Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Friday Links on Tuesday: Worldbuilding

It's, like, a world. Get it?
I've addressed worldbuilding before (very briefly--it's in Item 3 on the linked post) over on Notes on Vellum, but here I'd like to talk about some more specific ways to use worldbuilding to build your backlist as well as to add depth to your current projects. The links below offer some hints and suggestions about using the world of your story to build more stories, draw readers in, find your way into series books, and, of course, profit...

David Farland's Daily Kick in the Pants: Your Setting as a Petri Dish. This is a neat article talking about how you can use one setting to kick off a bajillion stories and ideas. I'm in the middle of something like this right now--three separate series ideas (or is it four? I forget) all set in the same universe. It's fun and crazy and kind of overwhelming. I was glad to discover I'm not the only person who comes up with this kind of nuttiness.

Another from Dave Farland: How Real do you want Your World to Be? This is fiction, right? So why does it have to be real? Farland talks about grounding fantasy settings in reality to increase reader engagement and how to balance all your story elements to support your decisions about how far you want to go with the fantasticalness.

Nathan Bransford: Expanding the World of your Novel. This could be seen as a companion piece to the Petri Dish article above. Bransford talks about adding companion pieces to expand the universe, including novellas focused on a single character and book trailers to bring the world to life. This is a bit about marketing and a bit about just having fun with your created world.

Writer's Digest: Writing a Stand-alone Book (With Series Potential). If you're writing genre, Standalone with Series Potential is the magic word. This article gives some practical tips on how to think of your story as a series pilot and lay in numerous elements that can help jumpstart further books in the series. (Do people actually have trouble thinking of forty zillion sequels to a book? Or is my brain just insane? Don't answer that.)

Jane Friedman: It’s OK to Leave Stuff Out. In Fact, It’s Better. Tips on building your world without turning your book into the Encyclopedia Brittanica. Also? Superdog is AWESOME.

Worldbuilding is a complex subject. It's also hard, and hella fun. I'd love to hear any thoughts you might have about your own worldbuilding processes, how you add to your created universe, or different ideas you've had for nourishing that Petri dish. (No pictures of yucky mold, please.)