Welcome to Mother/Gamer/Writer for the Artificial Absolutes Blog Tour! For today’s tour stop, we have an awesome guest post from Author Mary Fan on “Building a Believable World” and a generous giveaway to win Amazon Gift Cards and Artificial Absolutes Swag! And as always, make sure you add it to your shelf on Goodreads.
Building a Believable World
Anything is possible in speculative fiction. Starships can fly at lightspeed, guns can fire laser bullets, and communications waves can travel through hyperspace. While the possibilities are immeasurable, it is important when creating a new world to lay down just what is and isn’t possible in one particular universe. Consistency is key for bringing an imaginary world to life.
It may seem like something of a paradox, to limit a limitless imagined realm. But the rules are essential for crafting the story, forming the maze of obstacles through which the characters must navigate. They force the characters to adapt to their situations. They also allow the characters to be familiar enough with the world they occupy to see the angles. And, if the world-builder does his or her job well, the reader can become as familiar and become fully drawn into the story.
As a writer, I make sure I know not only what the rules are, but what the characters know about them. I set up boundaries and limitations, backgrounds and explanations. Before I even created a document for the first draft, I had around six or seven supporting documents detailing back-stories, histories, etc. I think approximately ten percent ended up in the final draft, and more got cut down from there. I couldn’t include all those details in the novel; that would bog down the story in lengthy descriptions. But I made sure I know them so that when the time came for the characters to encounter a group of people or enter a certain location, the maze was already set up.
The real world we live in has rules, and we know that things don’t “just happen.” And so when creating a new world, as fantastical as it is, boundaries must be placed to ensure that it’s believable. Then, one can release the characters into the new world, and that’s where the fun begins.
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