Note: This was supposed to be posted last month, but my wife and I moved to a new house and had to do some painting and remodeling before we could move in. And then right after that our son got married. So . . . apologies for not getting this out last month, but here is June’s Writing Tips.
BUILDING A WORLD FOR YOUR STORY
When a reader begins your story, you want them to enter a new world. That world could be the inside of a spaceship, or nineteenth century London, or a rural town in Maine, or the dawn of civilization. But you want your reader to see that world, smell the scents, hear the sounds, feel the air temperature. These details may take some research (which we discussed in an earlier post) unless it’s a world you already know well.
How do you describe this world? I think it’s important not to overdo the description in most cases. In Stephen King’s On Writing, he has a great section on description and he describes a bar scene in that section. Description is a balance of details yet not bogging the reader down with too much information.
Building a world, especially an entirely new world like a fictitious town, another planet, or another civilization (like in different genres of science fiction and fantasy) may take some extra work in the beginning. You may want to write a history of the world and places you are creating before you even begin your first draft in those cases. But as with the tips we discussed on research in the earlier post, you may not want to include every detail you created in your history or bible, just enough details to tell the story.
In my next post (which I will post in a few weeks) we will talk about creating maps or sketches for the world you are creating in your story.
Hope this helps someone out there.
Until next time . . .