From the Ground Up

This week we’re looking at ways to build our fictional world and reveal it to readers Tuesday – Starting Small, Beginning with a room Wednesday – Devil’s in the Details, When a world is the same but not the same Thursday – Spreading it About, Do we scatter the details or reveal a lot at once? Friday – On a […]

Finding the Fantastical

Building a fantasy world presents its own complications. Theoretically, we’re beginning with a blank slate to build a whole new world, except this isn’t entirely true. Although it’s a new world readers are likely to have preconceived notions of what a fantasy world will be like based on the genre of fantasy or stereotypes. For […]

Hunting History

Historical fiction presents interesting complications primarily in the form of accuracy. We have to remember when we’re writing historical that we’re not writing a factual piece so there’s space to smudge the details of the past. For instance, having an invention appear a few years earlier than it actually did, changing fashions to suit an […]

Getting Contemporary

Writing contemporary is often assumed to be the easiest form of world building because it is all based around the contemporary real world and everyone knows about that, right? Except the contemporary real world is different depending on where in the world you are, your background, and a variety of other factors. This doesn’t mean […]

Bricks and Mortar

What is world building? World building doesn’t solely refer to setting the scene the characters are in, it refers to creating an entire world that they inhabit. When we put it like that it can sound like a massive and impossible undertaking but like any other element of writing we can plan it all out […]

The Setting is a Stage Revisited

Setting isn’t simply a backdrop to the story, it’s a space that the characters exist in and should move around. People are rarely still so characters shouldn’t be standing around with their hands in their pockets. Moving them around the scene offers opportunities to express character and character interactions, show more of the setting, and […]

Character Through Setting Revisited

Just as what a character describes can tell us about that character their environment can tell us about them too whether it’s a minimalist living room, a messy car or a potted plat by the front door. Everyone’s home is as individual as they are and even a lack of individualising objects can tell us […]

Hiding Detail Within Detail

People don’t generally like it when things seem to appear from nowhere, they find it jarring, so it’s best to lay some foundations that they may or may not pick up on. Some of these hints can stem from setting and don’t need to be verbal, or even conspicuous, a little literary sleight of hand. […]

Who Beat Up Your Prose? Revisited

Purple prose is used to describe prose that are, sometimes intended to be poetical, but become too wordy. Simply put it’s using too many adjectives, and often the wrong adjectives. We don’t always need a precise shade or an in depth description of a table top, unless it serves a purpose. As with any part […]

Drowning in Detail Revisited

The problem with introducing a new setting is that it can be easy to try and describe everything in one go. This can be useful in a first draft where you’re working it all out yourself but for a reader it can slow the story too much or tell them things they don’t need to […]