World-building is tough, especially if the idea for your story is so far out there! So, how do you take an idea that no one would believe and make it believable? Prove it!!
PROVE YOUR WORLD
It doesn’t matter if you have vampires, trolls, or even gremlins…you need to make the world real. The characters have to interact with their world to give the reader the sense that this new world you’ve created actually exists. Give lush descriptions. Create laws. Get creative!
If the story is set on another planet, describe little details that show what it’d be like to live there. What’s the air like? What does the ground look like? What do things smell like there? It’s important to create the setting in a way that allows the reader to feel like they’re a part of it.
If your vampires can go out into the sun, you can’t just throw that out there and not comment on why. If what you have created is different than the norm, you have to prove that point so there is no question as to how and why it works. If not, the reader will be instantly left with the feeling that it’s not believable.
MAKE YOUR CHARACTERS REAL
This is probably the most important. Emotions are a huge part of writing that allows a reader to connect with a character. For an example, if a character can converse with the dead, it’s important to show right out of the gate how she deals with this. Since it’s unusual, the character would have a strong reaction to the gift they have. Do they like it? Hate it? How do others look upon it? Or do they not know? Is it a secret and needs to be hidden? If so, how is this secret kept, and how does the character feel about the burden of such a secret? This is the foundation for creating a character that’s relatable.
Then, allow your characters to be emotionally involved in their world. If your character can see ghosts, and she dislikes the ability, allow her to show her frustration. Don’t make a character just go with the flow and accept everything that happens with a smile. If it’s an unusual situation, any normal person would have a huge emotional response—anger, sadness, or even irritation. The thing is, when characters are too strong or too easy going, it will take the realness away from them because everyone has emotions. The stronger the emotion, the better!
If your hero is a shifter in a world where shifters shouldn’t be, it’s important to keep him as real as you can. The trick is writing him in a way that makes the reader forget what he is, and instead focuses on who he is. And that only comes from writing a real hero that any woman couldn’t refuse, no matter if he is a ghost, vampire, or scaly beast! If he exists in a world that doesn’t accept him, he needs to feel something from that. Either anger at the world, or self-assurance that he doesn’t care. But having him interact with the world in an emotional way allows a reader to truly understand him.
STICK TO YOUR WORLD-BUILDING
If you’ve created a world that has laws—ie, kill a mortal and you shall die! It’s important not to just tell these laws and how the world works, but show them. Have one of your characters break a rule and show what happens. Or introduce a new character that hates the rules and fights against them. It’ll add awesome tension, all the while showing how your world works.
If a mortal gets killed, and someone must die, what are all the steps that have to happen? This is when you can create some terrific world-building aspects. Who hunts the killer? What happens once he is caught? Does he have to go through a trial? Is he killed on the spot? It’s all these little details that make a world strong. And this can play into the emotional element—how does your character react to these rules? Does he/she struggle with taking a life? Believe in it? These details are what make a world work just like our own, so the more small details, the more believable and richer the story will be.
PROVE YOUR STEAMY SCENES
I admit that this one can get very tricky! How do you have a love scene between a woman and a vampire, if a vampire is an abomination? It’s not easy! But the most important thing to remember is all the above. If you make your characters real, experience emotions that help them come to the conclusion that this is normal, then your readers will feel it too.
If you have woman go from not thinking sexy things about at vampire to then jumping into bed with him, your readers won’t believe it. But if you build tension, show her fighting the attraction, and coming around to the idea, then it’ll work. Allow your readers the chance to accept that the character has put thought behind her decisions and show why she’s agreed.
The key to making the unbelievable—believable is you have to show the reader why they should accept it. You can’t leave anything up in the air. Present it all right out in front with descriptions, interactions with the characters and their world, and always big emotional responses—all of this only strengthens your world-building.
Stacey Kennedy’s novels are lighthearted fantasy with heart-squeezing, thigh-clenching romance, and they even give you a good chuckle every now and again. But within the stories you’ll also find fast-paced action, life-threatening moments and a big bad villain who needs to be destroyed. Her urban fantasy/paranormal and erotic romance series have hit Amazon Kindle and All Romance eBooks bestseller lists.