Wednesday, June 11, 2014

World Building with Cherie Reich

I'm hosting Cherie Reich today as part of her blog tour for her debut novel Reborn. Cherie is here to talk about world building, something that I admit intimidates me as an author. I really admire those who take it on and as I know Cherie is excellent at it I'm excited to share her advice.

Also, as part of her tour, Cherie and the rest of the Untethered Realms authors (including me) are giving away more than $50 worth of books to one giveaway winner. Be sure to enter to win through the Rafflecopter below!

Take it away, Cherie!

Five Ways to Improve Your World-Building

1. Take notes. Remembering the world you created is half the battle.

2. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is your story’s world. You don’t have to know your world up front. First drafts should focus more on the characters and plot. As you delve into rewrites and edits, this is where the world-building should start to shine.

3. You may be God, but you also must make sense. We writers are like gods. We create worlds filled with interesting people and animals, but unlike real life, our worlds must make sense. If you go against the rules in your world, then you must have a very good reason—and rationality—to do so.

4. Be an anthropologist. Anthropology is divided into subsets: sociocultural, biological, archaeological, and linguistic. It is up to the writer to be the expert in all those anthropological fields when it comes to your world-building. Think about what we have in our own world and see how you can use it and change it to fit the world you are creating.

5. Be a geographer. Learning a little bit about the land your characters live on will help you. Look at maps. Learn about climate. Knowing a little will help you enrich your world.

Do you have any world-building tips?

 To save a kingdom, a prophetess must challenge Fate.

On the day of Yssa’s death and rebirth, the god Apenth chose her as the Phoenix Prophetess.

Sea serpents and gods endanger the young prophetess’s journey and sour the omens. Yssa is cursed instead of blessed, and her duties at the Temple of Apenth prove it. She spends her days reading dusty scrolls, which does nothing to help her forget Tym, the boy back home. But the annoying yet gorgeous ferryman’s son Liam proves to be a distraction she can’t predict, even though he rarely leaves her alone for two sand grains.

Her boring temple life screeches to a halt when visions of her parents’ murders consume her. Yssa races across an ocean to stop the future. If she can’t change Fate, she’ll refuse to be the Phoenix Prophetess any longer. Fate, however, has other plans for her and the kingdom.

Yssa must either accept her destiny or fight to change Fate.

Available in Ebook and Print!

Click here to add on Goodreads.

The authors of Untethered Realms and I are giving away over $50 worth of books to one lucky winner. The giveaway is open internationally.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A self-proclaimed bookworm, Cherie Reich is a speculative fiction writer and library assistant living in Virginia. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies, and her books include the horror collection Nightmare, a space fantasy novella collection titled Gravity, and the fantasy series The Foxwick Chronicles and The Fate Challenges. Reborn is her debut novel. She is Vice President of Valley Writers and a member of the Virginia Writers Club and Untethered Realms. For more information, please visit her website.


  1. Sounds like Cherie has done a lot of research and that she knows what she's talking about.

  2. My suggestion would go with number four - make a list of all the aspects you need to consider. You can use that list for every book you need to write that includes world building.

  3. Cool new release. And good tips on world building. It's not always my strongest ability, but I think I'm getting better at it.

    Congrats Cherie!

  4. Congratulations, Cherie! These are great, I had to laugh at tip #1, though: it's the most obvious stuff that we all forget most easily! Thanks for the reminder to KEEP TRACK, lol!

  5. This is fantastic advice, thank you for sharing. I am currently having problems creating my own world for my series, but your advice really helped.

  6. I am SO intimidated by world-building... but I suppose it does takes time...
    Congrats to Cherie!

  7. Thank you, Vanessa! I do try to act like I know what I'm talking about. ;)

    That's a great idea, Alex! I'm all for making lists. They're so useful.

    Practice and being patient with your world are key, L.G.

    Thank you! Yes, it's so easy to forget the obvious stuff, Liz.

    Glad I could help, Murees!

    World-building definitely takes time, Michelle, but you do it with every story, even those set in the present and your own hometown.

