This article is aimed particularly at authors who need a fictional world for their novel. As I’ve mentioned in the introduction to world building, creating a story world is an endless project and no one has eternity to waste. Especially when your novel waits for you to be written 🙂
Hence the reason for todays topic:
Set a deadline
If you don’t want to get lost in the process, there is no way around setting a date by which you’re going to be finished. Or rather stop. No matter what’s still missing (I’ll come back to this later on). There will always be something missing, so hold on to your deadline under any circumstance. Otherwise you’ll find yourself going from “but X is still missing” to “I’ll just work out Y” and soon you’re stuck in a spiral you can’t escape from. Been there, done that. Don’t go there.
How much time you should calculate is hard to tell and varies from person to person, or rather novel to novel. Here are some points you’ll want to think about when planning your deadline:
- How much time do I have in a day or in a week to work on this?
- Do I need this world for one novel or more? Is it a series?
- Where does my story take place? Does it revolve around a city or region or do my characters explore bigger parts of the world or even different planets?
- Do I want to create my own species or do I use existing ones like elves, fairies or dwarfes?
Optimize the use of your time
There is no use in setting a one year deadline, when you work on the wrong things. If won’t do you any good to explore the kings bloodline 15 generations back, if you don’t know how your magical system actually works.
Therefore I urge you to prioritize those topics that are actually relevant for your story. Here are some thoughts to get you started:
- Maps of your settings
- Culture, biology, history, etc. of relevant species
- Magical systems for fantasy novels
- Technology for science fiction
- Advancement of each civilization
Your deadline is over? Then the moment of truth is here: Your characters enter your world and challenge its authenticity and logic.
This is where I want to mention missing information. When you actually write your story you will automatically stumble upon missing or dissonant areas of your world. Now you can work on those topics with purpose and get back to writing.
This is it for today. Reach out to us if you need further information. And now tell me, how much time did you allocate for this deed? Was it enough? What are your most important topics? Let us know what you’re working on 🙂
Having an authentic world in which your story takes place is obviously incredibly important and especially for fantasy and science fiction novels plays creating a world on your own a big role. Nothing is set in stone here and you're welcome to get inpiration and take...