We find out how your characters navigate the world, who they love and hate, and why they behave and misbehave. Using temperament types, we take a look at how each customized character can be bent, twisted, and enhanced from cradle to grave in Story Building Blocks II: Good writers craft sentences. Great writers sculpt language. We examine common plot holes and identify speed bumps that affect the enjoyment of the ride you take your readers on. We cover basic grammar and language use, punctuation, descriptions, narrator intrusion, pacing, and body language.
From physical description to psychological motivations, you construct friends, foes, heroes, and villains. From main characters to walk-ons, you can give them a part to play and make them stick to your script. The print version has pages to add photos.
The Build A World Worbook helps you build believable story worlds.
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It covers flora, fauna, mores and manners, myths and magic, government, commerce, food, clothing, and shelter. Whether you are researching a historical period, creating a unique fantasy world, or designing a final frontier in space, the magic is in the details. Deft selection of information creates a 3-D world your readers will remember. You have to think about how the society you are creating actually functions. What are the lines of disagreement between groups? I like to think of society as being divided up into groups whose primary but not exclusive concerns are:.
How long has it been here? How did it get here? What divergent interpretations of these real or imagined events are present in society? The more credible these things are, the more real your world will feel. But you have to build rationally, even in a fantasy setting. So do some research into other cultures and think about how you might use variants of what you learn in your creation — always taking care to fit it all together seamlessly so that it feels right. Create cultures with their own speech patterns, dress codes and belief systems.
How do the people relax? How do they express themselves creatively? To what do they aspire? The thing to remember is that all of this needs to serve the story, not the other way round. If something looks like it is taking over, you need to pare back its importance, but still have it make sense.
Now, having set up the board and laid out the pieces, you need to personalize it. Each grouping will have opinion leaders and powerful people with needs and desires. Use them to move the conflicts along. Give them a back-story, and think about their goals, in particular, what they think about the big issues, especially the conflict that is the heart of your story. In the Moontide Quartet the big conflict is the proposed crusade, and every important figure and group has a view.
As the events of your story unfold, you will find that the reactions of these opinion leaders to the latest events in your story will help to drive it forward, so stay on top of what they are thinking and doing, even if it is off-screen. Hear from authors who are marketing themselves and selling books online. So far, our goal has been to create a dynamic but mostly stable society.
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Society is always changing as it adapts to new things, but most of the time it does so in an incremental way. But conflicts are inherently destabilizing, and that new factor could throw everything into chaos. The important thing for the story is that your world and the people in it react in a credible way to the disruption. Work toward a resolution:. As a storyteller, you need think about how much complexity you want to show; never forget that all of this is to support the story, not be the story. Often just making reference to your world-building local jargon and customs, oblique references to past events, etc.
- Story Building Blocks II: Crafting Believable Conflict by Diana Hurwitz (, Paperback) | eBay;
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Never forget the world-building is the backdrop and the props; the story close-ups should always be on your characters. Learn more and register. I have saved the article for future reference. Very in-depth and points out the importance of the little things.
This will be a huge asset in improving my stories. This is a lot to think about. Few of the details we create for our world will actually be seen in the story, but they are important to give the world the depth needed to make it real.
Thank you for your post. One commenter asked about keeping all the details of your world straight. I have found an excellent way to do that is with the free software program YWriter5, yw5, which you can find at http: I use the software to put in all my people names, races, details, etc. I have spent many hours building my fantasy world, and agree that it has been as much fun as developing my plot and story.
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For all the fantastical travels Meg goes through in A Wrinkle in Time, that it is rooted in family gives a foundation so the reader never gets lost. Awesome details in this great advice article. Also the idea of having recent conflicts present in common cultures references and speech is fantastic. I found your worldview list interesting. I really appreciate that you emphasize how in the end, the creative choices authors makes for their world must suit the story.
How to Create Conflict | Ian Irvine | Author of Fantasy Books, Thrillers, Kids' Books
Thanks for writing this! Discovering my story world is part of my story planning process and is often just as much fun as interviewing my characters. I must admit, though I love fantasy, sometimes the worldbuilding aspect can be overwhelming. Definitely bookmarking this one.
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Thank you so much! A short, but concise analysis of the elements that make our society what it is, and how those same elements, with envioronmental or social changes, could produce other and different societies. One of the major stuggles I have world-building is how do you track all the details?
But how, weeks later and several chapters down, do you find these details? Would be a great future article. I found that I could answer most of the questions, but it was so helpful to take a step away from the plot and look at the world in the abstract. Very informational article, thank you so much for sharing.