A story idea that came to me not too long ago started simply enough. then.. like usual for me… exploded all over my brain basically. How the hell did this happen?
I needed to create a world. I did not want it to be in this current world setting. without giving too many details – basically i came up with a concept. then realized i would need a map to have a basic idea of directions. (ex this country lies to the north). the problem with this… well shit. now i have to do some basics of the land, customs etc. because the way my mind works. i need details. so my brain takes a total left turn far far away in another direction – instead of writing a story down beyond my basic skeleton… i have gone thru several versions of this map. saved most of them as i made changes. i am the master of spreadsheets- to keep things organized thought wise… i have a huge document for my basic go to notes on my world forming.
anyone who says world building is easy-isn’t writing your world.
when you are creating a world and need to decide how many details you need to add in. how much depth do you want to give the world. will it be our current earth? will it be a alternate earth with a different history arc? is it a alien planet all together? are you taking some elements of this world and blending it into a new world?
what areas have rivers, mountains, deserts, valleys etc? what is the weather like in these regions? what kind of animals live or lived here? what kind of people live here? are they aliens/ magic/ humans/ humanoid/ mythology based etc? what do they look like? how do they live? what do they eat? what can they grow? are they hunters, hunter-gatherers, gatherers etc? it goes on and on. depending on how in depth you want to make it. I honestly have a 116 pg (so far) document i am expanding because of my whole world building — i mean. i AM working on 5 separate lands – and since my main character will be going to all of the lands i need an idea of how they function in contrast to one another. there is a method to my madness.
basically i am half tempted to throw away the whole concept of world building- but its fun and hell i liked the map making part. it honestly made me pause and think of what would the regions be like. looking at map building and world creating websites for tips and pointers. i combined a ton of ideas to form my spreadsheet.
i mean, i could probably have just did one world at a time- so to speak. but…. when your worlds interlock you at least need the generalized concept before you bring in conflict of any kind. even if you use a real world location you need to know the basics of how the area works. a lot of things i never thought i would have to pour energies into. its eye opening for sure