The Quick Essentials of Setting and WorldBuilding

The Quick Essentials of Setting and WorldBuilding

Is your setting weak? Is it missing convincing elements? Are you having trouble getting started or filling in the details? Maybe you just want to learn more about setting or need a few new ideas.

This booklet presents the elements needed for the creation of setting or worldbuilding. Whether your work is a short story, novel, screenplay, or video game, the setting is a very important aspect of the work. Many new authors don’t give setting enough thought and attempt to improvise it as they write. Sometimes this results in inconsistencies noticed by the reader or a setting that is much like a cardboard box.

Many books are devoted to plot and character creation. Few books detail building the setting. The ones that do often include plot and character creation, with often less devotion to the setting than this small book.

This booklet presents the elements of setting and worldbuilding in a simplified manner and helps spark ideas for your work of fiction.

By setting up a strong framework, much like character creation, you can avoid, ambiguities, mistakes, and inconsistencies. You can use the setting or the world you create to enhance the story or create conflict in your story making for a better piece of fiction.

To make the setting or the world interesting, you need details that show how the world you create is different from ours or how it is similar. You need to know the initial elements to use as a starting point. This book points you in the right direction, giving some basic ideas and asking questions that help your imagination get to work.

A simple list is not enough, but too many details with references to other works will only distract you. You waste too much time reading fluff and end up reading other books used as examples when you should be writing. This lean publication covers the basics. There are no real formulas for building setting as there are for creating characters or plot. Even then, you need to pick out which elements are needed, for your work, and build on them yourself. Each story needs its own unique mixture of elements for character, setting, and plot. This booklet will help you decide which elements of setting to use and develop.

How the Book Started

I started this book because I was stuck in my story. I knew where I was going but I could not get there and something was not right. It finally hit me that my setting was weak. It was not only weak, but it was flimsy. I researched and took notes. I found many good articles on setting and worldbuilding, but none of them were complete.
My notes kept building. I decided to make it a blog post and had about 2300 words. But I was not done researching. The document kept growing. Eventually, it was too big for a post.

That is when someone suggested I make a Kindle book out of it. It would be easier to read in pages, plus there would be no ads. He liked the idea of being able to highlight it and have no ads in the middle of the article. He said that once it was a book it would be much harder to loose than a web link.

Now it is about 37 pages in most Kindle viewers including the browser-based cloud readers. You can easily read it in one sitting, but you will probably still want to check it from time to time.

It is now available on Amazon. You don’t need a Kindle reader to read it as Amazon now allows you to read it on the computer with a browser plugin or download the kindle app for Android or Mac.

Picture of book by Paul Nieto - Elements of setting and worldbuilding

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