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Old 11-12-2013, 09:22 AM   #1
Steven Forbes
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B&N Week 151: Are You Building Your Worlds Correctly?



We’ve got another Tuesday! Just as water flows, time marches on, my friends!

This week, I want to talk about world building.

In essence, there are two types of worlds that have to be created when you’re making a comic book: one where the rules are based on the world outside your window, and one where you have to make all the rules yourself. These are the extremes, and as creators, the bulk of our worlds are going to fall somewhere within the two poles.

Now, I don’t care what kind of world you’re building, there has to be some point where things are “normal” for the reader so that they can climb aboard and go on the adventure with you. However, knowing where that point is and getting the reader there isn’t always that simple.

There is a book series that I absolutely love. It’s called The Amber Chronicles, and it is a series of ten books, written by Roger Zelazny. In the first set of books, we follow the hero, Corwin, as he wakes in a hospital with a case of amnesia, makes his way to his family, and is then literally transported out of the world we all know. Zelazny deftly takes us along the ride with Corwin as we travel from New York to Amber, giving us access to the world Corwin must learn to inhabit if he is to survive. As we go along, we get introduced to the Trumps, Shadow, magic, and more. Zelazny introduces us to the world in bits and pieces, getting us from here to there with careful planning. Reading that book series is a masterclass in world building. I suggest you go get it now.

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Old 11-14-2013, 07:54 PM   #2
Zeelanger
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Steven,

Great advice! I've been working on a project for a while, and it's taken countless turns from the original idea. What sidetracked me was world building, and the desire for a "short cut." I decided "eh, I'll just set it in modern-day LA, right?" Nope - the whole thing fell apart. It needed it's own world.

I'm getting ready to put a pitch together. But since most of the publishers call for the first 7-8 inked pages, I feel like I have to balance character, world, tone, and plot development...in 7 - 8 pages.

Any advice for a what makes a good world-building "hook?"
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:18 PM   #3
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Thanks! Glad you found it useful!

My advice would be this: have your character take the place of the reader. They should be an introductory character. As the character learns about the world, the reader should, too. This way, you build in a hook for both the character and the reader.

This is very simple and basic, and most stories will have some sort of introductory character: someone that the world has to be explained to. Inception does this very well.

Hope that helps.
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