Thursday, January 21, 2010

Guest Post by LM Preston author of Explorer X-Alpha

I am a huge fan of SciFi/Fantasy novels and the one aspect that fascinates me the most is how these talented authors create the worlds they set their characters into.  So when I was offered a chance to review LM Preston's Explorer Alpha-X and gain insight into how she developed her world, I jumped at the chance.  So with no further ado, I give you LM Preston and her insight into world building.  (By the way I will have the review up either later today or tomorrow.)


I once participated in a Sci-Fi critique group, where one of the authors asked about World Building. Our leader never expanded on this topic. When this topic was bought up, I pondered what I did when I build the many worlds I create for my books.

When I built the planet Shrenas, in which Aadi and Eirena crashed on, I used the extremes of Earth as a basis for the harshness of that planet. I had a collage of cut out pictures in a folder I kept, and sticky notes of the species of the planet. I loved creating Shrenas. Read below to find out the secrets of a world builder.

I believe everyone has their own methods. However, here are some of mine that help me throughout the process.


I love to travel, and do so very often. Traveling and exposing yourself to different wonders of our world can be a catalyst for the creation of your new world. Always look and observe people, places, art, colors, temperatures, and other oddities that reside in the world around you. It will help you to push your imagination further as you create your own worlds.


Take time to study and observe your surroundings. Things that may not seem interesting initially can become an integral part of the world you create. When you are walking, or touring areas take your time, allow your imagination to go beyond the obvious and ask yourself many questions.

I ask myself many questions about my surroundings. What if the clouds were black, blue, and gray? What if the sun was white? Or lower to the ground? What if the plants had fingers? Push yourself to expand on the world around you and morph them into something different.


I do a lot of research on the internet. Truth be told, I don’t do a lot of reading, I just look at pictures. I tend to look at pictures for a long time, and sit back and see if it fits into my world.

I note what extremes I want my world to have.

I note what rules my world should have.

I note what kind of species could live in that world.

How would a human sustain this environment?

Should I create something artificial in order to allow my humans to live here?


I draw out parts of your new world or cut out pictures of places or things that fit in the world you create. You don’t have to be a writer to do this. Try it and you will realize how fun it can be.


I tend to create these elaborate worlds, and then I take out a lot of the microscopic pieces that I believe the reader can fill in. However, I give the backdrop in the world the reader creates. I note the rules for that world, its species, animals and weaknesses.


Address the main guidepost of your world. How is it powered? Is it advanced? Is it rugged? What’s the climate? What does the land look like? Does it have a sun or moon? Are there animals there? What are the major species? How does your character fit into it all?

When I world build it comes natural to me, because I’ve always loved science and like to spend time pondering its wonders. However, taking notes, going exploring, drawing it out, kicking things up a notch and making DA RULES has helped me greatly in creating the worlds in my novels.

by: LM Preston, Author of EXPLORER X - alpha


Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Great building techniques. It seems like a lot but when you break it down this way it seems so much easier. Thanks for doing this post. I have thought on world building and tried to break it down for my self and I just keep trying to break it down. I am glad you talked about rules. And sharing the world and exploring your world with your readers as you go is great because when done right and with the style of the writer the world grows to be an amazing thing to learn about in reading.

Thanks for a great post!

Stephanie said...

As a lover of sci-fi, I've wondered about this stuff too. I wish I had the creativity to build worlds!!

I loved up the book on Amazon. Amazing cover. Looks like it would be right up my alley!!

Elena said...

I've always been scared of writing sci-fi because I thought the world-building aspect would be so difficult, but LM has shared some wise words and tips.

Thank you!