On fidelity in world-building

It’s hard to create a new world, complete with languages, people, and the minutiae that separates the reality that is our planet and its history. In a recent population analysis of GoT, Lyman Stone drills into deathly detail on how impossible George RR Martin’s world is. Marshall Ryan Maresca has written scads of posts on worldbuilding (here’s just one).

As a writer and a reader, there’s a lot to be said for creating the right atmosphere, especially if there’s a book or five needed to write the whole story.

More than the analysis, than the facts, has to be the telling. Readers need to feel a location that’s real. They need to know that a staircase in the house leads to a door, and that the other side of the door aligns with the layout of the house. Knobs need to work as expected. Trolls should meet the expectation of the described milieu. Physics should be consistent throughout.

My last novel finished was “post-apocalyptic.” And walking through the science, as much as it made my storytelling better, makes, I think, for a more believable story than some Luc Besson movie. (Unless you see them as pure comedy and not sci-fi…)