How Long Do You Build a World?

Discussion in 'Author Discussions' started by AzuriEclip, Apr 1, 2021.

  1. AzuriEclip

    AzuriEclip Member

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    This is a post I made out of sole curiosity. How long do you normally worldbuild for a certain book? I've heard that some people took 1-2 months to worldbuild (though according to them, those guys often create third-rate novels) while others take a year or two. What about you?
     
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  2. IReadWhenBoredSoWhat

    IReadWhenBoredSoWhat Active Member

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    Going on 12 years....do not follow my foot steps. Most of it was creating stories and setting up structures to frame, or Frankenstein, them all together in a coherent world, which split into three...and I'm not done... it's not a reliable or sane method
     
  3. Darius Drake

    Darius Drake A poster of verbose posts

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    I have yet to actually sit down to write a book, for a few reasons that I find difficult to word in a way that's easily understood. Plenty of ways to say it in ways that can easily be misconstrued, few ways to word without having people berate me as a side effect of poor wording choice. I do, however, like to do world building, setting up things like world history and mechanics. Sometimes I set up the mechanics first, and let that set up the world's history, other times I set up an event or important conclusion that would be central to the story, and work out the world's mechanics through that event, and I regularly have a starting point that's a mix of both and follow that along to my conculsions.

    I, generally, don't build a specific world for overly long, personally, mostly because that's all I'm doing in regards to the world. A few months is enough for me to work out the mechanics, some vital historical points, and leave the information languishing with details on my computer somewhere. I have noticed that I have been making simpler mechanics as time goes on, going from having some 8+ biological processes related to magic, with each race being inherently good at two, and poor at one (special freaks from cross breeding excluded), which means that each race is better specialised for different types of magic (no, not like Attack/Defence or White/Black Magic. More like one race is optimised for actually mastering the basic spells everyone else uses only for introductory to magic, while another is good at shape shifting, and a third is good at utilising Area Of Effect Spells, to name a few), to one of my latest being "Realistic Variation on Game System" (No Levels, Classes have a specific, predetermined reason for being different, skills are literally just things that you can learn, with different classes being able to learn different skills purely due to the predetermined reason, and so forth. And this is the SIMPLER one).
     
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  4. AliceShiki

    AliceShiki 『Ms. Tree』『Alice is Friend, Not Food』

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    I don't.

    Basically, I write my story while thinking of it as a somewhat generic medi-fantasy world and roll with it. I have a rough grasp of what my characters can and can't do with magic and whatnot, and the rest just goes with the flow... When in doubt about some aspect, I just do some quick research on how it looked like in middle ages and I end up following with the same in my own setting.

    Extensive world-building is not really a big necessity for most stories, since you'll often not need to show what you have thought about... I just develop my world as I write and make sure to stay consistent with what I already wrote.

    Of course, there are certain types of stories that rely more on world-building than others... I mostly write Romance and Slice of Life, so the amount of world-building I need is honestly pretty small. On the other hand, if you want to write an Adventure Story that shows the characters exploring all corners of the world in their epic quest to save it, then you'll probably need a much more detailed world-building than my story that happens in a single city.

    PS: On a side note, I seriously doubt professional authors spend 1-2 years world-building. They'd probably rather spend that time actually writing the books that make their living. I can imagine them spending a month or two working on the details of the world together with the outline of the story, but I find it extremely hard to believe they'd spend a whole year working on a world they'll only use for a single book/series.
     
  5. Darius Drake

    Darius Drake A poster of verbose posts

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    Oh, I'm certain that the professional's generally don't spend as much time on world building. But the gap between a novice and a professional is wide, and amateurs who want the world to be their own, instead of "generic X world No. #####" do need to put some time into world building. And that's ignoring the fact that dedicating a full day into building up a world to the point of being something reasonable to start writing as your own world is probably equivalent, if not superior to the time than I actually spend in my month of world building. If that time is spent by a Professional Writer who has an idea of what they want from the world and the story, then that full-day's worth of time can easily produce more end-result work than I can even conceive putting into my own work.

    There are, of course, exceptions. Mostly stories where the world building is the point of the story. Made in Abyss (link to the Wiki Page), for example, was, supposedly, initially intended as a Video Game, but was never green-lit for production, so it's designer made it into a manga instead because he wanted to introduce the world to people. The amount of world building needed to try to persuade people that there's a potential new video game franchise that people would buy, and encourage others to buy, is substantial. Even ignoring the overall picture that I only look at, designing characters, plot, environments, interactions, encounters, there's a LOT going on there that would have been removed from the manga's pages to speed up the central plot.
     
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