–By Nathan Goyer
Since the release of my novel Bask, I have been asked a few times already just how I came up with a story this complex and large. It was a difficult task, but not as difficult as many readers would believe. This blog post will give you a bit of insight into how a certain type of fantasy stories are created, and how you have likely already seen it in action without realizing it.
World-building is a type of writing that is a bit different than your average fantasy-fiction book. It is a type of fiction that goes beyond what a reader can discover in only a single book most of the time. When writing a novel or series that has a focus on world- building, the author comes up with the history and natural laws of the world their story takes place in. Is this fictional world filled with monsters and wizards and dragons? Or is it mostly like the real world but with a few quirks? What interesting things can my characters do, and can they do it in a way that makes sense to the reader? A world-building author has to be able to answer questions like these before they can even get started writing.
The best example of a story that focuses on world-building is the classic series “Lord of the Rings.” Tolkien built an entire history in the Silmarillion that covers everything you could think to ask about the world of Middle-Earth. Anything important that happened in the “Lord of the Rings” books made sense in the context of the Silmarillion, the same way that you can look at the history books of the real world and see how one event can lead to another.
All this may seem convoluted, but the key thing to realize is that if done right, novels where world-building took place by the author should still provide an enjoyable and easy to understand story for any reader. And then as the fans of the stories continue to read the author’s works, they can come to understand the big picture of the story as the author intended.
My own novel of Bask utilizes this method of writing. I wouldn’t dare consider myself to be a Tolkien, but the world that the story of Bask takes place in goes beyond what the novel has been able to show so far. Questions that the readers of Bask may wonder like “what are those ruins in the prologue?” and “where did the Bask stones come from?” and even “how does a normal modern day setting exist in the same story as the Kingdom of Nont?” all have answers! They may not be apparent right now, but hopefully readers will be interested enough to continue reading the stories of Bask, and other works to come, to learn all of these details over time!
World-building is used by famous authors like J. R. R. Tolkein, Brandon Sanderson, George R. R. Martin, and even christian authors like Wayne Thomas Batson. It adds more reason to stories on the why and how important events take place. And, most importantly, world-building offers the chance to bring readers right alongside the author in understanding the big picture.
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Bask: City of Shadows is a story that shows the importance of God. That without him the world would continually degrade until all kindness, all life, and all hope disappears. It shows the dangers of what the world may be like if humans were to get their way and God was kept out of their lives.
This novel can be found exclusively on amazon.com at $3.99 for the Kindle edition, and $12.99 for a paperback copy.
Log onto the author’s page on Amazon (amazon.com/author/nathangoyer).