I remember when I was younger, when I first started to make up stories in my head to entertain myself and escape from the real world, I didn’t really have a concept of what world building was. Certainly not as a writer’s tool. I just knew I liked to dream up imaginary landscapes and explore there, either on my own or through characters I also dreamed up.
Fast forward a couple of decades, and here I am doing the same thing with my new novel. Except I’m taking notes this time. But really, the process and the entertainment value haven’t changed all that much. I still sit and daydream about those imaginary places, only I’m adding a few technical questions here and there. Where does the water come from in this place? How is it lit, and what does the air smell like? Also, why do I like to hang out here, as opposed to some other imaginary world? What is it about my creation that’s unique?
I know my readers are going to be asking those same kinds of questions, whether they realize it or not. My best hope is to create a world that sucks people in and makes them never want to leave, and that as I expand on this process, I’ll be able to create characters that they want to hang out with, flaws and all. But right now, today, it’s all about the world and living there for a time in my head. The more I explore in my head, the better I can describe the world as my characters experience it.
So far I think it’s shaping up to be pretty cool. I hope readers agree.