Worldbuilding Wednesday – How Mythical Is Your World?

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Worldbuilding can be very intricate and there is a lot of information you have to keep in mind when working in a secondary world – or when including fantasy or supernatural elements in your world. While writing about the creation of The Ruon Chronicles’ world, Airtha-Eyrassa, I realised that I needed to ask myself how mythical the world is before I really start getting into the nitty-gritty of the world.

I needed to ask myself some basic questions:

1. Are you creating a secondary world? How realistic do you want that world to be?
2. Is it influenced by gods, magic, or magical creatures? If so, how does that impact the nature, weather, geography, etc.? What impact does it have on the people living in the world?

Is it 100% necessary to have the geography, fauna, and flora correct according to science, or can you veer from this path up to a point? There can be a huge difference between writing fantasy and hard SF, for instance, when it comes to the physics, etc. involved in creating the world.

In the case of Airtha-Eyrassa, there is not only a creator, but also a creator that breaks the created lands apart during various “Sunderings”. This has huge impacts on part of the geography, but, also, instead of the land moving away from each other at extremely slow rates, the land is ripped apart and pushed away from the mainland by the creator. Some “magic” is therefore definitely required (and not just to keep everyone from dying)!

Don’t Give Into Worldbuilder’s Disease!

However, if you want to make your world 100% correct and perfect to the last detail before even starting to write, you will most probably fall prey to Worldbuilder’s Disease and never start writing. And then what’s the use of that?

I think giving yourself the space to create the world you want to can also give you the freedom to actually sit down and write.

For instance, I have made broad notes about some of the regions of the world of Airtha-Eyrassa, while not going into too much detail at the moment. For instance, I don’t really have to know the exact cultivar of grapes used to make a region’s wine right now. Maybe I will have to know that in the future, but for now I am not going to waste writing time getting Worldbuilder’s Disease because of this detail. It’s more important to know that the wine is exported from there than to know every little detail about the farming methods, if you catch my drift.

Worldbuilding is supposed to be fun – don’t let worldbuilder’s disease leech all the fun from your writing!

By Carin Marais

Bibliophile, writer of speculative fiction, non-fiction, and maybe-fiction, language practitioner, doer of stuff.

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