Today, we have a guest and she’s written a very interesting piece on world building during the writing process! Perfect for any genre, especially Fantasy!
What You See
How To Create An Engaging Story World
Whatever genre you write in, creating a story world which is vivid and believable is essential. However, writing such descriptions in an engaging manner can be challenging. Here we explore how you can successfully build your story world through the use of contrasts and the five senses to create an immersive reader experience.
Create Contrasts Within Your Story World
Vivid contrasts are an important element of your worldbuilding if you want to create a setting that readers can truly immerse themselves in. Contrasts can take many different forms. They may be geographical, social or cultural. Importantly, stark contrasts in your setting allow the world to become more believable, as well as becoming a dynamic and active element within the story itself.
Moreover, stark contrasts will ensure that obstacles are created for your characters. They can also greatly help to shape the story, as well as characters’ actions and behaviors. For instance, consider one city divided by a river. One half of the city may be vibrant and filled with successful individuals, whilst the other half may be dark, dangerous and home to criminals. How would a character from the upper side of the city behave and react when suddenly forced to live in the dangerous, sinister south side?
Use All Five Senses In Your Descriptions
Another important aspect to consider when trying to deepen the fictional world of your story, is descriptions using all senses. Using a combination of different senses can heighten the atmosphere and mood of your scenes and the experience of your characters.
What She Sees
Perhaps the most common and easiest sense to utilize is sight. Aim to create specific, detailed visual images for your readers.
“Make use of colors to add meaning and symbolism, as well as to enhance the key themes of your story. Think carefully about how the visual description can be used to reflect a character’s emotions. How a character describes what they see can provide an insight into their mental state or opinions. The clearer the image you paint for a reader, the more likely they are to be successfully transported into the world of your story,” says Audrey Cameron, a freelance writer at Lia Help and Boomessays.
Touch is quite an intimate and personal sense and can help give immediate insight into the perspective of a character. Yet, don’t limit yourself to simply describing textures. Instead, include descriptions of a variety of sensations, such as vibrations, temperature or pleasure.
Consider too how you can use touch to create moments of contrasting tempos within scenes. Touch tends to be a slower sense and can act as a close-up on a scene. For instance, an action-packed chase scene can be briefly slowed down as a character describes the sensation of hugging their friend goodbye as they escape.
Smell is one of the most evocative senses. Description using smell can help to create a very vivid sense of a space in a simple and concise manner. Similes are particularly effective when writing about smells and specificity is important in allowing readers to effectively imagine the scene.
Sound is an important sense to explore if you’re looking to add deeper meaning and depth to your worldbuilding. It’s an extremely important and evocative element in creating mood, particularly tension and suspense.
“To create an illusion of volume, control the sounds a character hears,” suggests Charles Rains, a fiction blogger at Big Assignments and Paper Fellows. “For instance, you might focus on a single sound or word, such as ‘trickling water’ or a ‘buzzing bee’ to help set the mood or enhance motifs within your story. Sounds are also a great way to help the reader become fully absorbed in the story world as they can heighten the sense of realism.”
Taste can again be used to reveal more about a specific character, culture or traditions and customs within your story world. Taste can also help transport the reader more effectively to another time or place and is a particularly effective technique to utilize if your story is set in another country or world. Consider too how you might use taste to describe other situations, aside from food. For instance, the taste of a passionate kiss or the taste of flesh as your character bites an attacker’s arm.
The key to writing and creating a successful story world lies in skillfully combining all of the techniques mentioned above. Using all five senses allows you to focus on specific details which can be very revealing, as well as engaging for your readers. They can also help to add further contrasts to your world. Utilizing contrast will enable you to create a world that is believable and exciting, whilst adding dynamism to your story. Ultimately, by applying the above techniques to your writing, you’ll be able to create an immersive, vivid and captivating experience for your readers.
Katherine Rundell is a professional writer at Personal Statement Help and PhD Thesis Writing. Katherine enjoys attending business training courses, reading and traveling in her spare time. She enjoys losing herself in imaginary worlds and helping other writers to improve their craft. Also, she is a blogger at Paper Writing writing service.