Within any story told, a world is created. Even set on Earth, your book needs to show the world around it from the smallest creature to the society and culture of your main characters.
One of the importance aspects of this is the geography in your book and how it can enhance your writing.
What’s important to the plot?
It is easy to be bogged down by worldbuilding fever.
It’s okay, I know how much you want to write about this world you have in that big old head of yours, but let me tell you: no one will read fifty pages of geography. It’s the balance of keeping it short and to the point while opening up the reader’s mind to world that surrounds the plot.
First, where are your characters? If they never move from their home town why would they know what the sea on the other side of the world is called. Are they a pirate on a boat? Then why would know what mountains would look like? Remember to style the geography around what your own character would know.
WHERE is it?
Where is the story located? Is it on Earth, somewhere similar or in a completely different world? If it’s on a different planet, what makes it different? How do things look or how do the laws of physics change, especially if magic is involved? Whatever you decide remember to keep consistent rules to make your world feel more concrete and real, even if it is filled with dragons.
WHEN is it?
If it’s on Earth is it in the present day or the past or future? History and technology are probably the two main things that will affect how your world is shaped. Are there any historical events that effect the story? What kind of technology are the characters using? If it is a historical setting, make sure to research properly as to not look like an idiot.
WHAT is there?
How does the land shape the people? In what ways have the people adapted to life in these conditions? Do they have boats? Do they wear thick furs or sleep in open tents? The land shapes how people learn to live.
This is important. The amount of domesticated animals that your society has usually correlates with its technological advances. Of course no science should ever hold you back from writing what you want, but remember that history is what makes stories.
Research, research, research
It’s a piece of advice that you should always be aware of. It’s honestly the best way to tackle writer’s block on any subject.
Research damn it!
The internet is a pleather of lists of ideas if you know where to look. And I know you know this, but it’s about understanding when to use the internet instead of just not bothering to write.
Some authors love to make physical maps to plot everything out in accordance with everything else, as well as where physical features are like mountains and rivers. But just making notes works just as well if maps aren’t your thing.
If you get this down in the planning stage, you’ll have the setting of the stage your characters will play upon. Good luck Xx