Worldbuilding – Down the rabbit hole

So, I haven’t updated the blog for a couple of weeks now. Why? I fell down the worldbuilding rabbit hole!

I was told the rabbit hole of detail-mania is a common problem when worldbuilding. You start with the basics and suddenly find you’ve described a minor character’s favourite snacks and the time they were three years old and… I figured I would be too organised and have more than enough willpower to withstand the pull of the rabbit hole. Guess what…? I was wrong!

I haven’t gone completely off the deep end. I’m still sticking to the most important details, but there’s just so much to think of. Every new trait or historical event I settle on invariably leads me to another five that haven’t occurred to me yet…

A big issue so far has been finding the right balance between historical accuracy and fantasy embellishments. Why? Because I plan on writing a low-fantasy set in our world but with fantasy elements that are of my own imagination. That means I have to do research for the accuracy of the “real” portions of my world and then let my imagination run wild with the fantasy elements I want to add. So far, coming up with a magic system, dragons and other imaginary creatures has been more fun than work, but no less demanding than researching the historical context and society my world will be set in. Both areas require an equal amount of focus and brainpower and trying to spend an equal amount of time on each is proving to be a challenge!

The main question I have rolling around my brain at present is: Should I stop worldbuilding now and start the actual writing? The thing is, I’m a perfectionist at heart. I can’t leave things almost, but not quite, done. And I know from experience that I find writing easier when I already have a good plan. So I ask myself – Have I got enough already? Can I add more later? The answer to both these questions is likely: yes! But this is a world I plan on “living” in for the next few years, a world I want to be as real and lifelike as I can possibly make it. So I guess that means I’ll continue worldbuilding until I can’t think of anything else to add.

By the looks of things, that might be a while… 😉

2 thoughts on “Worldbuilding – Down the rabbit hole

  1. Stuart Danker says:

    I have the opposite problem. I don’t build my worlds enough, and all my characters are cardboard cutouts and my worlds are unfleshed. Anyway, yes, you totally should start writing now!


    • S.Veelo Author says:

      Hey Stuart! Worldbuilding isn’t for everyone and I know quite a few authors that don’t worldbuild or plot and write amazing books! Never the less, don’t be too harsh on yourself with regards to your world and characters – we are our own worst critics and shouldn’t be most of the time!

      As for writing – for now, I’m happy worldbuilding, but I’m going to start writing soon – at least a little. I have some scenes that I need to get out of my head and onto the screen! Writing them down will free up some space in my head for other stuff! 😉


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