How I World-Build (And Hello!)

     Hello everyone! It's been ages since I last posted, and I'm super happy to be back. Life has been a whirlwind of settling into Australia and a new school, but I'll save all of that for another post. (For now I'll be sticking to weekly posts until I get settled into a routine). Thanks for dropping by on the blog even over the holidays; I hope you had a great one!

     Let's get to it, shall we?


(Note: all images, and the content they contain, used in this post are copyrighted)

     Over my hiatus not only did I do some editing on Draped in Deception, I also imagined a new story called Splintered Crown. (But more on that in another post) Like I do with practically all of my stories, I let it simmer in my mind for some time while I pulled together bits of inspiration. When I'd fleshed out the general premise and some semblance of the main characters, I decided to jump into world-building.

     For me world-building isn't just borrowing some Earth culture and shoving obscure customs and unnecessary rituals on it to make it original. It's not about creating odd shaped plants, dangerous terrain, and savage beasts that terrorize travelers (though they're fun). I like to go to the people, and the history that shaped them. That's where I start.

    I don't know about you, but the thought of writing out textbooks of history that will probably never come up in a story makes me wince. So as I stared at my journal, prepping myself for long paragraphs on the world's most important moments, and less than thrilled about it, I got an idea.



    The page started out as a doodle of birds as I begun to think everything through. Then it became a drawing, and soon, something I now refer to as scrapbook world-building.

    The pages are mix of simple (and not that great) drawings and words done in different hand-drawn fonts, to bring attention to certain lines. The above page is about the world's first people, who found safety with the help of five green birds. I also included snippets of paper, as if they were torn from different texts, each showing a different perspective on the event. 

    I've realized now that in most other stories I'd written, I only knew historical events from one group's perspective, but it's so important to know it from all angles. These different perspectives can be vital in forming different cultural groups, enemies, allies, and on and on.


I apologize for the little you can read, but most of the images I took contain spoilers
    The drawing in this picture is nothing more than an arrow, and I could blather on about how symbolic it is, but I won't. I've found that even the simplest drawing makes me spend more time on a page, and the longer I spend, the more time I have to flesh out the story. In this case, what started out as a vague conflict led to a key antagonist revealing himself.

    The fun and amazing thing with scrapbook world-building is that you don't have to write everything down. A mix of drawings and words can convey the feeling of a time period or certain event, and help you visualize how it's seen in the story. I was planning to have a jumbled collection of images to represent Splintered Crown's POV Crimson, but somehow I found the starkness between the small and large print to mean much more.


The bigger text reads "I'm the best. I'm the Heir. I'm perfect." while the tiny, almost invisible words between other letters say "Help me, someone. Please?"
    So that wraps up today's post! I really hope you enjoyed it and perhaps got some inspiration for your next world-building session.


How are you? How's your writing going, and have you done any world-building recently? How do you create your story world?
Let me know in the comments; I'm dying to hear from you! <3

Comments

  1. This is SUCH a fun way of worldbuilding! I might have to try it sometime; I've been looking for new journaling ideas. I tend to follow the textbooks of information approach, haha. I just have so many ideas and must get them written down! But your idea looks like so much more fun.

    I look forward to hearing about your new WIP!

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

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    1. Thank you Ellie! <3 I've had loads of fun with this method of world-building. Haha yeah I've done the textbook approach but it's never worked that well for me. XD Great, I'm looking forward to sharing about it! Thanks so much for commenting! :D

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  2. This looks like a really interesting way of worldbuilding. I haven't written any fantasy novels (yet!) but I have done the worldbuilding for one. It was a little based on a culture I knew, but I do need to think of some creatures! I really like Trudi Canavan's fantasy worlds, she has really interesting creatures, and drinks, and includes a glossary at the end of books. But you can sort of see the paralells to Earth equivalents, so it's not too confusing. Also, I'm glad that you're getting used to being in Australia--I moved from India to NZ in the middle of high school, so I know what that's like.

