How to write a good foundation

Start with the straight talk about world building that I need.

If I needed it, then I thought maybe someone else needed a bit of help too. I’ve never written a futuristic, or historical story. So I’ve never felt the need to do a lot of world building. However, as of late, I’ve begun to feel my stories needed more depth. 

Even when writing in the here and now, we need to flesh out the world around our characters. More than just the who, what and when.

Things to remember:

  • Community: Is it open, or restricted? What about schools, churches, stores, markets? Who are the neighbors? Traditions and rituals? Standard of living, social conduct, friendly or reserved?
  • Who is in charge of the family, community, town, school, company or wherever your story is centered?
  • What about money and jobs? Do your main characters work? What kind of jobs are available? Why? Why not?
  • What type of technology is used? Or do they use technology? Why or why not? 
  • How do your characters communicate? Text, phones, mind to mind? 
  • What happens if someone becomes ill or breaks the rules?

Thanks to Heather Jackson I now have these questions and more to help me build my “now” world for my WIP. 


What about you?

Do you build the world around your characters or do you let your characters evolve first and then the world come into focus later?

Need help? Then you will love this article by Heather Jackson, click the link below and read her handy checklist.

1 Key Question for Worldbuilding (+ A Handy Checklist)

Thanks for stopping by my blog. You can find me on Twitter @jeancogdell, Facebook at jean.cogdell and, stop by and say hey! Please remember to click and share this post with your Twitter peeps and Facebook fans.



15 thoughts on “How to write a good foundation

  1. Great topic! I start by the world…brainstorming the image I am seeing in my head and then I think about the message I want to convey. The character comes out of that and then I put my first efforts into defining the protagonist and all the circle of friends of family. The back stories evolve and once I have those then I proceed with the questions that arise from their histories and go back to the world. I guess you could say it’s a back and forth. Thank you for sharing. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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