Worldbuilding Wednesday: Worldbuilding From Small Towns to Entire Universes

Blog header image Worldbuilding Wednesday

Worldbuilding: From Small Towns to Entire Universes (The Million Dollar Writing Series) by Kevin J. Anderson

“International bestseller Anderson has created many extensive fictional universes, ranging from sweeping galactic empires to complex steampunk fantasies, to humorous monster-filled cities. He has become known for his skill in worldbuilding.”

I bought this book as part of a Storybundle writing bundle and I am currently busy reading it. What really pulled me to this book is that it’s Kevin J. Anderson that wrote it, and that it focuses not only on the macro or the micro worldbuilding, but on both.

Anderson not only gives lists of questions that you can think about and answer, but also explains why you should ask these questions and gives you examples from his own work. (Don’t worry, though, you don’t have to have read his whole œuvre to understand the examples.) This is exactly what I had wanted from the book, so it gets a five star from me already!

Worldbuilding: From Small Towns to Entire Universes  starts with “Creating Universes, Big and Small” and then moves on to “Everyday Worldbuilding”, “A Worldbuilding Ingredients List”, and more. Now, I must add that this is not some huge tome wherein Anderson holds your hand and basically gives you the answers you need. This book basically tells you: “Here are some bones, muscles, and organs. Now use your brain to do real-world research, use your imagination, and put all these together to form your own creature”.

I find chapter four (“A worldbuilding ingredients list”) especially helpful as I build upon the history and happenings of The Ruon Chronicles. It makes you focus on the most important aspects — like geography, politics, economy, and the arts — and how they will influence not only the culture that lives in that country, but how the countries around it would also be influenced. Focusing on these aspects is also a way to reel in your imagination to make the world as believable as possible even if you have strange creatures or alien races.

I would urge anyone who are interested in learning about building as-real-as-they-come fictional worlds to get a hold of this book.

Cover of Worldbuilding by Kevin J Anderson

Worldbuilding: From Small Towns to Entire Universes (The Million Dollar Writing Series) by Kevin J. Anderson

By Carin Marais

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

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