5 Tips For Worldbuilding

5 Tips For Worldbuilding

The quickest way to get a reader immersed is through the world.
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When I sit down to write a novel, especially genre fiction, one of the most important parts of that is the place and location of the story. It’s important for me to iron out where exactly the characters live and go throughout the piece, because the surroundings affect and influence the story. Here’s a list of important parts of your novel’s world to think about when writing.

1. Ethics/Morals

No matter what genre you’re writing, it’s important to think about what is “right” and what is “wrong” in context of the location. While it may seem rather black and white, it’s important to think about how others might see it. Is there a religion that a majority of the population follows? Is there a certain standard of living? What kind of rules and morals might they have that differ from your own? Think about it from a practical standpoint—try to put yourself in the shoes of someone who believes in something you might not believe in, and figure out what circumstances would make them believe that. This will help you come up with other facts and pieces of the world around your characters.

2. Ecosystem/Setting

While you know your own hometown very well, other towns (especially made-up ones) are going to have different features such as weather and wildlife. What sorts of nature surround your location, and how does that influence the society? If you can visit a place that’s similar to your story’s location—whether that be in temperature or urbanization—that would help you figure out how to describe it in writing.

3. Music/Arts/Culture

The way the arts is treated in different places is a great way to establish a unique setting. In your fantasy culture, art may primarily involve musical art performances that tell stories—it may be reveered, or it may be a talent that many don’t use. You can get extremely creative when it comes to creating a culture and what kinds of arts come out of it. It’s also very important to do your research if you’re basing it off a real culture.

4. Race/Class

Unfortunately, prejudice is very real in human society—there are lots of different ways this can be portrayed. It’s important to note what sorts of features of a person may make their life more difficult and how it makes them treated. Is there a class system? Is there a heavy prejudice against a race, gender or religion? Take your time to think about what sorts of influences these things may have on your character.

5. Laws of the Universe/Magic

One of my favorite pieces—and perhaps one of the most difficult pieces—is figuring out how the universe can interact with the characters. This is mostly a focus for if you’re writing in genre and are creating most of the world. Think about the universe your character lives in and what sort of abilities they might have. You should be able to explain why your character can do something—if your character can shoot fire out of their hands, there has to be a good reason. Maybe everyone has these powers. Maybe your character is a special exception. Either way, there must be some aspect of the universe that makes it possible. While you don’t have to be super picky about planning all your rules out down to the T, it would be good to have your baseline rules. Establish what is and isn’t possible as early as you can—therefore when a character breaks these rules, you can incorporate this into plot. The most believable way to create magic and laws of the universe is to make sure the reader understands what’s normal and what isn’t. Then, when they see a character that defies the rules, it draws attention.

Cover Image Credit: i naina _94 on Flickr

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37 Drake Lyrics From 'Scorpion' That Will Make Your Next Instagram Caption Go Double Platinum

Side A makes you want to be single, Side B make you want to be boo'd up.

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We all knew Scorpion was going to be the summer banger we wanted. However, Drake surprised us with two sides of an album and two sides of himself. Mixing rap and R&B; was genius on his part, so why not dedicate 37 of his lyrics to our Instagram captions?

1. "Don't tell me how knew it would be like this all along" — Emotionless

Definitely a "I'm too good" for you vibe.

2. "My mentions are jokes, but they never give me the facts" — Talk Up

This one's for my haters.

3. "I wanna thank God for workin' way harder than Satan" — Elevate

For when you're feeling blessed.

4. "I promise if I'm not dead then I'm dedicated" — March 14

In Drake's story about his son the world knows about now, we get a lyric of true love and dedication

5. "My Mount Rushmore is me with four different expressions" — Survival

6. "Pinky ring 'til I get a wedding ring" — Nonstop

7. "I gotta breathe in real deep when I catch an attitude" — 8 Out of 10

This first line of the song is about to be spread on the gram like a wildfire

8. "Heard all of the talkin', now it's quiet, now it's shush" — Mob Ties

9. "California girls sweeter than pieces of candy" — Sandra's Rose

This is gonna have every girl who has ever stayed in Cali all hot and heavy, watch it.

10. "I think you're changing your mind, starting to see it in your eyes" — Summer Games

Y'all know how these summer games go

11. "Look the new me is really still the real me" — In My Feelings

When you've got to profess that you've changed 200%

12. "Only beggin' that I do is me beggin' your pardon" — Is There More

13. "Shifted your focus, lens lookin' jaded" — Jaded

14. "Back and forth to Italy, my comment section killin' me" — Can't Take a Joke

Necessary for when you've got people hyping you up already

15. "People are only as tough as they phone allows them to be" — Peak

Y'all can't have this one, I'm stealing it

16. "Work all winter, shine all summer" — That's How You Feel

Put in the work so you can flex on 'em, summer 18

17. "Blue faces, I got blue diamonds, blue tint, yeah" — Blue Tint


18. "I stay busy workin' on me" — Elevate

19. "Ten of us, we movin' as one" — Talk Up

The perfect reason to get the largest group picture you've had on your gram

20. "October baby for irony sake, of course" — March 14

This statistically applies to 1/12 of y'all reading this, so take that as you will (we October babies are the best)

21. "She had an attitude in the summer but now she nice again" — Blue Tint

22. "I know you special girl 'cause I know too many" — In My Feelings


23. "Gotta hit the club like you hit them, hit them, hit them angles" — Nice for What

24. "She said 'Do you love me?' I tell her, 'Only partly,' I only love my ____ and my ____ I'm sorry" — God's Plan

If you haven't used this one yet, get to it

25. "But I'm blessed I just checked, hate me never met me in the flesh" — I'm Upset

26. "It's only good in my city because I said so" — 8 Out of 10

Follow this up with a location and shoutout your hometown

27. "My haters either on they way to work or they arrived" — Can't Take a Joke

28. "I always need a glass of wine by sundown" — Final Fantasy

Has Drake ever been more relatable?

