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The A-Zs of Worldbuilding: Building a Fictional World From Scratch Paperback – September 30, 2017
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About the Author
Rebekah Loper began creating fictional worlds and magical stories as a child and she never stopped. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her husband, a dog, a formerly feral cat, a flock of chickens, and an extensive tea collection. She can often be found cursing the existence of Bermuda grass as she battles the elements to create a productive, permaculture urban farm on a shoestring budget. She blogs about writing and urban farming/homesteading at rebekahloper.com, and is a contributing blogger at Fantasy-Faction.com and the Rabid Rainbow Ferret Society (fictionalferrets.wordpress.com). You can follow her on Facebook (facebook.com/RebekahLoper), Instagram (rebekah.loper), and Twitter (rebekah_loper).
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Each chapter provides some background on the chosen topic, giving examples of how that specific aspect may affect people or culture, both individually and as a whole. This is followed by exercises: questions about the topic, plus guidance on things to think about in answering those questions, which I found useful. A lot of times, I give up on workbooks because the questions are either too vague or too difficult to answer--and then everything goes all over the place. However, with the guided questions, Loper provides a structure that is both general (if you're experienced and just need a checklist) and focused (if you still need help figuring out what's going on).
Each chapter of the workbook, although interconnected, is mostly self-contained and can be focused on according to your individual needs. Reading & working through it with my own story world in mind, I found that some of the topics were super relevant (I should probably work a bit more on History, Queens [government], and Science [both tech levels and magic use]) but some were things I could easily decide to skim through for now (births, for one, since there's none in my story yet; time, for another, since I'm not messing about with that).
Overall, this workbook is a great resource when building your own science fiction or fantasy world. Obviously, what you get from it is going to be as much as the effort you personally put in, but so far it's been a great fodder for thought on how to fix and refine the world I'm building.
Note: I received a digital review copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review as part of the launch tour.
Originally an exercise for a blog challenge, the author has developed this into a really useful workbook to guide, inform and stimulate writers as they settle down to create their own unique worlds. Consistency, believability, and logic are essential when designing a world, and there are many aspects to consider, from moons and gravity, to geography and weather, through societies, economics, fashion, food, flora and fauna, to name but a few, and this excellent work book, while by no means exhaustive, covers a huge range of topics every writer should know about their world, even if the information never comes to the fore of their narrative.
I hope many writers will use this excellent resource to help guide their creativity. On a personal level, as an author who has written several books in an established world created many years ago, I still found a few points in this book that brought new perspectives and inspired some new ideas.
Highly recommended for all spec fic authors.