4 Building blocks for world-building

The first thing that comes to mind, when someone says ‘world-building’, is science fiction and fantasy. A galaxy far, far away or Hogwarts School of Magic.

But world-building starts more basic than that, and applies to all genres.

  1. The main character. Your main character, your hero, your protagonist anchors your story and gives your world a central focus. This person is the lens that draws your readers in.
  2. The supporting characters. Peers, love interests, teachers, family, friends, co-workers all influence your main character and his journey. Do they help him or hinder him? Do they challenge him? hurt him? laugh with him?
  3. The surroundings. What is the environment that surrounds your main character? Think about his home, the room he’s in, the couch he’s sitting on, the lamp beside him. This is where you dig down into the details that bring his world alive. When he goes outside, what does he see? hear? smell? Is it cold? humid? sunny? overcast? Is there thunder rumbling in the distance?
  4. The culture and society. What are the politics that affect your character? Is it a dystopian society? Does he live in Russia? Is he Jewish living in Germany in 1940? Is he black living in the south in 1950? What about the culture, religion, and mythology of your story influences your character’s life and journey?

World-building is all about details, no matter what the genre is. What world is your book set in? I’d love to hear from you.

Interested in unique settings? Check out my book Mists of Garibaldi: Tales of the Supernatural.

For even more insights into the writing and marketing world of indie authors, you can now follow me on #Medium.com.

Sherry Briscoe