Way With Worlds: Views, Lenses, and Your True Main Character

Viewpoint Telescope

[Way With Worlds appears at Seventh Sanctum at at MuseHack]

Writing your world up is one thing. You can take notes, document everything, draw up timelines, and so forth. That’s a matter of technique, imagination and, frankly, your ability to write everything down. Getting yourself to use all those notes? That’s another challenge.

How do you actually bring all this worldbuilding to life?  How do you get the details to live and not sit forgotten on pieces of paper, wikis, and documents?  How do you keep this information in mind?  How do you avoid breaking your own carefully-crafted continuity without turning every bit of writing into a chore of review?

Perspective is my answer, though that now deserves an explanation.

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Way With Worlds: Why Worldbuild?



Years ago at the end of the 20th century and the start of the 21st I began writing a column on worldbuilding and fiction – Way With Worlds. This was the age when people were suddenly able to get their works on the internet, via websites and journals and email. There was a slow simmer of amateur writers, should-be-pros, would-be-pros, fanficcers, and more. A column on worldbuilding seemed in order.

I’ve always had ambitions to write fiction, had worked on shared-universe newsletters, played RPGs, and more. Worlds were part of what I liked to do, and a good setting, a good living world/universe made things come alive. So I expressed my theories in hope of helping people, to use my knowledge gained over the years, and of course because I’m not overly good at shutting up.

The columns sat online for years when I decided not to continue them, and every now and then someone will read one or mention them to me. Over the years I do less fictional work directly, yet am still involved in worldbuilding when I help friends with games, edit books, and when I run the inspiration site Seventh Sanctum. Of course, I still have plenty of opinions.

Now even more people are writing, and making videos, and self-publishing. So I decided to revisit the columns and rewrite them, expand them, and use what I learned in over a decade.

And the first question is still as burningly relevant as ever? Why Worldbuild?

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