Question about World building

Janny Wurts Chat Area: Author's Corner: Question about World building
   By Sebastien Russell on Monday, June 18, 2007 - 02:03 pm: Edit Post

I've been doing research for the last couple of months on how to go about creating a world. I was wondering Janny, how did you go about creating Paravia?
Did you initally draw some random map, thinking "hey, this is neat!" or did you sit down and start creating it from scratch, like starting from the Solar System to the bottom of the planets sea sort of thing?

I have a small hobby of creating fantasy maps, I have some work on http://vocorus.deviantart.com

I am in the process of designing the language of my planet (Shailvor (comments on the name welcome)) as well as drawing the world map itself.

But I'm concerned if this is perhaps the route I should follow?
Some say I should write the story and build the world as I write, while others say; build the world and write from the world, just incase your characters walk into the middle of a deep tropical forest amidst a mind-buggeringly vast desert of swamp gas.

Did you, Janny, create details for Paravia that only you know of? Like other continents far the west and such like?

Thanks in advance,
Sebastien

P.S. Thank you for your quick reply to my email some months ago. Your advice was inspirational to say the least.


   By Janny Wurts on Monday, June 18, 2007 - 04:24 pm: Edit Post

Sebastian - there is no right way to create a thing. Do what's fun, first, That always works!!! Your subconscious knows far more than you do, in that regard.

You begin with the bit that's fun, and watch the momentum snowball.

If you like to start with a name, a map, a concept - well, you are already into it aren't you?


   By max on Sunday, July 10, 2011 - 04:33 am: Edit Post

I have a question for you Janny, and maybe other authors as well. In authorspeak is building a foundation for a society, or a religion, or a culture or several cultures on the same world, the same as what you call world building?? Because when I am reading a new book I never cease to be amazed at the detail and scope of these different ideas. It is so incredible!! It's like one can travel from world to world and experience the cultures that are so different. I never travel, Idon't like it much. But reading and then movies that are filmed on location are so wonderful to see, I almost miss the stry sometimes. For instance 'Legends of the Fall' [Montana] 'The Last Samurai' [Japan] 'Jeremiah Johnson' [Rocky Mountains]. That's my preferred way of traveling. [Smiling at ya].


   By Janny Wurts on Monday, July 11, 2011 - 09:37 am: Edit Post

Hi Max, world building refers to the setting of a story (usually those that take place on other worlds than our reality) - and would include everything from the cultures, the map, the topography, the ecology, and the interaction of all those elements - the deeper and (IF the world calls for it) more varied, the more 'realized' in concept, the better.

It can make or break the story - add to it, flesh it out, immerse the reader in another angle of view - or it can overwhelm the story and swamp tension in too much detail and ideology.

Some readers WILL read just for the story and characters, and a smaller percentage will read just for the 'world' and the 'concepts.'

So an author must know their audience and keep tabs on why they are showing what.

World building that immerses a story works. World building that separates itself from the story's thrust (in my view) doesn't.

There would be a logical string of IDEAS holding the whole thing together - so how well or how poorly the story backdrop functions must also be taken into consideration.


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