The question I hear most about building a fantasy storyworld is: “Where do I start?”
Oz, Wonderland, Narnia, the 100 Acre Wood, Neverland, Hogwarts, the United Federation of Planets, Westeros, Middle Earth, Alagaesia, Terabithia, Gotham City, Jurassic Park, Fablehaven, and a galaxy far, far away.
These fictional places have become real in the minds and hearts or readers. These storyworlds that someone invented-someone who was once like you, learning to tell stories, learning to write, and dreaming about publishing a novel.
Whether you’re starting from scratch or are looking to add depth to a finished story, Storyworld First will get you thinking.
Review- 3.5 Stars
*Copy provided for review. This does not affect my opinion or review*
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For the next 100 days, I am participating in the Go Teen Writers “100 For 100″ event, a challenge in which the participants try to write a minimum of 100 words each day for 100 days. I plan to work on my fantasy novel. World-building certainly isn’t my forte, so I was thrilled to get the chance to read and review Storyworld First. If my story-world building has improved at all, you’ll know why.
Have you ever read a book that just blows you away with its story world? I know I have. Ms. Williamson does a wonderful job dissecting world-building into short chapters, my personal favorite topics being history, languages, magic and animals. The detail that is put into these chapters is amazing! There are well-known examples of a specific part of world-building (eg. Culture, magical elements, ect) for each chapter. It’s really hard for me to figure out what I loved so much about a specific fantasy world, and seeing examples of each helped me understand what it was that made me like them.
I don’t recommend reading this book in one sitting, which is what I did. There is a lot of information to take in at once! The content could get very dense (but again, that’s probably just because I read it all at once). I will probably end up referencing back to this later on when I really get into the swing of things.
At the back, there are plenty of useful brainstorming and reference sheets that will help you plot out your story-world. I loved these, and I can’t wait to get to my printer and test them out. World-building is one part of writing that I’ve struggled to find good plotting sheets for, and these were great. I have read a fair number of writing reference books and in comparison, the only criticism I have of this one is that it was a bit repetitive and dragging in the middle, but overall I loved the themes.
This is a great book for writers, particularly those interested in sci-fi and fantasy, since that is what the chapters tended to focus on, although I wish there was more information on contemporary world-building. I desperately wanted to jot down notes while I was reading, and I am certain that I will reference to this later on. It’s a 3.5 star book for me!