I haven’t talked about worldbuilding in a while here. Worldbuilding is incredibly important. The way a world is built and constructed can make a break a novel. Yes, I am willing to bank that much of a person’s appreciation of a story on Worldbuilding. If you’re characters exist within a vacuum, if the the plot isn’t impacted by it’s surrounding word, the entire story has the potential to crumble. Thankfully, there are a number of aspects of worldbuilding that people can use in their stories to color the world.
The first and most obvious aspect of worldbuilding is the location. By describing just the basics of the location that a character or series of events takes place in, it grounds the characters. This is one of the most important aspects of worldbuilding that needs to be established in every story. Without the physical setting being established at all your characters operate on a blank slate. It prevents the events from being further colored. If someone tells another character that they love them for the first time, it’s a very different scene if one of them is behind bars and the other is looking in, than if it happens with the two characters on a lakeside at dusk. Those are two very different settings that would color it differently. Ultimately, setting is important and establishing it, even if it is only a simple description can majorly change the tone of the scene.
Worldbuilding isn’t just about the physical setting in which the story takes place. The way people react to various elements that are in the world are also very important. The value that you see placed on various things in the world color the way that a reader can become engaged in the world. If there is a magic system for example, how power for that magic system is drawn can effect the culture. The culture will then impact how characters behave. If everyone is walking around in long cloaks to cover their skin because it is bruised due to the toll of magic, that is going to color the world.
The little things play a major role in creating a whole world. Like I mentioned worldbuilding can entirely save a story. It can make a story that floundering in other areas stand out. This is exactly what happened for me with The Magicians series. I didn’t care for the characters. I enjoyed the plots a bit more than the characters, but only marginally so. However, what made me stick with the story and work through 1200 pages in that world was the world. I wanted to see more of Fillory. I wanted to see dragons in our rivers. Those little things and the wonders that appeared throughout the story kept me coming back for more. Thus the entire series was able to pull me along despite not caring much about anything going on. And honestly, I’d jump back into that world in a heartbeat.