What Are the Worldbuilding Traps
We all know the importance of worldbuilding to the fantasy genre, and writers shouldn’t take worldbuilding lightly. The fictional world touches all aspects of your story, including the plot and the characters. Without the fictional world, the readers— even you— will never know the culture your characters come from. We’ll never know what he’s really like. Or how his mind works. Your characters must be understood on a much deeper level more than anything. On the other hand, the plot will be stagnant without your fictional world.
Bear in mind that people read fantasy because they want to be immersed in a new place. They want to participate in a magical world with intense battles, mythical people and cultures, far-off lands, and beauty. No matter if the world in your book is fictional or an improvised version of reality, it has to be there. Your imagined world awakens the most imaginative and creative aspect in everyone.
The Shadow of the Staff is M.A. Haddad’s book on Adventure of the Last Bastions with an amazing but also believable world. It probably took Haddad months to create the amazing land of Hatu. Imagine if he’d never taken the time to devise the fictional world of Hatu and the mystical tale that occurred in that setting. The story would still be great, but it would be lacking. Be like other authors and take the time to carve out every inch of your world just to make the story so great that readers can’t help but be pulled in.
So, what are the elements that make up a world? Other than humans and mythical creatures, these elements can include science, magic, nature, history, economy, customs, culture, politics, and laws. There are plenty of elements for your imagined world that it’s easy to get lost in the worldbuilding process. This is a problem most authors fall into all the time. Unfortunately, a lot of authors become so enamored by the world they are building that they fall into this trap unconsciously. Thus, this post will help you avoid the worldbuilding traps by identifying each one of them.
Everyone knows what writer’s block is, but how does this apply to worldbuilding? Well, when you start carving out your fictional world, the tendency is there is an overflow of creativity. Not for writing, though, but for worldbuilding. You’ll have great setting ideas like dense forests, great highlands, flying mythical creatures, sullen giants, and more. You’d spend days, weeks even, focused on creating the world, but not one word for the story. You’ll drown in worldbuilding that you’ll have no idea how you’ll write your story. This is not exactly your fault because writer’s block comes to a writer at any time. However, this becomes a trap when you keep stalling through devising your world instead of looking for storytelling inspiration. Put this process on hold and figure out where you’re going with your story.
Authors can be enamored so easily by the world they are building that the story never came to fruition, which is a trap. This pattern is more common to fantasy writers than in other genres. This trap usually occurs when a writer starts by creating the world first before the storyline. Again, creating an imagined world can take time, just like Tolkien, who created Middle Earth for about fifteen years. Imagine that. Bear in mind the world is just a supplement to the story. Your story should always go first, not the other way around. Moreover, the story will affect the world you’re building since the world is just the setting where everything happen. So, it’s better to build your world as you write your story.
In the fantasy genre, anything is possible. There is so much you can write and devise without taking into consideration science and reality. You can release your inner artist in fantasy, especially on the intricacies of the world. For sure, you already have tons of ideas and schemes in mind. You may also be spending hours on Pinterest, Google, pixiv, devianart, and other websites, saving pictures, bookmarking, and harvesting cool ideas for your creative bank, and that is also a trap. You have so much idea you like that you’ll likely incorporate all, if not all, most of it in your worldbuilding. That’s where the problem occurs; there will be so much going on that you’ll have a hard time writing your story. The trick to avoiding this trap is to use ideas that add value to your overall story.
Worldbuilding is fun and easy with limitless potential. However, don’t go overboard because the more you work on the world, the less potential your story will have.