Worldbuilding in Sci-Fi/Fantasy

I confess, sometimes when I hear the words world building, character profiling, story planning and research I get twitch eye.

I’ve had a new idea – inspiration has struck – and I just want to write.

Is there anything wrong with ‘just writing’? – I don’t think so. Sometimes the best characters and ideas are born from the raw momentum of just going with it.

But I usually find after a few pages, I lose steam… because the ideas, characters or scenes don’t have a context. This is where research and planning starts for me.

Often I’ll gather inspirational pictures from places like National Geographic photosArt websites can also be gold mines for inspiration.

And one of the first documents I reach for is Patricia C. Wrede’s  ‘Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions’. As Patricia herself says on her blog the questions aren’t a ‘prescription or a recipe’ for building worlds – it’s just a really useful document to get you started.

Ultimately I think every writer has their own processes, and I don’t believe there is a right or wrong way of creating – if it works for you – go with it!


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