Today I’m blogging about the “World-building for Your Werewolf, Duke, or Small-Town Doctor” Workshop presented by speaker Tanya Michaels during RWA’s 2010 Convention.
Writers hear a lot about the importance of world-building. But what is it that makes it so important? Well, it’s what draws readers into your story. It also what makes your book unique. Even if the core story is one that others have heard before, your world should be new.
Every story—whether it is a paranormal, historical or contemporary—has a world. A writer focuses on developing this world in order to have a compelling story.
Some tips for effective world-building:
- Determine the scope of your world and what its rules or constraints are, and then stick with them.
- Use language to your advantage. If you write medical novels, you’ll need to have some knowledge of medical lingo. If you’re writing romance, use endearments to emotionally connect your characters.
- Infuse your story with real world characteristics: politics, legends, etc. If you are writing romance between two coworkers, you’ll want to establish the office politics. If it’s a paranormal romance with a vampire and a werewolf, a completely different set of politics will apply.
- Establish your world’s values. Not just what the characters physically value (gold, or food if it’s a dystopian fantasy), but also moral values. Maybe in your vampire society murder isn’t looked down on, or it’s a historical where forward-thinking females are ostracized.
Do you have any tips for effective world-building? A favorite author who excels at it?