It is subtitled, "A writer's guide to constructing star systems and life-supporting planets" but a more accurate subtitle is "A scientists's guide to writing accurately about star systems and life-supporting planets. The information World-Building presents, however, is useful, if you have an interest in ex World-Building is a difficult book to get into. The information World-Building presents, however, is useful, if you have an interest in extraterrestrial writing, be it sci-fi or anything else. Several useful equations are provided that--if you happen to have a mathematical mind to go with your scientific one--can tell you the scientific realities of your invented planet.
So, how exactly should writers go about building worlds in their fiction? Imaginary worlds — the construction of entirely fictional universes, found primarily in fantasy genres.
Alternate reality — re-imaginings of the details of our existing world; popular with writers of science fiction. Actual locations — the invocation of a real place in the world, utilised in novels with no elements of the fantastic.
Deciding on a starting point J. Tolkien, author of Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and countless other classic works, began the development of Middle-earth in an unusual way: A professional philologist and talented linguist, Tolkien developed the Elvish language of Quenya, using it as a base for expanding his imaginary world into the vast, detailed, lore-rich Middle-earth we know today.
Work hard on this element first, and then concentrate on building up and fleshing out from there. Rivendell, home of the elves in Tolkien's Middle-earth.
A great way to start doing this is to ask and answer a set of questions pertaining to the different aspects of your world. Approach this exercise as if you were describing your home country to someone who knows nothing about it — or, on a larger scale, as if you were introducing Earth to someone from an alien race.
How would you explain: What it looks and feels like — its landscapes, its climate? Its people — their appearance, customs, ethics and values? The dominant forces that shape change and development? Many online resources, such as this list from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America websitecontain suggested questions about everything from social organisation and government to the rules of magic and technology.
The latter of these is particularly important to keep in mind. Even though your world may be an entirely imaginary one filled with magic or made-up technology, it must still be governed consistently and carefully by the internal logic and laws you set up for it.
Its fantastical nature cannot be used as an excuse for lapses in continuity. After devising your list, you may feel even more overwhelmed now you have such an expansive range of questions to answer! The most successful storytelling comes from a subtle, nuanced approach to building your world through narrative detail, description and development.
Map of the realms of Middle-earth, as imagined by Tolkien. Naturally — even if only subconsciously — you will adapt and incorporate some real-world elements into your imaginary setting and story, using them as a base of inspiration.
A well-known fantasy epic with strong undertones of historical influence is George R. Martin openly acknowledges the fact that many elements of ASOIAF are inspired by real historical events and locations: If you feel your world is lacking in depth or credibility, perhaps take a leaf from Mr.
You may be able to flesh out your world by moulding, adapting or drawing parallels with real-life locations, landmarks, pivotal events, or even historical personalities.
The sprawling city of Meereen from George R.
Martin's 'A Song of Ice and Fire'. Where reality and fantasy collide An interesting way to provide contrast or conflict within your story is by developing your fictional world alongside, or within, an established location — for example, right here on Earth.
Harry himself, as the main character from whose point of view the story is presented, is as much a stranger to this world as readers are in the beginning. Harry enters Diagon Alley to explore his magical new world. As well as adding depth and relatability to your story, such a setting also poses questions about the concept of an alternate reality.
By creating an alternate reality, you are developing an alternative version of our own Earth, imagining how things could be different and posing questions about what these differences would mean for humanity.
What if a particular, important historical event had never happened? What if our planet and its inhabitants had evolved differently? What if a fundamental aspect of life as we know it was to change suddenly?
What if we could visit or communicate with other life forms or vice versa? These are the type of questions you should be asking as you develop the differences between your world and the real world. They are the essence of the changes, challenges and consequences you should examine through your alternate setting, its characters and their narrative.
Advanced technology features prominently in Suzanne Collins' 'Hunger Games' series. Belief and disbelief A key difference between creating an alternate reality and creating an imaginary world is the suspension of disbelief you can expect from your readers.
The imaginary worlds of fantasy and science fiction we examined above — Westeros and Essos, the kingdoms of Middle-earth — imagine an entirely new world, quite unrelated to our own. In alternate reality fiction, however, you may have to work a little harder to draw readers deep into your world — and keep them there.
A cityscape from an alternate reality.World-building is so much more than just a framing device. It’s the very essence of any good fantasy or science fiction story, and the basis of a sense of place in other genres. Good world-building lends an immersive richness to your writing, while also giving readers the information they need to understand characters and plot lines.
World Building (Science Fiction Writing) Home ; World Building (Science Fiction Writing) and that fact has some useful implications for world-building. (A dyne, or gram centimeter/sec, is the unit of force in the centimeter-gram-second (cgs) version of the metric system.
A newton (kilogram meter/sec), is the unit of force in the meter. Guy Stewart. Guy i a husband (supporting his wife who is a breast cancer survivor), a father, father-in-law, grandfather, foster father, writer, counselor and teacher who maintains a SF/YA/Childrens writing blog by the name of POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAYS.
Jan 25, · World building refers to the construction of a fictional universe. In literary fiction, the hard work has already been done for you—the author uses the real world for the setting of their work.
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