Thoughts on Worldbuilding

Afternoon, Squiders. Not much has happened since we last spoke, which I find frustrating, but I have finished editing my short stories and have sent the whole lot out on rotation (which I haven’t done in a while). So here’s a whole new element that I have learned about co-writing, because while I have cowritten novels before, I have never had one published before.

Anyway. I’m running my writing group’s storycraft meeting tonight on worldbuilding, which I’ve made an outline and discussion questions for, but I find myself very curious as to how the meeting’s going to go.

My initial thought was that worldbuilding was a specific enough topic that we could get through it in a meeting, but broad enough that it would carry us the whole time without worry. But I’ve been reminded again just how massive the concept of worldbuilding is.

It’s probably because, despite my best efforts, my own worldbuilding is a bit hodge podge. I always think I have enough in place before I start, and I always discover things I have forgotten, usually by the second page or so. You might remember back to Nano 2014 when I had plotted out my space travel technology and the schematics of the ship, planned out my universe and my culture and my history, but hadn’t figured out whether or not the doors of the spaceship opened automatically.

Wikipedia says people tend toward top down worldbuilding (entire world, history, etc.) or bottom up worldbuilding (things only specific to locale of story). Both have their downsides and of course, you should probably do both or a combination. I would say that I generally trend toward the top down but not always. I wonder if it’s obvious from my stories which type of worldbuilding I did for that particular story.

I could probably do a storycraft meeting on each aspect of worldbuilding.

How does your worldbuilding tend to go, Squiders? What do you feel is the most important part of your worldbuilding, and what, if anything, do you find you tend to forget? (I am notoriously bad about economics in my worlds.) Readers, any worlds that you really love, that feel almost real?

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