Urgh. Doing the last little bit of research for #FGU (more properly known as From The Ground Up: Building A World That Works) and I’ve been doing a bit of comparative work with some of the other worldbuilding books that are out there – and trust me, there are surprisingly few, which is why I decided to write this book in the first place. And not only are worldbuilding books actually far less common than you’d believe, every single one I’ve found so far suffers from one of two flaws.
Either it’s too technical and dense and only helpful if you’re the kind of worldbuilder who wants to know EXACTLY HOW LONG IT WILL TAKE to walk to those mountains over there on the horizon and what formula you can use to calculate it,
OR it assumes that worldbuilding is entirely a matter of chance. Pick one from column A, one from column B, two from column C, throw them together and you have a world.
Um, NO. Please. For the love of logic and sanity, NO.
See, what most people don’t realise is that worldbuilding, culture-building, is an inherently logical process. There are REASONS why tropical cuisines involve spices, why no society is born with a democracy, why populations with high tech usually have low birth rates, why population centres get spaced out the way they do – heck, even why elephant-sized mice are impossible. REASONS. Worldbuilding is LOGICAL.
And if you try to sell a book that claims otherwise, that claims you can just pick a climate and pick a style of government and pick a type of art and pick a type of economy and throw them all together and it’ll work fine – and worse, if you try to claim that food, architecture, weapons, clothing and tools are just decorations – look, worse case scenario I’ll sit here weeping and gnashing my teeth at you, really, but PLEASE. JUST DON’T.
You guys, this is not the way populations work. It’s not the way worlds work. There’s a very specific chain of logic that leads literally from the plate tectonics of your world all the way up to what kind of food different populations will eat, how many children they will have, what their attitudes towards old people will be, how long they will be expected to work for, and so forth. Seriously.
And if you don’t believe me, just wait until From The Ground Up comes out. I defy you to read it and NOT recognise the truth: Worldbuilding is inherently logical. You can’t just throw it together piecemeal and expect it to make sense >.<