How hard could it be to build a whole world?

world building

I’ve written a lot of blog posts about world building over the years. They were solutions to problems I had or that stemmed from conversations with other writers. Topics range from how to start off world building, how to make a fantasy map, and tips to create cultures to people words.

But that is me and some of those posts were a few years ago.

What I want to know is what is your biggest world building hurdle now?

Because, you know, creating, describing, and populating an entire world is a piece of cake, right? lol.

Some writers describe the world almost as another character in the story. Heck, I’ve read novels where the world WAS another character in the story! Vivid, realistic, amazing worlds are a part of reader’s expectations for the genre. They need places of indescribably beauty that you must somehow describe to readers. They need terrors, cities, forests, mystery, magic … and amid it all a story must flow like a river whose course you can only guess at.

world building

What is the most problematic part of that to you?

So let me know in the comments what you have or are struggling with. Jesper and I will combine answers from across platforms and bring back the results.

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Written by: Autumn

Autumn (also known as Weifarer) is an indie author, conservationist, & world traveler with plans for many more adventures both real and fantastical! She is currently on the road in North America in a Four Wheel Camper along with her husband, Adam, and Cairn terrier, Ayashe.

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4 Comments

  1. Jan Hawke

    For me, my new world is both ‘engineered’ and organic, so I need to keep this in mind as it’s set in an extreme future where an ark is sent to terraform and colonise an infant world on the farthest edge of a neighbouring galaxy.
    The ark carries a huge DNA archive of animals, including humans and some prehistoric mammals (no dinosaurs) under the care of robot caretakers. The most advanced androids have artificial intelligence and access to all the wisdom of the ages of the dying race of super-evolved humanity and are programmed to interpret conditions on the host planet so that the terraforming does not wipe out indigenous species of flora and fauna, where they might enhance the new population. Their colonisation time schedule is therefore fluid and indefinitely elongated when they discover a ‘magical’ element at work in the native evolution once they reach their destination.
    My main issue with this is where to put the demarcation from high-tech culture to organic development, and keeping a balance with how much artificial intelligence will adhere to Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics in manipulating a new Eden for those they will select to inhabit the Haven world.
    I’m an inveterate pantser but am currently trying to curb this slightly by working on short story ‘snapshots’ at various stages of the story arc, which may run to 2 linked trilogies and a prequel trilogy which will be more sci-fi than fantasy. Any other suggestions on how to get this goliath of a project organised?

    • Autumn

      Hi, Jan! I think for a pantser creating short stories to help you develop the world is a great method. Plus, you get short stories that you can share! Even for pantsers (or hybrids like me!), writing short stories to get into a characters head and tone of the story are invaluable. It leads to a lot less editing later and has so many side benefits. 🙂

      So I think you are on the right track! I’ve always loved the sound of your story and I’m so happy you are working on it, Jan!

      • Jan Hawke

        Cheers, Autumn! 😀 I keep taking 2 steps then 3 steps with this one, as my health and domestic situations are fluctuating still. Luckily both aspects are finally stabilising, so I’m hoping to jump back into writing this in a month or so, once my diagnosis is confirmed and finances are less stressed. 🙂

      • Jan Hawke

        Cheers, Autumn! 😀 I keep taking 2 steps forward then 3 steps back with this one, as my health and domestic situations are fluctuating still. Luckily both aspects are finally stabilising, so I’m hoping to jump back into writing this in a month or so, once my diagnosis is confirmed and finances are less stressed. 🙂

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