Transport Your Readers to a New World

| Posted in Writing.

End of the worldThere are many challenges when it comes to writing science-fiction or fantasy. One of these challenges includes the creation of an alternative world or universe. Creating an alternative world requires a great deal of planning and thought. But if you put in enough work you can create an alternative world that readers will find interesting and a world that they would want to explore. Here are some issues you should attend to in creating a fictional world.

The world has to have history

A memorable world, like a memorable character, requires great depth. It needs a history. How did it come to be? What came before? Is it a universe that existed for millennia? Or does it come into existence at the start of your novel? An alternative world that readers will remember requires a history. It provides an authentic feel to the world. When you visit a place you’ve never been to, you may find yourself asking questions about its conditions and how these conditions came to be.

Use detail to build your world

One of the greatest features of good writing is description. It’s one of a writer’s most powerful tools in presenting the story to the reader. Of course there’s such a thing as too much description. Remember, a story needs to flow. If someone finds themselves getting stuck on small details in the story, they might not enjoy reading it so much.

Circumstance and perception – driving forces in a fictional world

The characters of your story can be a driving force of the alternative world you’ve created. Your main characters and minor characters help to set the mood that exists in this fictional world. If you visit a region, you may find that there is a prevailing attitude among the residents. These attitudes are caused by conditions of their environment. So the alternative world has to have conditions that shape people’s perception of their world and their perception in turn helps to reinforce the portrayal of this world.

Borrow from reality

If you need help creating a structure to your world, model it after a real place. Stephannie Beman ( says that you need to copy the patterns of real places in your fictional world. For example, you can use a real city as a template for your story’s setting. An actual sketch of the world or city also helps because you need to keep track of all the settings, when you think about where events of your story will take place.

Go for the outlandish effect

There’s a genre of fiction known as Magic Realism. In this sort of fiction, magic is accepted as normal. In other words, the characters in this sort of story don’t question their as they are natural elements of their world. The same can go for science-fiction, which, in its original form, meant a world that was driven solely by science. In this case, this how you would increase the exotic effect of your world, by making it stand out to the reader. The best alternative world will make readers feel as if they were transported there.

No ordinary walk in the park

There you have it. Making an alternative world can be tough because it needs so much detail. Alternative worlds that are simple are even harder to sell, so the only way to make good fiction is to do it the hard way. If you stick to it, it can help make your story become a masterpiece.


Written by David Hendricks

Image credit: Jermz, CC BY-ND 2.0, via Flickr


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