    Thank you so much for hosting me, Julie! :)

  8. it looks like great stuff - and she's from Virginia

  9. Yes, make sense. Reborn is a fantastic read.

    I watched Upside Down on Netflix... the story world made no sense... they changed all the laws of physics. :-O So that's all I could think of was that their setting made no sense.

  10. I love the 3 tidbits-so true and never thought of the world and to describe it for development of ones' characters-makes perfect common sense.

  11. LOL. I busted a gut on #3. How true! And I'm totally down with the anthropology idea. How often do we read a story where the culture could have been a little richer and added so much?

  12. Thank you, Mary! And it's a shame when a story throws you out because the world makes no sense.

    Thanks, Birgit! The characters can often show a lot of the world they live in.

    Thanks, Crystal! I had fun writing this post. :)

  13. Hi Julie,

    Excellent to see that Cherie's book blog tour has reached your wonderful site.

    I shall take notes about your points. All five of them. Of course, when I don't have pen and paper, I end up babbling my inspirational words into the recording device on my mobile or cell phone. Imagine the weird looks of people walking by me.

    Gary :)

  14. Excellent post! And, oh my gosh, #1 is sooo important for this 40-something writer. LOL

    Congrats, Cherie. :)

  15. Great advice on world building, Cherie! I still have so much to learn on the subject. I enjoyed seeing your beautiful cover again!
    Thanks for hosting Cherie, Julie!


  16. Hehe! Hope the tips help, Gary (klahanie)!

    #1 is definitely important, Melissa! :)

    You're welcome, Julie (Empty Nest Insider)! World-building takes time, but we do it in all stories, not just fantasy. No one lives in a void. Or usually they don't.

  17. Those are great tips Cherie. For me #2 is the most important. The world comes in bits and pieces and I have to remember not to be frustrated when it doesn't come all at once.

  18. Thank you, Johanna! I get impatient with new worlds too, but it's good to step back and remember that it doesn't all come at one time, no matter how much we wish it would.

  19. I like the idea of becoming an anthropologist when you're creating a world in your books.

  20. Remembering anything is a huge task for me, so my world building requires lots of notes. Insightful read Cherie. Hi Julie *waves. X

  21. Cherie is so smart, and her writing is incredible. I'm sure this book will be a resounding success. Congratulations, Cherie!

  22. A lot of good tips about world building. Makes me more convinced I need to bump Cherie's book further up on my TBR.

  23. It's lovely to see Cherie here! Those tips are great, especially #2. I'm always impatient with myself and want everything perfect from the beginning. Needless to say, that never happens...

    Congrats, Cherie!

  24. Me too, Lee (cleemckenzie)!

    Notes are so helpful, Shah!

    Aww, thank you, Michael!

    I hope you enjoy Reborn if you ever get a chance to read it, Loni!

  25. Be an anthropologist---love that one!

  26. Be an anthropologist---love that one!

  27. Thanks, Nicki! I knew those anthropology classes I took in college would come in handy one of these days. :)

  28. Wonderful tips for world-building! Your expertise shows in Reborn!

  29. Wonderful tips for world-building! Your expertise shows in Reborn!

  30. I also like #4. I tend to think of it in layers (topography, language, history, agriculture, etc.) because each builds on and influences each of the others.

  31. Aww, thank you, Tyrean!

    I agree, Nicole! Thinking about it in layers is really helpful and goes back to #2.

  32. Great tips. The one I'd add is: Draw a map as soon as you know enough to do so.

    It's really amazing how much you can learn about your world just by thinking about where the country is in the world you've built.

  33. I definitely agree with that one, Misha. It's part of tip #5. :)

  34. Good luck, Cherie! Sounds like a terrific book.

    Thanks for the tips, too. Number one would have to be an absolute necessity for me. Heck, I have to write myself notes just to keep track of the REAL world, so I can only imagine how difficult it would be to keep track of an imaginary one.

  35. Thanks, Susan! Sometimes it's easier to remember an imaginary world than a real one because we overlook so much in a real world, but we focus more on the imaginary world we create.

  36. Great world-building tips, Cherie. I agree with all the points.


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