• Member Since 30th Jan, 2013
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Viking ZX

Author of Science-Fiction and Fantasy novels! Oh, and some fanfiction from time to time.

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Being a Better Writer: Where to Start with Building Worlds · 10:30pm January 10th

Welcome BACK readers! Sands and storms it has been a while, hasn’t it? But once again, Being a Better Writer is back and returning to its regular schedule.

Just in time too. The break was nice, but it was starting to be strange not to have these coming out every Monday. Legitimately weird. So I’m glad to be back at it at last. That, and I’m pretty sure a number of you were really starting to miss them as well.

But, convention must be adhered to. So before we dive in to today’s topic, let’s talk about some news.

First and foremost: Starforge is in Pre-Alpha. That’s right! The finale to the UNSEC Space trilogy is going through the early editing phase before Alpha readers get to see it. I’ve got a notepad with notes I’m jotting down, changes are being made, and I’m having a good time reading through and experiencing a story that to date I’d only seen during the writing process.

Does that mean Alpha Readers should be sitting up and getting ready? Well … no. Not yet. After a week I’m only about a fifth of the way through this enormous titan of a tome. So it’s going to be a few more weeks yet, plus I don’t know how much of it I might end up rewriting prior to the Alpha.

That said, the Alpha could drop as early as February, and with this book’s big status (the biggest, and most anticipated, release I will have to date) I’m determined to make sure that at launch it’s as polished as I can make it. This means if you want to Alpha Read, I want you to Alpha Read. If you want to Beta Read, I want you to Beta Read. Sands, I am even going to be looking for people that haven’t read the first two books to at least read the opening chapters of Starforge to see if they can follow along and put together what’s both happening and has happened enough to be able to keep up with the book (at least, until they decide to go back and read the first two, hopefully).

But yes, Starforge is coming. Line by line, page by page, it is coming. And this book is a ride. If a trilogy is a three-act structure, this is the climax where everything rarely stops blowing up.

So get ready. But not just for that. Because in just over a month, Life, The Universe, and Everything happens! That’s right, it’s time for LTUE once again! And once again, I will be there and paneling and signing books.

If you’ve never been to an LTUE before, it’s a fantastic experience. LTUE is a convention, but an unusual one in that it’s entirely about the act and art of writing. The panelists are authors, editors, publishers, and other book-related creative folks, all there to talk about Sci-Fi/Fantasy writing. How to do it, what works, what will benefit it, everything! It’s an absolute blast, and if you’re at all interested in the art of writing (or just in meeting a bunch of your favorite authors), this is the con to go to.

So far, the plan is for LTUE 2022 to be live and in person (though the venue does have health and safety requirements). If lockdowns emerge, then it will be online like during 2021, but we’re all hoping that we’re able to meet in person once more. Regardless, as I understand it there are plans to stream this year’s LTUE online using a similar setup to 2021, so those of you that are a vast distance away can still participate!

So, Starforge is coming, as is LTUE 2022! Got it? Good! Now, let’s hit the jump and dive into today’s topic, which is a bit of an interesting one: where do we start when we’re setting out to worldbuild?

Hit the jump, and let’s get building!

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Comments ( 2 )

I am fondly reminded of the massive world I tried to create in my preteens. In my defense, I was less interested in writing and more interested in exploring a new world in which my childlike fantasies could flourish. When I finally did decide to try and write things in the world I soon came to realize that the sheer scope of everything I wanted was far too ambitious for me to actually achieve. It was a great learning experience in the end though.

I am also reminded of when I started work on Bulletproof Heart. I don't know how I started worldbuilding for it specifically, but I did know one thing in particular: anything that probably wouldn't impact the main character's story was skimmed at best and left alone at worst. Yes, the Frozen North was a real thing and probably had a lot of lore behind it, but I had no expectation that Rarity would ever, y'know, go there, so it didn't warrant a whole lot of attention.

But then there's in-story worldbuilding, the kind that sneaks up on you. Maybe your characters need to get from one place to the next, but you need to do some character growth so that they're prepared for what you want them to find at the destination. So you add a side-quest involving a small town. But wait, you didn't do any world-building for said town! That's okay, make it up as you go. Done writing for the day? Pull open your notes real quick, jot down what you've "discovered" about the town so far, maybe expand upon it so that you've got a clearer picture when you get back to writing tomorrow.

All of this is a roundabout way of noting that worldbuilding is a delight when utilized properly.


I was less interested in writing and more interested in exploring a new world

I think this is true for a lot of "I want to write"-ers. No, they actually don't. For some, coming up with the story is the rewarding activity, and telling it to others honestly wouldn't be worth the effort (and I don't mean financially, I mean it wouldn't be as satisfying as adding another 100 years to the history of the Duchy of Frostwood). If that's what you really want to do, go do it! Don't feel like you have to publish a story from that world. Now, if you do actually want to write a story for others to read, heed the advice!

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