Apr 8, 2010

G is for Giveaway and Gravity

G is for Giveaway!
Time for me to push my book giveaway again :-)
You have the chance to win two great books, you get to pick them from a selection of four books that I adore. These are my absolute favourite books for writing, editing and reading. If you haven't already entered then go and do it now! You'll find the contest on my post: 

G is for Gravity.
This is Earth and in our world we have rules. Gravity is a pretty good rule. You can't fight gravity - or can you?

When you do worldbuilding for a narrative taking place anywhere on Earth, you know that you have to adhere to the physical laws of this planet. If you taking the plunge into a fantasy world, then you get to create the world to suit your story (but not to suit your characters, you want the word to cause them much conflict).

Think about the physical laws of that world. What is the same as our world and what is different, this will provide the reader with binaries and parallels for their own experiences.

You may decide that in your world sneezes make you disappear, or sunburn can cook you, so characters can only go out at night. Decide on your rules.... and then break them.

You might not be able to fight gravity (despite the promise of many cosmetic companies), but through the ages man has been determined to defy gravity. If there is a 'rule' for your world, show the way that characters can defy those rules. Or have them attempt to defy the rules and fail, this would provide plenty of conflict.

Once man learned how to fly, our world changed. How will your world change? Conflict and change, those elements keep the narrative moving. In my post: Using Settings Effectively for Fiction I shared a tip I learned from the writing course How To Think Sideways, when you plan your world, you only need to ask two questions about every part of this world:

  • Does this create conflict for the story?
  • Does this force a primary character to change?
Do you have any challenging laws for your world, or have your read a story with a really interesting physical law that the characters tried to defy? An incredible example of worldbuilding is evident in Frank Herbet's Dune (the most amazing sci-fi book I've ever read).


  1. Love the gravity train of thought! I remember reading a JK Rowling interview and her thoughts on the 'rules' for magic--there had to be limitations--things it COULD and things it COULD NOT do. I love your idea of sitting down with a decision list as to what is the same and what is different.

  2. I just love the poster on gravity. Also, our point on making sure conflict and change are in our stories and used right.

    Great post.


  3. Another brilliant post, Charmaine. I love the pictures you used to supplement the meat and potatoes of your content. You rock! :-)

  4. Hi! New follower and fellow dog writer here. Found you from your award on Shannon's blog.
    Great blog!

  5. I have an award for you today, Charmaine! Happy Friday! :-)

  6. I love the little sheepy poster too - there's just so much joy on the lamb's face.
    BIG Thanks to you Shannon for the award!
    Now I'm off to see Terry's dog blog :-)