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We, as humans, tend to associate everything to what we know. What is in our world and how is it relatable to what the author is trying to say? I have a couple of worlds that are not...earth, so, how do I get someone to read my story who is a human. I world build.
How do you start?
With many questions. Lots and lots of questions. Most of the answers may not ever be described in your MS. Can you imagine the world building for Harry Potter or The Hunger Games? Your reader needs get the idea of what the world is like and read it like your world is "normal" or could happen.
I'll start you off.
1. What is the atmosphere in your world? Weather? Any unique animals? Can humans live there? Is there water? Trees? Basically, what is the land like?
2. What type of beings live there? Are they like humans? How do they think? Are they magical? Any types of rituals? What language do they speak? What are their rules? Do they have a type of goverment?
3. Is the world a planet somewhere in space, or just something on another plane? Can a human travel there? If so, how?
4. Me, who loves to also add romance, asks these quetions. Can a human fall in love with one of these beings? Are there any "problems" if they do?
Now, this is only a small part of what you should go into. These questions are only meant as a starting point. Get detailed, and elaborate on the questions above. Take those questions further. Keep going. Farther than you may think you need to go.
Like I said before, the answers may not make to the MS, but you must know them to make it sound believable, and this knowledge also adds depth.
World building is not just for science fiction and paranormal writers. Fantasy, yes, but any genre really. Even if you are staying in this world make sure everything still applies. It's all from your characters point of view, so do they know what is going on around them? How do they see it? Do they know the rules? Ask youself the questions to be sure and get detailed. The more you know, the more believeable your story will be.
Here are some links to check out on the subject.
YA Highway--World Building.
Creating a Fantasy World--Sara Douglass
All About Books: World Building and You by guest blogger Gloria Oliver
If you want to add any linkage, please add them in the comments or if you have any tips or questions of your own to add, feel free to share.
Have a great day!