Posted by: kshayes513 | January 12, 2009

Worlds I Love, Part 1

My last post ended with the question, “How do we make a world that people will want to visit?” I’m going to ramble about this question for a post or two (or more…)

First, of course, I think it’s impossible to build a world that everyone will enjoy. The only thing you get from trying to please everyone, is a world that pleases no one, including the creator.

One approach to making a popular world is to study some very popular imaginary worlds and analyze why so many people like them, then try to put the same elements in your own world. Doing the analysis can’t hurt. It’s certainly worth asking, what is it about Hogwarts, Middle Earth, Earthsea, Star Trek, Firefly,  Warcraft, Halo, etc, that makes people so passionate about them. Trying to imitate what people like in those worlds, seems to me to come perilously close to trying to please everyone.

CS Lewis recalled answering questions about how he developed Narnia; and one questioner in particular who said, “ah, you decided to put in all those feasts because you know children like food.” And Lewis answered, No, that he put in all the feasts and teas and banquets, because he liked food himself.

Which brings me to the only way I know to make a world others might enjoy: by making a world that I like for myself. It’s easy to figure out what I like; all I have to do is take a look at the worlds that have captivated me.

I’ll start my list in the next post. Why don’t you start yours, too, and see if you can figure out what your favorites have in common.



  1. Ah! I should have known you’d answer the question yourself (see my comment to previous entry!)

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