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    1. Thank you! I haven't read any of Trudi Canavan's books yet but I've heard great things about them. Ooh I always like the little world-building touches like drinks,and glossaries can be super helpful. Moving to another country is quite crazy, isn't it? It's been really hectic settling in but I think I'm getting used to it. Thanks so much for commenting Shanti! <3

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  3. Yayy I'm glad you're back and Australia is treating you well!! :D

    And ohh your world building process is amazing. ๐Ÿ˜ I love how tangible it is with the notebooks and drawings and handwriting. I kind of would LOVE to start specific journals for all my ideas and just build them up with pictures and maps and thoughts and things. But for now I kind of do all my world building in my head and on pinterest until I go to make an outline. Tbh, most of my true world building happens in draft 2. ๐Ÿ˜‚ So I think we can safely say I suck at it haha.

    YAY for your new book idea too and congrats that it's going well!!

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    1. Aw thanks Cait! <3 So far this journal is just for Splintered Crown but I suspect that soon it'll be full with lots of other world-building and random ideas. XD Ooh doing world-building on pinterest is pretty cool (all the boards of yours I've seen are AMAZING by the way). Haha well, that's what editing is for right? And no, you don't suck. :P Thanks so much for your encouragement and for commenting! :D

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  4. I LOVE THIS! I've never done a ton of visual world-building; I used to jot down random notes here and there in an unorganized mess. Then I stopped writing them down at all and just absorbed ideas. Most recently I've started creating maps and using them to give context & culture to key areas, and that also helped me figure out what's motivating my antagonist. I've also started writing stories of some past events (recent history) as part writing exercise/part world building. I LOVE the scrapbook worldbuilding idea :D I might try that even if I suck at drawing :P

    ~ Michelle @ FaerieFits

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    1. Thank you Michelle! Maps are a very cool and fun way to world-build as well; they never fail in inspiring me with ideas of the geography of my worlds. Ooh that's a really good idea to write past events as stories! I might have to steal that idea from you. :) I'm glad you like my idea! Thanks so much for dropping by and commenting! <3

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    2. For some reason my network isn't letting me connect to your website; I'm really sorry! I'll keep trying.

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  5. Whoahh, you're so organized. o.o Worldbuilding is not by strong point... but I can appreciate how other writers put together their made up lands. xD I love the little doodle of the arrow! It's so pretty. <3

    katie grace
    a writer's faith

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    1. Thanks Katie! The arrow's one of my favourites too, and it didn't even take too long. :D I wouldn't say my room is as organized as my world-building though... XD Thank you so much for commenting and good luck with your writing! <3

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  6. Your world building scrapbook is so pretty! I need to get my game together, as all of the bits and pieces of my world are spread from document to page to notebook to another document and then again, a lot of it is just in my head. ;P

    So good to see that the move went well and you've started your new school n'stuff! :D

    jeniquablog.wordpress.com

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    1. Aw thanks Jenenca! <3 I have bits and pieces scattered around for other stories, but this time I was determined to keep it all in one place. I don't know if I would call the move 'well' (okay, okay, it wasn't that bad, but avoiding stress is basically impossible) but thank you. Thanks so much for taking time out of your day to comment! <3

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  7. OMG I MUST TRY THIS WAY OF WORLD BUILDING!!!!!!!! It looks so fun and so much easier than doing it all in your head and then forgetting it all.
    I will definitely try this!!

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    1. Yay, I'm so glad you like my method of world-building! It's way easier than making everything up in your head, as you can always look back for references. Thanks so much for commenting! :D

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  8. I generally have a notebook that gets stuffed with odd scraps of dialogue, pre-typed up scenes, characters notes and random bits of world building. But for christmas one of my friends made me a notebook with a decorated cover inspired by the world of Glory Brats and told me she thought it could be a sort of book carried around by the Brats and filled with all the random things they find out. So now it has torn out food labels stuck in, and stick-man drawings and so on. Your scrap books look so pretty! I love the drawings of the birds.

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad you liked it. :) Your notebooks sounds so cool! That's an awesome idea, to stick in things that remind you of your characters; I'll have to try it sometime. Thanks so much for commenting Becca!

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