What is Worldbuilding and When is it Necessary?
In short: Worldbuilding is one of the two essential components that give your story life (the other is Characterbuilding), and it is absolutely always necessary, in every single piece of fiction you will ever write.
Alright, so this is all very eloquent but not too helpful, so I shall elaborate. :3
Worldbuilding is literally the art of building a world in which the story being written takes place. This does not just mean writing elaborate descriptions of scenery; it means a process of creating an entire world, Genesis style. Is it a planet, or multiple planets? An endless, flat ground? A strange dimension? What physical laws apply? How was this ground shaped over the ages? Once this is set, create some life. What kind of life is on it? What different species? What are their attributes, necessities, strengths, weaknesses? How does that life behave? Is there civilisation? Then it gets more involved. Cultures and the clash of them, languages, customs, geopolitics…
Once such a consistent system exists, the events have background, the characters have ancestors and the story is not anymore hanging in a strange vaccuum. It becomes a slice of a living reality. When good worldbuilding is present, then the reader, reading the descriptions, actions and dialogues of the characters, can imagine all of that happen in context, much like in “real life”.
When is it necessary? ALWAYS. Seriously. And it doesn’t even need to be a high fantasy piece. High school romance? You really need the worldbuilding too! Are we on earth? Is it the “common” reality, or an alternate history? Perhaps a certain significant war had a different outcome and now the geopolitics of an entire continent is different than the readers know. Where are we, what is the environment and culture like? And then, even if everything is kept
boring “normal”, highschools are lit their own world, regardless of all these external factors. That world will stay trapped inside your head, and not reach the readers, unless you show it to them through your writing.
Describe stuff! Show cultures, delicate balances and relations through character mannerisms, interactions, backstories… Basically, every story is a new world (unless it is a direct sequel). A world needs space, time and life, and that means geography, history and culture, all coming from you, the writer?
Howwwww is that gonna happen? Stay tuned for part 2 :3 byedebye~