Fun fact: for a while, whenever I read the word “worldbuilding,” I’d miss the “l,” and think it said “ wordbuilding .” This led to no end o...

Thoughtful Thursdays: The Wonderful World of Worldbuilding

Fun fact: for a while, whenever I read the word “worldbuilding,” I’d miss the “l,” and think it said “wordbuilding.” This led to no end of confusion on my part, though I guessed it had something to do with making up fake words. What that had to do with a contemporary story, I could not imagine. 

But one day, while browsing GoTeenWriters, I finally caught the “l” and understood, “Oh, worldbuilding.” 

And my life was finally complete.

Anyways, we’re not actually here to discuss my lack of proper eyesight, my repeated misreading of words, or whatever it is that caused me months of confusion. We’re here to talk about worldbuilding.

I’ve mentioned before that, during NaNo, me and one of my besties wrote a story together. One of the coolest things about that experience was, excepting some go-to word choices and sentence structures, we found we have an almost identical writing style. Including the fact that we’re both pantsers.

Pantsing Becoming Brave was a ton of fun. Difficult, confusing, full of uncertainty, random inspiration, plotholes, and I-have-no-idea-what-we’re-doing-so-let’s-just-write. But it was definitely fun.

After we took a break and went back to edit though, one of our biggest problems came when we realized we didn’t know much about our storyworld. As pantsers, we just kinda winged the whole thing, so we had a rudimentary idea of how our society worked, but we were pretty fuzzy on the details.

As we were mulling over how to fix this problem, I remembered I’d gotten Storyworld First by Jill Williamson a few months before, and I suggested we read through that and see if it generated some ideas.

Yes, I’m sure you can see where this is going. It’s a bit of a shameless plug/review for her book, but what can I say? It helped us a lot.
This book was amazing for fleshing out our storyworld. We learned about our apocalypse (an animal one, to be exact), how our government works (it’s a sort of socialistic, totalitarian polyarchy with a president), their current tech (medical’s advanced, vehicles behind; the explanation is too complicated for a parenthetical), and even the accents of people in our story (one group talks slower, because they have it easier and, as Rebecca said, “can afford to be frivolous in their speech patterns,”; the other has a life to live, a rather hard one, so their voices are more clipped: they say what they have to say, and move on).

To be clear, none of that was specifically in Mrs. Williamson’s book. But Storyworld First was a great resource to kickstart our imaginations, help us develop the story, create all kinds of brilliant plot bunnies, and fill up all kinds of plotholes.

Also, as Rebecca said when I told her about this post, it gave our characters several opportunities to sucker punch us with unexpected feels. Painful as that was, if the reveals created feelings in us (and we’re heartless), we imagine they’ll create even more in our readers. Which is, more or less, what we’re trying to do.

Now all we have to do is finish edits and get all the new coolness in there. Which, unfortunately, Mrs. Williamson cannot do for us. Rats. Any of you willing to do it instead?

Kidding, kidding. Sort of.

Have any of you read Storyworld First? Or another book by Jill Williamson? What’s your favorite writing resource? Comment me!

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  1. I just started reading this book today, actually. :) My favorite writing resource is everything by Go Teen Writers!

    1. Awesome! I know it'll be helpful to you!
      And yeah, haha, basically. They are the best :)

  2. Hahaha, watching those unexpected sucker punches of feels has been a wonderful part of being an observer of Becoming Brave. xD I need to read Storyworld First, I bet my little super world would benefit from some further world building... I actually read a lot of writing stuff from pinterest. xD Most of it comes from Go Teen Writers, but some from other bloggers as well. (And you know I've read the Captives series, again- thank you! =D)


    1. Lol, I can imagine. ;)
      Oh, yeah, pinterest is a good source for that. Actually pinterest is a good source for everything, but writing stuff especially, lol
      Haha, no problem! Glad to have people join the fandom. :)

  3. I haven't had a chance to read this yet, but I'm glad it was useful to you! I'm going to have to pick it up! :D

    1. Thanks! And yes, you totally should. :)

  4. Worldbuilding is one of my favourite aspects of storywriting, although I'm not always very good at doing it ie I just ignore certain issues! I've been writing my current WIP for nearly two years but I only made up their system of counting years about three months ago; their currency at Easter; and I'm still to formulate a month counting system! As for the massive issue of religion .... I wilfully ignored it for all this time and only started to tackle it a few weeks ago! All this will have to be put in in the rewrite ... XD

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! :)

    1. Haha, I understand ignoring it for a while. Worldbuilding's a pretty huge thing to tackle, but Storyworld First certainly made it easier on us. :)
      And no problem! It was great! :)


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