The Magic City

The Magic City

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

World Building Wednesday

One of the first computer games I bought (showing my age) was SimCity. I loved building the city from the ground up.  I branched out into the other simulations games, becoming more and more engrossed in creating new worlds. 

When I started writing fiction (I say with a sage voice implying that this was long, long ago at a desk far, far away - in reality, it was in the last few years), I enjoyed the world building component the most (almost too much).  I spent months researching details to include in my world, creating the mythology, and developing my setting.  Some might call it procrastination, but I prefer to call it “work.”

So I found myself with this really cool world in which to set my story.  Now, transporting the reader to that world was a horse of a different color.  Building the world was fun. Having my characters live in that world wasn’t a problem. Educating the reader on the world without an info dump? Brutal.

Hence, World Building Wednesdays where I document my world building efforts.  Each week I will try to blog about world building issues and questions.  Please comment below if there is a topic you want me to cover.

1 comment:

  1. About "worldmaking"--I love that way of saying it: You might be interested in what I learned from Wendy Bishop--if you don't know of her: a widely liked, respected, down-to-earth, fearless, open writer and writing teacher-professor at Florida State until her death much too young--about supporting writers' moving from memoir to fiction. When I knew I was coming from my first university job, at Florida State teaching "educational foundations--history, sociology, politics, economics, and philosophy of education and schooling--to Auburn University and would be having the chance to teach writing to prospective secondary school English teachers at Auburn, I asked Wendy if I could audit a writing class with her (articles and essay), and the effect on my willingness to take risks in writing I submit for publication was an awakener for me as a junior high, senior high, and now AU teacher who because of the National Writing Project at the beginning of my teaching life tries to write together with my students, at least pretty often. I haven't taken the risk of fiction writing beyond early drafts yet, but classmates in Wendy's class ten years ago, now, did and many of my students the ten years since have, with the support of what I learned from Wendy. I'm often impressed by how much the students I get to work with at Auburn accomplish in the several weeks they work on worldbuilding (starting with historical fiction exercises) using what I learned from Wendy.

    The only option I see for posting that I have set up is "anonymous," so if you/readers of your blog are interested, email me at, and I can send you the full title of the book Metro: Journeys in Writing Creatively which exercises of Hans Ostrum, Wendy Bishop, and Katherine Haake for "worldbuilding" I have been using and the students I work with have been making into short historical fiction that makes my job reading their course writing portfolios delightful.