29. "It's your f***in' birthday. Happy birthday" — Ratchet Happy Birthday

Let's go get kicked out of an Applebee's

30. "I move through London with the Eurostep" — Nonstop


31. "I stopped askin' myself and I started feelin' myself" — Survival

Mood all summer 18

32. "They keep tryna' get me for my soul" — I'm Upset

33. "I'm tryna see who's there on the other end of the shade" — Emotionless

34. "Only obligation is to tell it straight" — Elevate

35. "It don't matter to me what you say" — Don't Matter to Me


This line from the King of Pop (MJ) will give you chills. R.I.P.

36. "I'm the chosen one, flowers never pick themselves" — Sandra's Rose

37. "Say you'll never ever leave from beside me" — In My Feelings

Couple goals, amirite?

Cover Image Credit:

@champagnepapi / Instagram

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Recap: The Miss America You've Come To Know Is Now Gone

Miss America 2.0 is here in full force and here's what you need to know

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On June 5th, 2018, Miss America CEO Gretchen Carlson spoke on behalf of the Miss America Organization announcing that the Miss America Organization would no longer be a pageant but is moving forward as a competition. "We are no longer a pageant," Gretchen Carlson, the first former Miss America to be named chair of the Board of Trustees of the Miss America Organization, said on "GMA." "We are a competition." This caused an uproar of emotions from the pageant community.

Miss America began in 1921 in Atlantic City as a bathing suit competition aimed to attract tourists and extend the summer season. Soon enough the talent, evening gown, and interview portions of the competition were added to create the Miss America we know and love today. In Gretchen Carlson's announcement, she revealed that there would no longer be a swimsuit or evening gown competition. SAY WHAT!? Miss America would no longer have its traditional, iconic swimsuit competition. The reason for this is because the Miss America Organization is meant to empower women, give them a voice and the job of Miss America does not require you to be in a swimsuit.

The next big change came when the organization announced it would no longer have an evening gown portion of the competition. If you were not looking forward to the swimsuit competition then you were looking forward to seeing the fabulous gowns that the contestants chose to showcase their personal style on the Miss America stage. The original announcement that said goodbye to evening gown has now been edited and the 2019 Miss America competition will now include evening gown as a "Red Carpet Style" and will still be the contestants choice.

Having been a contestant in this organization since 2011 I have my own thoughts about the elimination of the swimsuit and evening gown portions of the competition. The announcement came the morning I was leaving to compete in the 90th Anniversary Miss Connecticut Pageant (yes, you read that correctly, a pageant not a competition). Knowing this would be the last time I would ever compete in a swimsuit was so bittersweet. I had dreamed of going to Miss America and walking down the runway at Boardwalk Hall in a swimsuit. I hope that one day we reinstate the tradition of the swimsuit competition at Miss America.

Evening gown was always the portion of the pageant that I looked forward to. After all of the challenging parts like interview and talent are over you get to show the audience and the judges a glimpse at your personal style in a beautiful evening gown. I mean, who doesn't love getting dressed up? This portion of the competition allows each contestant to show who they truly are and exhibit a hell of a lot of personal confidence. I for one am so happy that the organization decided to keep this portion of the pageant.

New for Miss America 2019 will be the "Final Conversation". This portion will be done by the top five remaining competitors. Each girl will talk about their career ambitions, platform, year of service as well as the attributes that make her the best person for the job of Miss America, among many other things. This piece will take the place of the usual short onstage question that the top five contestants would be asked.

I love that they included this as part of the competition and I think that this is a piece that was needed a long time ago. So often did I wish I had more opportunities to tell the audience about my platform, the community service I had done and about myself and why I wanted to be a state titleholder. This portion of the competition will allow for that and I am excited to see how this plays out in September.

The talent portion of the competition and my personal favorite will remain the same except for the percentage of the score. Talent, which was 35% of the score, is now a whopping 50% of the score. This has spiked some controversy because many Miss Americas are not asked to perform their talents during their year of service (aside from singers who sing the National Anthem but even that is not all that often).

Talent is one of my favorite portions of the competition. Miss America wouldn't be Miss America without this portion but bumping it to 50% is something I am not a fan of. There are girls all across the country who feel that they "aren't talented enough" to compete and having talent be 50% of your score will not be an attractive quality to those girls. The Miss America Organization should feel achievable to every single girl in America and this is not going to feel achievable for some.

The changes with Miss America have some people doubting the organization and many girls have voiced that they no longer want to participate because of the spiral it has taken in just a few weeks. My hope for the organization is that it truly continues to empower women, guide women to higher education, and make women feel as though anything, including competing in a pageant, is achievable.

Things with Miss America are changing on a daily basis but this should keep you fairly informed until the competition in September. Do you have a state you are pulling for??

Cover Image Credit:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Miss_America_2015_contestants.jpg

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