World-Building: Building from the World-Out


Last week, we covered some basics in World-Building to get you started. If you need a refresher, click here, or at the bottom of this post. A lot of what we talked about made it possible to build the world off of your premise, characters, and other story centralized aspects. Today we’re going to talk about starting from a world idea, and then building from the known. I will use a lot of examples from my experience and pointing out issues I discovered years after my first attempt at World-Building.

Starting with your world:

Every world begins differently, as does every novel, but if you’re focusing on World-Building, you’re often working within the Fantasy, Sci-Fi, or Supernatural genres. Such ventures lead to new rules for new places, planets, or civilization. Often, writers in these genres begin with an amazing world in mind, with access to different things. So, let’s start with your world.

Your World:

You have this idea for a crazy world with terrifying circumstances that would be perfect for a novel, but you don’t know your characters yet, or the premise, or much else about the story. In the end, you have your world. The best example I can give is if you’ve read my book, Extoria, during its limited release. In that storyline, there are the barest bones of a world. Extoria is a city placed on a parallel universe to Earth and surrounded by giant walls. There are talks of these Tartarean Creatures, though no one, not even the readers, sees them. It was flawed, but I had my starting point.

Where is your world when your story begins?

Do you have a city, country, planet, or galactic system in mind? Or is your world of a non-standard structure?

What fascinates you most about the world? Are you dealing with an alien location, or is it a changed actual location?

Why do you want to write about this world?

Answer the questions above for yourself, and share below as we move forward.

Evolution of a World:

One thing I didn’t think about in my first attempts at World-Building was the history of the world. I just saw Extoria inside its walls in a Post-Apocalyptic United States of America. The story of Extoria started then in my mind and I thought little about Extorias history. So I’m going to challenge you to look at the history of your world. The thing is, no matter how interesting your world is in that moment of the story, it wasn’t always that way. Someone settled abandoned lands, colonized your planet, or ventured into the great unknown depths of the universe before they ever developed their world.

Just as each country, nation, or state has their own history, so does your world. The history of your world will influence the people, aliens, or creatures that inhabit your lands. Here are some questions to get you thinking about the history of your world.

Where is your current world at, and what events might have caused it to end up this way?

How are conflicts resolved in your society? Is this because of tradition? Or are they new approaches?

Did your world come about from settlement, conquest, or exploration?

Part One Conclusion:

You’ll notice that by answering some of these questions, you’ve begun your World-Building with PMESII-PT already. If you feel ready, then venture into some large picture aspects before you delve into your characters, and click here. If not, review the questions on this and the previous post to work through ideas.

Next week we’ll work through building your characters off your world. If there are questions or topics you’d like addressed, please comment below. As always, stay fresh, my nugs.

Previous: World-Building Pre-Checks

Next: Build Characters from Genre

3 thoughts on “World-Building: Building from the World-Out

  1. Pingback: World-Building Pre-Checks – Myers Fiction

  2. Pingback: World-Building: Building Characters from Genre – Myers Fiction

  3. Pingback: World-Building Closeout – Myers Fiction

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