This week, io9′s Charlie Jane Anders has an excellent essay on the worldbuilding elements she considers raise worldbuilding from good and serviceable, to great and memorable.
Here’s a little taste from the beginning of the essay:
“…I’ve been obsessing about worldbuilding a lot lately, and trying to figure out what the difference is between good, decent, craftspersonlike worldbuilding — and great worldbuilding. And here’s what I decided:
Good worldbuilding shows you the stuff your characters see every day, and the things that they notice about their environment.
Great worldbuilding shows you the stuff your characters don’t see, either because they take it for granted, or because they’ve trained themselves not to notice something unpleasant.”
She goes on to explore this with a discussion of the “unreliable narrator” and some of the character and cultural qualities that can make characters oblivious to important aspects of their world. Read More…