I have a particular method of world building that I’m about to start teaching. Applied in an intensive manner, this process can produce a world that “works” in all its essential parts in five weeks.
No, it won’t be “done” after such a short time span (is a constructed world ever “done”? Is our own, for that matter?) But in five weeks a designer can get the basic structure in place without being overwhelmed by details, and have things orchestrated so that what is built out down the road works well: the setting is believable, the world supports the story or adventure as needed, and there is a proven methodology in place for expanding on the various world aspects as needed in an easily manageable way.
I call this approach of mine “Agile World Design”. The name is shamelessly swiped from software development, and has some features in common with that rapid-iteration style of development. That’s something I’ll get into later at my world-building blog; I’ll post a pointer to that discussion here when I do.
I’m mentioning all this here because I think it will be of particular interest to some of my readers. If you’ve enjoyed my various world building and game design articles at this site, or if you’re a fiction writer or game designer who needs to create a fictional world as backdrop for your stories, please check out the World Building Academy (http://www.world-building.com). This new venture of mine will offer a lot of free world building tips and how-to information. There are also classes and specialized programs world builders can enroll in if they wish.
My big free teleseminar and world-building bootcamp launch have been delayed until the end of October, because my book Splintegrate finally came back for revisions. That has had to take priority over what I have started to do with WBA. However, I am on the verge of releasing new free training info at the site, and we have a few other lower-level projects underway between now and our program launch.
So, if you’re interested in world building, please check out the site and join our list (subscription form’s here below, and on the WBA home page). You’ll learn things like the 5-step process to create a world without getting overwhelmed with detail; the #1 thing that destroys the believability of a world (and how to avoid it), and 3 ways to ensure you have a fictional setting that “works.”
When I have time later, I’m following this post up with a reflection on why world building matters. See, I think it is much more than a hobby, a pass-time, or a tedious necessity when telling stories. And I had to get clear on the larger value of creating worlds before I could embark on this venture. The tagline of the World Building Academy will give you my conclusion, though not my rationale: “Create worlds, change lives.”
The rationale will be on tap later on.
And if you share my interest in world building, I hope to see you on-list.
UPDATE: First world building video is online now. Check it out!
Originally posted 2012-08-30 22:52:36.