Three Essentials for Good Worldbuilding

There are a couple of things I look for to help strengthen worldbuilding and build a level of immersion – because that’s what you want. Immersion. You want someone to “buy in” to the world you have made and care about what happens. You want it to create that suspension of disbelief that makes them worry about what will happen and who it will happen to, even though it’s entirely fictional.

And believe it or not, you don’t have to build out literally every aspect of the world to do it. In fact, I think that can take longer and make it harder to create an immersive experience. At least within a short window of time, as you’re dividing yourself over what could be an entire planet or galaxy. Not that it isn’t fun, of course. I’ve talked at length about how much fun worldbuilding can be when you get carried away.

Sometimes it takes a backseat to character & plot, but if you’re writing sci-fi or fantasy, half the fun is the fact that we are getting to explore a world unlike our own. So when the worldbuilding is neglected you can feel a little cheated. After some thinking, I came up with three ‘rules’ that I think help guide your worldbuilding and your writing to be stronger and more immersive.

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The Lonely Life of the Writer

I’ve been asked before if I was lonely, and my answer was immediate:

No! Of course not! Why would I be lonely?

I’m not an unhappy person. Far from it. I love writing. I love that I have the means and opportunity to be creative, and express myself in new and exciting ways. To tell stories. To inspire and entertain others. I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing. And it makes me happy doing it.

But being lonely and being unhappy is not the same thing. Not that being lonely can’t lead you to unhappiness, but you can be a happy and productive member of society and still be lonely. To still want, or even need some connection.

It’s what makes us human.

Why else do we tell stories? To connect with others. Whether they be fictional or otherwise. That desire is intrinsic to our profession.

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My Top 5 Moments From Game of Thrones

In honour of the Game of Thrones finale on Sunday, I thought this week I’d include would be a tribute to one of the most iconic shows by taking a look at my favourite moments.

These are in no particular order, because, quite honestly it was hard enough to come up with the list in the first place. It would be too hard to try to rank them on top of that.

The show is full of amazing moments, and it was painfully hard settling on just five. I’ve started a read through of the books, after which I plan to rewatch the series, so this list may change, but after way too much thinking, these are my 5 favourite scenes from Game of Thrones.

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Game of Thrones: Did We Get a Satisfying Ending to the Biggest Fantasy Series of All Time?

NOTE: This is a discussion of Game of Thrones as a whole as well as the ending, so there will be SPOILERS for Season 8.

Also, be prepared for a long post. I’ve got a lot to say.

Game of Thrones was a series that defied expectation. If you’ve been watching from the beginning, you know how quickly and easily events get turned on their head. Maybe more so in the beginning when there were more characters on the board, but the appeal of the show has always been the depth of its characters and sheer unpredictability.

It should be no surprise that as the final season aired, it would also take us by surprise. But it’s gone down in a way most people did not expect. And as a storyteller myself, I’ve been intrigued watching this epic fantasy finale unfold, and felt like discussing it a little.

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Unexpected Circumstances and New Plans

Two weeks ago I decided to do some intense catch up on my novel with a 24-in-48 writing marathon. Obviously, that didn’t happen. My Thursday began with a pretty nasty shoulder injury which made lifting my arms to type or do pretty much anything was impossible without a whole lot of pain. I hoped with rest I’d recover in time to make something of my weekend. But I didn’t.

And that was really frustrating.

But that’s what happens. Unexpected things pop up and plans get interrupted. You just have to deal with it.

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Building the Far North: How I Build a Fictional World

When I started this series of blog posts on worldbuilding, I gave a fairly brief introduction of how I defined it, why it was important, and how I go about the process, and then I attempted to create a worksheet based around that.

Of course, up until that point no such worksheet existed. It was a method that existed only in my mind. And the worksheet was an attempt to distill that process into a few simple questions that would hopefully work the same for anyone who happened to use it.

But how did I know it actually worked?

Naturally, the next logical step would be to use it myself. How better to explain my process than with a page by page demonstration using the worksheet I created?

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