World Building in Your Stories

The number of movie adaptations based on graphic novels or animae has been growing.  Heck, take a look at your Netflix lineup! From Ant-Man, to Death Note, Dare Devil, Ghost in a Shell – let’s never speak of that Last Air Bender Shyamalan mess though. Shh.

But all of these adaptions have another thing in common: world building.

When it comes to writing, world building is everything, no matter what genre you’re in. Can the reader picture the universe your characters are in? Are the characters following the rules you created? Is the world distinct and vibrant or vague and just another mesh of other well-loved stories?

World building takes skill. It takes constructing your setting and timeline. It takes constructing a culture. It takes constructing three-dimensional characters and not cardboard cut-outs. Universes can be created, like the Marvel Cinematic Universe or the DC Animated Universe. It made sense watching Saturday morning cartoons to see the Flash appearing in Metropolis, betting that he was faster than Superman because, well, duh, why not? The rules had been established in that world.

At the end of the day, your story has to pull in your readers to the point where they almost forget their reading a story – to the point where they invest their time to finish your book. And to the point where they take your world into their own hands in the form of some fanfiction.


submitted by ChiWriMo participant Sarah Luyengi

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