If you’re part of my Patreon, you know I have an inner circle where people can ask me anything about writing and even a teir where I offer edits and critiques. I wanted to take a bit of that and bring it to the blog each week. Since I’m currently working on a time travel/urban fantasy mash up, I thought I’d begin with one of my favorite topics: world building.
Watching a tv show or a movie, or reading a book, and becoming completely immersed in it so that you forget about the outside world or that time has even passed happens because of world building. There are other factors too. Plot and characterization are the two that come to mind. But what really pulls you in is the world building.Learn the 3 C's of good world building. Consistency. Clarity. Comfort. Click To Tweet
Even if you’re writing contemporary fiction, you’re going to be building your world and you need consistency. You’re going to create rules for your world, even if it’s just to communicate that your world has the same rules as our own. If it’s a fantasy or science fiction setting, then your technology and magic need rules too. A character, for example, who can do something one moment, then lacks the knowledge or magic to in the next, will create frustration and confusion for the reader.
Do your readers understand the world enough to be able to say what can happen in it? Do they understand why your characters can take a certain action, while another one is forbidden? If you have readers who question the rules of your world, then often clarity is the C that’s missing.
Do your readers feel comfortable in the world, and not in a flannel pjs, hot cup of cocoa comfortable either? You can write the scariest horror or the most spine-tingling thrillers and still have readers willing to immerse themselves in your world for the time it takes to read the book. This is comfort and you want your readers to have it so they keep coming back.
World building is at the heart of good writing. Without world building, the best character in the world is going to fall flat. The next time you set out to write on your next project, think about the world building and how you can work to bring it to life by following the 3 C’s.