The Zen of World Building

I talk about world building quite a bit… (reference here, here, and here for starters)

Now I want to spend an entire post on it. There are a few things that go into it that are absolutely necessary, so let’s dig in.



Of course Science Fiction is part of your genre – if not, you might want to check this blog’s tagline…but you can stick around – so I guess what I really mean is sub-genre. There are all sorts of things to choose from:

Space Opera



Hard Sci Fi

Adventure Sci Fi


Time Travel

And many more I’m sure if we got really nit picky. Knowing your genre is important because you need to know what kind of world to build. Space? Foreign Planet? Desolate Earth? 1860’s Britain? Las Vegas?

Anyway, this is of utmost importance. Know what genre you plan to write in.



Now that you know the setting, where is your story going to take place? A small town? A city? A spaceship? An outpost on an alien world? Several alien worlds that you travel to in a spaceship?

Some stories are confined to one area and others cover a lot of ground; or space… The main thing is to know how big your world is going to be. Maybe you have to do some Solar System or Universe building. Or perhaps even Multiverse building.



I like to use cyberpunk as an example for detail. Have you seen Blade Runner? Or how about Ghost in the Shell? Here’s one you may have seen…THE MATRIX?

I like to use cyberpunk because you have to create such a computer centric world. Everything has to revolve around computers, information, the internet. If you say you’re writing a cyberpunk story but never say anything about a computer, you are NOT writing a cyberpunk story.

Same thing with the other genres, there are specific things that make them those genres. No steam? No steampunk. No Apocalypse? No Apocalyptic science fiction.

Pay attention to the details, and your world will almost build itself.


Well those are a few tips on the Zen of World Building. I will continue this series over the next couple of weeks, and hopefully we’ll have some good worlds for our stories!

Keep writing everybody

One thought on “The Zen of World Building

  1. Pingback: The Zen of World Building part II | Silly Robots

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