World Building in Your Writing: Geography/Technology/Time
These considerations may seem like no-brainers, but they can impact your story more than you know. Geography isn't about making a map for your fantasy world, or coming up with names for countries/cities. The geography of you world helps shape the other world building considerations. It will also impact how your character moves through the world. Technology doesn't have to mean cell phones and computers. If you are writing a fantasy or a time piece, look up what was invented around a certain time period. Maybe the printing press was just invented! Or the steam engine.
Below are somethings to consider when building your world. This list is not all inclusive, but something to think about.
How does the topography of your world effect the character and the world?
-Deserts require more planning before your characters cross it and makes resources scarce
- Your country is a small island/isolated from others
-You cant have every day be sunny and warm.
- How does your character act when the weather changes?
-an old injury aches whenever its about to rain
- How does your society react to extreme weather?
- What happens if there is a freak weather event (snow in july)
- Using weather as an obstacle
-They have to climb a mountain in a blizzard
- Heavy flooding makes rivers impassable
- Is your country the only one that has a specific resource?
- Think Vibranium in Wakanda
What is the latest technology?
-If writing in the past, or a fantasy world, perhaps the telegram was just invented
- If there is a magic system, does that replace technology, or does it enhance the technology?
- How would you explain technology/devices to someone from the past?
- Going back in time, does your character hide their technology?
Different levels of technology for different cultures/races
- Is your society broken down by who has access to technology and who doesn't?
- Did your character meet technologically advanced aliens?
- Are advanced technologies controlled only by the government/military?
-How does magic effect technology?
- Is "technology" only used by non-magic users?
This section will cover a few aspects; the time frame of your book, timing/pace, and the time setting. All three are important for world building.
-When does your book take place?
- How does the time period impact your character?
- Out-dated practices that are still in affect
- Civil upheaval to change "old ways"
- systems in place to oppress groups
- Clothing (certain styles for certain people)
Time frame of your book:
- How long does your book span?
-A few days? Weeks? Months? Years?
- Are there time jumps?
- How long does it reasonably take someone to do something
- Think of how long it takes you to do something, then apply it to your characters
- A revolution does not happen in a few days, so give yourself time for the build up
- Make sure you are consistent.
- If you say a few days went by, don't turn it into a few weeks in the next paragraph.
-Action scenes need to be fast paced.
-You can convey this with shorter sentences and less internal dialogue.
- Your book should have a good balance between fast and slow paces
-All action will not give your readers time to get to know the characters
- Too much internal conflict can bore the readers
- Knowing when to slow down and speed up
-Just like in real life, there are times when "time seems to fly" or when it drags
-Slowing down the pace right before an action scene can create suspense
- Slowing down for internal dialogue during conversations or emotional moments will help bring depth to those emotions
- Speeding up the pace doesn't have to be strictly for action scenes.
- If your character is in a hurry, shortening sentences can help portray a sense of urgency
I hope this helps. This is not an all-inclusive list, just things to think about when writing your book.