The Science Fiction Genre Part 4

More about world building in the science fiction, fantasy and paranormal genres. Yesterday I wrote about world building for my wip, Earth Legend. I described a world similar in appearance to Earth but functioning differently. Such a world was needed for Earth Legend but it’s not what most novelists think of when they hear the words ‘world building.’

They think really, really weird planets that we humans would never recognize and shouldn’t be able to survive on. Or they need ghosts, goblins, etc to advance their story line so they invent them. I needed an Earth-like space ship. I invented one.

The trick, as any science fiction writer worth his/her credentials will tell you, is to make those strange story elements believable. And that’s where world building comes in.

Writers must create, in their own minds, the entire world inhabited by those strange creatures, or the world itself. So everything in the story hangs together. So some jarring element doesn’t take the reader out of the story.

Then they must ignore that world because the bottom line is that they are telling a story, not describing a world. That’s hard to do because writing is what writers do. What they must do.

Except in the case of world-building.


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