Monday, June 4, 2012

Wisdom from a Writer's Conference: World Building

The next class I attending at the LDStoryMakers conferences was:

World Building: Wrapping Your Head Around a World, so You Can Wrap that World
Around Your Story by Howard Taylor.

What I learned:

Every story - no matter what the genre - required you to set up the world for the reader.

There are two kinds of world building: Top down (story then build world), Bottom up (build world then story). You only need as much world building as is required to make the story make sense. When world building poke holes in it by asking why - make sure it always makes sense.

Taylor's First Rule: Is it cheaper to let the donkey do it? If it is, then donkey's die out.
Otherwise - magic dies out.

How I Plan to Apply it:

I do a lot of world building around my story. It often sparks new ideas and is a lot of fun for me. But I find that once the world is built I have a hard time launching into the story. And I spend too much time world building. So for my next project (an MG Fantasy) I am going to do just a little world building - just enough to understand the world my characters live in and start writing.

I also plan to apply this concept to character building and outlining. At least as far as finishing the first draft. I don't draft very fast. The upside to that is I have to do much less revision - but I think that writing a quick first draft and then revising my actually be short then my usual method. We will see how this goes.


  1. I'm not a fast drafter, either. But then, less revisions like you said.

    Good luck! Worldbuilding is fun.

  2. I always love worldbuilding insights! I think I use a "suddenly the characters, the world and the story are meshing" approach to it. ;)

  3. That's how I created my world; I drew a terrible map with paint and knew a little about it before diving in with the story. I just hope that it comes across right. :)