A beginner’s guide to world building

This week, I took the plunge and published one of my short stories on Amazon. Words cannot express how cool it is to see your name on a book. I have been writing for most of my life. In fifth grade, I wrote a short story about a dog that got lost and my teacher bought it for five dollars. It is an amazing feeling to share what you love with those around you.

I wanted to start a new short story this week since I finished off The Horsemen, but instead, I took some time to work on editing and world building for my young adult novel. I had never heard of world building until someone mentioned it in a writing group on facebook. The more I looked into what world building was, the more I realized my novel was severely lacking.

I scoured Facebook and pinterest for helpful tips on world building. I ended up compiling a list of what I thought were some of the most important aspects. 

  1. Have a map
  • I have been working on my novel since I was in the 9th grade (I graduated in 2007). During that time, a lot of names have changed. I needed a map just to make sure that everything lined up!

      2. A list of rulers

  • Even if my characters did not visit a certain city, it is nice knowing who’s in charge there. They might visit it later.

      3. Economy

  • A large portion of my book centered around war and poverty. I needed to figure out who was suffering and who was thriving.

      4. History

  • If you spend time writing about the history of your land, it will influence how you write. It may or may not make it into the book, but it’s good for your personal knowledge. 

       5. Religion

  • Knowing about the religious beliefs or lack thereof can help you get a grasp on certain character’s motives. I feel like this goes well with the history of the land.

I am far from good at world building, but I can already tell a difference. I’m hoping to add the the list and watch my world grow! Let me know if you have a favorite aspect of world building that I missed!

Jessica

P.s. I finally bit the bullet and published my short story. Check it out! ⤵

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