Craft Discussion: World Building

CraftandWritingThis month, Jen hosted a discussion on world building and the process that goes along with creating our stories, whether they be short or longer projects.

What, in your opinion, encompasses a “world” in any given story? Is it strictly a base setting, or is there more to it than that?

Julie: I think world building can mean a lot of things, and it depends on the story. It also depends on what serves the story, and some of the world is built in the syntax of the lines. The rhythm of sentences can contribute to how a world is built or perceived by the reader. (Can you tell I’ve been reading about syntax?)

Anne: For me, the “world” is everything from setting to how it affects the characters and/or situations. Without world-building, there can be no dragons in Manhattan. No magic in New Orleans. It’s the base, for sure, but it seeps into every aspect.

Audrey: It definitely depends on the story, but in general, it’s the backdrop for every scene, what your characters live and breathe.

Jen: I agree, it’s everything. It should be full of sensory details, too. I want it to be almost tactile.

Julie: And of course, there are the things that make world building the foundation, the setting and norms and rules.

Anne: World-building is important even if you’re not writing fantasy.

Jen: Rules are a big thing, but especially in the genres we frequent. I think there are more rules in fantasy worlds because so many factors can be manipulated.

Julie: Yep. Every story I learn something new.
continue reading …

Advertisements

Jen’s Book Club

Okay, so I’m going to level with you all: it’s been awhile since I’ve finished a book. I’ve picked some up and had every intention of plowing through them only to get distracted and stop. I used to be so focused on reading and I lost that drive somewhere in the last couple years. I think reading makes me a better writer, and I’m trying hard to get back into it.

Last week I had the pleasure of going to a really rad Caribbean cruise with some of my favorite bands, and that trip required a plane ride that allowed me to start and finish Veronica Roth’s Divergent. I know I jumped on this bandwagon late, but now I can’t get off of it and I don’t want to.

From Goodreads:

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

The issue of choice is key in the makeup of this novel, and I think a lot of courage is born from choice. Tris is bold in her own right, and chooses to cross line after line after line until she becomes someone her previous life wouldn’t recognize. I enjoyed the growth of character in this novel and the joy that Tris found in becoming a part of her new faction.

But Divergent is not a one note read. It’s also a rough and gritty look at what happens when power struggles and how choice and superiority breed conflict. When the factions clash Tris is at the heart of the fight, and her choices become ones that effect every faction. It’s a book about overcoming fear, trusting oneself, learning people, and is one you won’t want to put down.

13335037

Divergent is the first of a three part series, and will soon be in movie theaters everywhere.