Worlds from Words, the Art (and Science?) of Worldbuilding

This was a great panel and one of the more useful ones for me. The panel was moderated by Veronica Roth who is most famous for her Divergent series, Jennifer L Armentrout, who is famous for her Lux Series along with many other paranormal romances. Traci Chee, who is famous for her The Reader series. Somaiya Daud who is famous for her Mirage series. Jordan Ifueko who is famous for her breakout hit Raybearer and Samantha Shannon who is famous for her The Bone Season series.

When asked how much research they do Traci Chee noted she did the least work possible for her fantasy books such as the Reader. But that she was more detailed and exact with her books like We are Not Free, because she was dealing with real people’s lives and experiences.

Jordan Ifueko said she started with myths and lore because that informs who a culture is. She notes that she starts with mythology she finds it easier to find out how characters would react once you know what they believe.

Somaiya Daud, says she likes to get into the weeds of history on Scrivener, she says she likes to save her worldbuilding knowing she isn’t going to use it in the story. She pointed out she had a two thousand year time line where only two events appear in the story and that she’s big on historiography. She said she had an inner Toliken in her head.

Jordan Ifueko talked about how Raybearer was coded as real world cultures, but where the power struggles didn’t come from issues of European colonization like they did in the ‘real’ world.

Somaiya Doud also talked about how she based a lot of her stuff is how folktales are told in Morocco. vs how North African women actually are. She talked about having familiar cultural markers then making up stuff around it so people from that culture see the familiar marker in story. Doud also talked about adding information the same way Dragon Age does via like a codex system.

The whole panel agreed that the one religion fantasy trope was unbelievable. Because the one thing people fight about in the real world more than anything is religion. So it would totally happen in a fantasy world.

Image by ejaugsburg from Pixabay

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