Sonitotum with Matthew Wayne Selznick 028: What Is Worldbuilding?
This episode of Sonitotum With Matthew Wayne Selznick is all about worldbuilding: what it is, how all fiction writers worldbuild regardless of medium or genre, and the opportunities available to writers when they invest in deep, comprehensive worldbuilding as part of their creative process.
Also, it’s the last episode of the year, and what a year it has been. I get a little mushy with you.
Links and Topics Mentioned In This Episode
- Regarding making things in the pandemic era, I know a thing or two about creating things under stressful life circumstances. I last wrote about it in the middle of a personal crisis in 2015. Here’s another, much more recent article from Deborah Fallows, and another from Karen Green and Jarrad Long.
- I mention The Big Plan. You can hear about it or read about it.
- Many folks know creator Stan Lee’s famous frequent use of the word “Excelsior!” Let’s not forget the understated authority of another of his go-to phrases, “‘Nuff said.”
- I list off a bunch of examples of works of fiction with deep worldbuilding. Wanna go deep? Check out these resources for Westeros, Middle Earth, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone universe, and the Genoa City of The Young and the Restless.
- Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons created the meta-fiction masterpiece Watchmen, which was also a great example of verisimilitude created through deep worldbuilding.
- I mention the four storyworlds that feature in most of my own work. There’s at least one work of fiction (so far) for each: The Sovereign Era, The Shaper’s World, Daikaiju Universe, and the Protector Cycle.
- Light of the Outsider is the debut novel in my Shaper’s World Cycle, book one of the Outsider Trilogy, and a stand-alone character-driven gritty fantasy / thriller hybrid.
- Budding is how coral do. You can bud your stories, too.
- Often you’ll hear of worldbuilding in the context of tabletop role-playing games. Raymond E. Feist’s Riftworld Saga started as a role-playing game session, as did George R. R. Martin and Melinda Snodgrass’ Wildcards storyworld.
- Fantasy cartography is a thing, you better believe it. There are some incredibly talented practitioners out there creating in-depth storyworlds with their maps, like Nate Mangion or Tom Vogt, for example.
- Writers who worldbuild! There’s a Facebook group for you. I started it. See you there: Worldbuilding for Writers.
- Have you joined the mailing list community of friends and fans? When you do, you’ll get free weekly serial fiction delivered to your inbox as my gift to you.
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- Aurycle a460 large diaphragm studio condenser microphone
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- Behringer U-Phoria UMC202HD (audio interface for directly connecting microphones and musical instruments to a computer)
- Mixcraft 8 Pro Studio (digital audio workstation / music creation software — used when recording and producing “Anastasia” and “Gwinton” (the closing theme of this podcast)
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