This is # 5 of a 5-part blog series on how to make fantasy and science-fiction world's feel real. It's based off of a science fiction and fantasy world-building prompt session I ran at this year's Ladder Literary Conference.
About this World-Building Series
When we think of a fantastic world, we often think of the broad strokes, but it’s the small details of the world that make it come to life. Those little details are what we’re going to focus on in this blog series.
Tapestry of a Thousand Threads
A solidly built world can be a launch pad for a handful, or even dozens, of stories. Terry Pratchett wrote 42 books based all based in his high-fantasy Discworld. Steven Erickson’s Malazan series spans hundreds of years of his world’s history in ten massive volumes.
These worlds are so expansive because they are livable and complete. We can imagine ourselves in them. Each detail is tied to a piece of history, custom, religion, technology, or magic, and all of these elements weave together to make the tapestry of the world.
Walking Through Your World
As Terry Pratchett said, “Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
As writers we create a places that we, and eventually our readers, can go to and return from. The ability to travel by just turning the pages opens up a whole world of fun and possibility.
Final Prompt: Go into your world and walk around it as if you are a tourist visiting a new place. Walk down the street, go to a cyber-café, run from a monster, meet a wizard, start your quest...