Updated: Dec 8, 2021
In the beginning, there is simply a story concept that pops into one's head. Right?
I don't remember the exact moment the concept for my current world popped into my head but the story has been banging around up there for years. Perhaps decades. The concept is: "the Indians didn't lose."
About two years ago, out of the blue, I wrote some dialog. Now, for the last 20-some-odd months I have been trying to build the world to match that conversation. I've learned many things during that time but the top three are: building a world is complicated, outlining a story is complex, and doing them both at the same time is oddly fun!
I will admit, choosing to build a world on a parallel Earth gave me a few advantages. First, there is no need to invent the color of the sky, the shape of the continents, the type of weather to be expected, or how many moons there are. But, make no mistake, there are still many details to consider.
I am building a world for a novel with plans to have other books in the series in the same world. I have no idea how much of this process would be different (or the same) if I was building a world for gaming or a movie. However, there is a well-known concept for building a world for a novel: Build an iceberg but knowing that the reader will only ever see the 10% which lies above the water.
I have a very distinct vision of what the world looks like, how it operates, how the people live and what they believe, and what makes that world both different and the same as ours. And my vision, my world, keeps growing larger and more interesting.
Getting it all down on paper is a whole other matter. I have seen several lists about what to include in a world design.
And that's where my blog comes in (thank you for reading this far, by the way). I thought it would be interesting (if not a bit fun) to catalog the woes and wins of creating an entirely new world. Stick with me. How better to celebrate your own world-building success than watching me flail about?