World Building in a story isn't as easy as doing so in a Sims
game. It, like it's video game counterpart, takes time, effort and practice. You can't just pick a random house off the gallery, buy it furnished and say done-zo.
Building a believable world in a novel takes a lot of planning whether it be all in your head or drawn out or written out on a piece of paper. Beforehand, you got to know multiple key things including:
- climate (is it tropical where it's more humid and hot with storms or is it a mixed climate with defined seasons? Does the weather change at the drop of a hat or is it more tamed?)
- any places of significance for your characters whether it be a childhood home or a special playground etc. