Novel Writing Questions No. 7: World-Planning Or Story-Planning First

Okay, I’m moving away from structure questions and more into pre-writing questions.

When you’re writing a novel, do you write the world first or the story first? If you’re writing a fantasy or science fiction novel set in an alternate universe or a different planet, the choice may seem obvious but, if you want a great everlasting story and not just an atlas with some antics going on in the background, you do need to give the story a lot of thought. Which means that should get precedence.

But, if you don’t have a well-thought out world, then you may be throwing away the most memorable thing your story has to offer. So, a lot of time needs to be devoted to it, especially if it turns out one of the elements is crucial to a character or a story.

So, over to you. What should a writer consider first? The world or the story?

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One thought on “Novel Writing Questions No. 7: World-Planning Or Story-Planning First

  1. Before I write a story, I determine the climax, how it is resolved, and how that resolution reveals to the reader the theme/meaning. For me, a story’s theme is the most important thing, and I create characters and a world to support that theme.

    Liked by 1 person

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