Nicola here. There’s a meme going around on Facebook at the moment that is proving very popular. It asks: “You have been transported to the location in the last book you read. Where are you?” The answers flood in, from Scotland to the West Indies, from the New York of the future to London in 1515 and all times and places in between.
This meme set me thinking about world building, creating a setting that is real and vivid enough to make readers believe in it, literally to be transported there in their imaginations. Whether it is the fantasy world of a paranormal novel or the literally out-of-this world creation of science fiction, the writer faces the challenge of making it real for the reader. This happens in historical fiction as well, of course. We have a framework within which we set our stories; the era, the politics, the social history, fashions, etiquette etc and from within all that detail we craft a world that is compelling (I hope), a world which makes the reader feel that they are stepping back in time.