As a fantasy writer, I have learned the importance of world building. Interestingly enough, world building is not limited to fictitious worlds. All books need to make the setting (culture, geography, etc.) real for the reader. Having a clear picture of your character’s world also helps with the writing process.
Below are three links I found helpful. I hope you do as well.
1. This link will take you to an extensive list of questions on the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America’s website: “Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions” by Patricia C. Wrede (http://www.sfwa.org/2009/08/fantasy-worldbuilding-questions/). These questions will help you to fully develop your world.
2. Chuck Sambuchino’s blog post, “Tips on World Building for Writers – How to Make Your Imaginary World Real” (http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/tips-on-world-building-for-writers-how-to-make-your-imaginary-world-real) provides guides for what sort of information is crucial to thorough world building. I think this article is the most helpful for writers whose stories take place in our world.
3. For writers who hate to do a lot of prep work, check out Victoria Strauss’s article, “An Impatient Writer’s Approach to World Building” (http://www.victoriastrauss.com/advice/world-building/).