Writer’s Wisdom 22

The World(s) in your story

When you are writing a story, immediately, you are confronted with –  where is it taking place?  Time and place are essential to a story, especially in historical novels.  If you are writing about a place in reality, then you have to research its history and what it looks like, and many other details.  When you are writing fantasy or just making up the setting, you are free to give range to your imagination.  The world or worlds that you create are entirely up to you.

Best selling author Gregory Maguire puts it this way: “Your inventive culture/world should be convincing.  Work this world in your mind, even if you do not write all the details in the story.”  (Borders interview)

The important issue here is that you have a clear picture of what your world looks like, feels like, and works like.  When the vision of your world is clear, the characters will move more freely in it, and their interactions will flow easier.  Just because a world is fantasy, it doesn’t mean that it won’t be convincing.  The reader will step inside that world, and navigate around it through its characters.  If you want your reader to keep visiting that world, and exploring it, it is your job as a writer to make it alive for the reader – to make it convincing.  Character creation follow the same rules, your characters should be believable, but where they are interacting should be as well.

Fantasy or reality, the setting of your story will capture the reader or turn him/her away.