Research for world building

The fun part with creative writing is that we get to build anything that we want to suit our stories. The atmosphere and environment and how it affects our characters, and even their ways of life are vital to making our stories come alive and believable. We’ve all enjoyed many stories such as the Harry Potter series, J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic Lord of the Rings trilogy and its spinoff novels, so on and so forth. We all know that they’re fantasy and sci-fi because a lot of the elements used can’t possibly exist in reality, however, we are still fascinated with the history of how thinks work in that world, even if they may not live in reality. The thing is, we as writers don’t have all the time to write the engineering of how things work in our created worlds unless we plan to write these companion books and scholarly journals on a separate publication to see how these things work.

And also, even though we enjoy reading and hearing stories that take place in an entirely different world from our world, we still expect situations and things to be realistic. Otherwise, we would be wondering what the author was thinking all this time, and it would be a lot difficult for us to immerse ourselves in that world without some idea of how things work in that world, how things look, why they look that way, and so on and so forth. In short, no author is “genius” enough to create a well-crafted story without some kind of inspiration from something that’s already existing in reality.

This is where researching comes into play. Regardless of the type of fiction you may be writing, whether if it’s original fiction, an alternate reality fiction, or even fanfiction, you can’t hook your readers into the story and into your story’s world without some form of inspiration or reference from your experiences. I read a lot of books from other writers, both fiction and non-fiction. I also take a lot of (mobile) photos out of the blue and post them on my Instagram when I do have the time. I love going to coffee shops, look at their menus, try any of their beverages I haven’t tried before, and observe the people here and there that come in and hang out at the coffee shops. Sometimes I would jot something in my journal mobile app for ideas, kind of like freewriting, imagining the life of a group of people enjoying their time with their coffee and pastries while chatting. Or, when I feel a little artistic enough, I would finger-sketch them on my Sketchbook Pro app. I do wish that I can bring my laptop with me wherever I go, but because my work doesn’t involve computers or anything that I can work on the remote, it still is a hassle to bring it along with me.

My point is, if we as writers were to hook our readers into our story’s world, we also have to make things relatable to reality so it would be easier for the readers to relate to our characters and the situations they’re into, and of course, the way they live their lives. My take on Troop Pegalion adds a bit of a magical realism in there. There’s something magical about their little town and the way things work in their lives living as native townsfolk. There is some kind of magic that touches the hearts of the characters, and even though they believe in that kind of magic, they don’t realize that magic isn’t really there, but magical things happen anyway without any one of them realizing it. If you’re not aware of what magical realism is, read some notable novels written by mostly Latin American writers such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Isabel Allende (especially the former). If you pay attention, then you’ll know what I mean.

So, please, fellow writers, make me believe in your own world. Make me believe that your make-believe world is actually real. Do some research and find your inspiration before you start writing.