I’ve decided to start a series about world-building. It isn’t going to be comprehensive, but it should be interesting.
World-building is the work a writer does to create any part of writing that isn’t the characters and isn’t a real place. Fantasy and science-fiction authors are known for world-building because most people think of building a whole new world. But there is a lot of world-building at smaller scales, too. Even if you invent a flat in the city you live in to set your story in, you will still be world-building. It’s just that the world you build will be the flat the story is set in.
I’m not aiming to create a course to cover the full extent of world-building. No, I’m going to pick things that I find interesting, either in stories I’ve written or settings I’ve created, and talk about the problems and delights I discovered along the way.
I’m also going to note when world-building is a bit more visible than normal in other stories. Sometimes world-building that goes awry is amusing when you notice it. I mean, not all readers do, after all. Sometimes it goes spectacularly awry, destroying the suspension of disbelief needed to enjoy the story. That’s when you see reviewers going “but it doesn’t work that way!” But I also want to celebrate when it works well, and when it works very well.