Real World Stories vs. World Building

Real? Or Imagined?

Real? Or Imagined?

I think it’s really interesting to read a story and realize it takes place in a town you actually know about. Maybe you even live in that town. You can read and follow along with the characters in the story, watch with your own eyes as they cross an intersection, enter a low-key shop you’ve never paid much attention to until now. That’s a whole new level of bringing a story to life.

Sadly, I can’t do that.

Sure, it’s nice to have a real world model of what you’ll have to describe, so you don’t have to make it up yourself. But on the off-chance you don’t know that town well enough, and can’t travel there to see it for yourself, your readers will know if somethings wrong. You’ll probably get responses like:

“Morgan st. isn’t anywhere near Bleaker.”


“What? There isn’t a shopping center there! It’s a gas station!” etc.

I didn’t want to deal with that, so I decided to create my own world. I wished I’d known before I started that it’s just as – if not more – difficult, than using something that already exists.

I have to make maps, and know the history of the lands, know the weather – and if it’s not like our world, I need to know what it works that way. I need to know geography and laws, and to understand the government like the back of my hand.

I need to know who rules the lands at this point in the story, who did rule, how did they govern(ed) their lands. I need to know relationships between the different places within the world, and since I’ve also created my own races, I need to know about them to. Everything about them.

Luckily, I’m enjoying the process.

This particular draft I’m working on takes place in the southern country of my world. There’s a huge war going on, and I wanted to make the reasons for the war a bit silly and idiotic. I didn’t want it to be ‘freeing oneself from oppressors’ or something like that, even though at this point some of the people in the story do believe that’s why their fighting. So, I blamed the entire war on a love triangle, because, hey, it’s interesting. Two men of different races (human and non-human) fighting over a woman who has never wanted them in the first place.

I’m glad I chose this route for writing my stories.

But enough about me, I want to hear from you.

Have any of you tried to creating your own worlds for your characters? Have you read about one that completely captured your attention? Made you want to me there yourself? Or thought was really weird?

Tell me all about it~


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