, you better have a good reason for the bountiful crops they harvest. If you decide to build a city over a river, well, that's neat, but why? Was there a reason the land wasn't suitable? If so, what was so inviting about the river that someone said "You know, I love this place so much, I'm living here even if I have to build on the river itself!"
That river village better have a healthy fishing community. And if every man, woman, and child doesn't know how to handle a boat, you're going to risk your reader not buying into your world. Oh! Your city is built into a mountain? They use a complex system of pulleys and ziplines to get around? That's awesome! Where do they plant their crops on all those rock faces? What about water?
Please don't take this as a condemnation of creative setting writing. I want to see people put their cities on the backs of flying turtles! I want to see villages that exist inside hollowed, giant trees and use the branches and root systems as a road system. I just want to be able to fully immerse myself in that world. I want to be able to ignore the flaming city not engulfing the citizens, but I might have trouble if you tell me it's has an amazing clothing district but doesn't have any logical source of fabric.
These are a little bit exaggerated, but I think you get the point. Walk through your world and give it the attention it deserves. You'd be surprised how much your world can influence the story if you give it a life of its own.
Be Excellent To Each Other
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Keep your eyes open for my debut novel, The Paladin.