Friday, August 5, 2016

How to: Worldbuilding - Use Wikipedia, I'm Not Kidding

My novel was born like this.

Since I just jumped into it, I already had a basic world, a basic image typed up. All I needed to do was to expand that.

It might be different from the typical worldbuilding style where you might plan things out more before getting into the grit. I just dove into the mess and just added things here or deleted things there and just tried to sort out what I was imagining in my mind.

Worldbuilding is so frickin hard! Good heckish goddish heck! :0 Oh mah gawd! I used the Internet a lot, looking up how to build a fantasy world, trying those tips and drawing a makeshift map, looking up "fantasy village" in Google Image Search, reading the first book of Lord of the Rings to see how the big guys do it...

THEN I had an idea...the perfect GOLDEN solution! ... ... Wait for it...
WIKIPEDIA! ("Bolt" pixar film and referencing the pigeons talking to Bolt).

Commercial Break!
You're welcome :)
And if you haven't seen this, it's so touching *smiles with teary eyes* you definitely should.
Okay, back to the show!

My story had a victorian age vibe and it was the countryside in a valley-like area so I went to Wikipedia and looked around for some valley with some climate like I had in mind. Florence Italy. I used Florence Italy Wikipedia page as base and made up a Liaffon Village Wiki in a separate Word document.

Climate, Population, Religion, Life Expectancy, History, everything!

It really helped with worldbuilding for me. There were things that I didn't really think about like music culture or what kinds of creatures lived around there or what the people's main occupations were.

This really made my little village come alive.

After I started to "Wikinize" my village, I also started to do a lot more research basically so people would know what the music sounds like or how they were dancing...I found out so many interesting things though :) And, yes, I used YouTube because there are these awesome people who post videos of them playing victorian age instruments. Like the old fashion piano-organ like thing.

I wanted know what it sounded like so I could describe it better so that maybe, maybe people could hear the music sort of.

Worldbuilding, I found out, is not just about where everything is on a map. It's about the culture, too. Especially a fantasy world where the setting might not be of this world (in my case it's not) the culture is what makes it special or makes it feel real. Music is pretty universal, almost amazingly so. And bringing music in, can really make that world sound like a pretty cool place to visit :)

So fellow writers, use Wikipedia, I'm not kidding it helps.

Happy writing! :D

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