World-building for Fantasy, Science Fiction and Paranormal Genres

world building 3

Now, this is one other-worldly beach I’d like to visit.

Also, stay tuned, because at the end of the post I’m sharing some exciting news on my latest book submission. 🙂

World-building is a subject close to my heart. As a child some of my favorite books transported me directly into the new world the author had built. This started my love for the fantasy, science fiction and paranormal genres. There’s such a magical element to these stories where world-building occurs, and it’s also the ultimate opportunity for an author to allow their imagination to soar.

This imagination though needs a few parameters to keep the author’s world-building realistic and true. So, here are some crucial pointers for those authors wanting to world-build.

  • Firstly, determine whether your new world will be present day, futuristic, medieval, etc, and then keep in context the elements available on this planet to sustain it and your characters.
  • World-building takes research. You need to have a basic understanding of physics to ensure your invented planet doesn’t stray too far from the believable. Consider how life will be supported. How the society on your new world looks and acts.
  • Are the people human or something else? Maybe they’re based on mythology? Whatever you choose, keep in mind how our own world works. We understand the levels of structure. We care for each other, our planet and the animals we share it with. I’m pointing this out so you don’t go creating a world of people who only care about themselves and no one else. That could only lead to the potential extinction of the race you’ve just created.
  • Consider elements of travel. Are there space ships? If there are, what means have you provided to source and build these vessels, and then fly them?
  • Perhaps you’ve created magical means of travel. If you have, is time-travel involved? How are you going to incorporate this into the world you’ve built?
  • What kinds of laws govern this new world? And how do your characters fit into it? What kind of belief system is there? Are there other languages?

Never forget, that world-building can take a little time and practice to get just right. You’re after drawing your reader into a place that could realistically exist. Anything is possible, but it’s only believable if there are sustainable physics behind it. Lastly, get excited, because there is nothing more intriguing than building a new world and bringing your reader along on an incredible journey far beyond our shores. I certainly love where writing fantasy leads me. Oh yeah, our world is no longer the limit.

Lastly, I have some fabulous news, and I feel just like this puppy. I’m on the ride of my life.happy dog

And the news: ENCHANTER, book three in my YA (Magio-Earth) fantasy series has gone under contract with Lyrical Press, NY, with a release date of 5th May 2014. I’m beyond excited to see my series take flight the way it has. There are certainly a number of books still to come, each one featuring a different hero and heroine, and all with your favourite characters intermingled within. Huge thanks to the amazing Penny Barber and Renee Rocco of Lyrical Press. Also, a massive thank you to everyone who crossed their fingers and toes for me, for all your supportive tweets, emails and comments. You guys rock!

I wish you all a week as wonderful as mine has so far been, and if you want to drop a comment, make sure you do. I love hearing from you all.


PROTECTOR > BUY THE BOOK: Amazon / Barnes & Noble Lyrical Press / iTunes / Kobo



7 thoughts on “World-building for Fantasy, Science Fiction and Paranormal Genres

  1. Congrats on the latest contract, Joanne! Love your dedication to world-building. I’ve always fallen for detailed worlds — the more fantastic, the better, so long as they have an internal consistency.

  2. Hi, Joanne! Fantastic news about your latest contract in the series. Congratulations!! I’ll look forward to seeing more of the worlds YOU’RE building in your wonderful series.

    I’ve been a reader of fantasy, sci-fi and paranormal books since I was a kid and love when an author transports me to imaginary realms. I just finished reading a trilogy where the richly textured world and its mythology, was every bit as vibrant as the characters the author created. I love falling into a book like that!

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