World building. Books and blog posts have been devoted to world building. It’s important, not just in high fantasy novels but in contemporary work too.
World building affects your story logic. And if you have faulty story logic…you’ll be rewriting.
So, knowing all this as a writer, when I told my son, “You can have a freeze pop any time of the day, but you can only have three per day.” – I should have written down the rules in stone. (In my defense, I was really tired of being asked if he could have a freeze pop, and really, it doesn’t matter when he eats one.)
What I didn’t expect:
- That he’d eat three in a row.
- That he’d eat one before breakfast.
- That he’d eat one right before dinner.
- That the freeze pop could be eaten along with dessert but not count as dessert.
- Roll over. If we were gone for the day, it meant he could have six the next day.
So, go check your world building. Ask the questions. Or you’ll pay the price later. Just like I did.
What are the questions? I’m sure there are lots of great questions about world building. But two big issues stick out for me.
Consistency: Make sure the same rules apply to all characters in all situations through out your story. No cheating.
Motivation: What is the motivation behind a world building rule? Use common sense. Don’t create a rule just to make something easier for your plot.
Tell the truth – Have you ever made a decision as a parent and not thought through the consequences? Or, what are some good world building questions you’ve learned? (By the way, I don’t regret telling my son he could have a freeze pop any time of the day because it still made my summer a whole lot easier! I just should have added some disclaimers.)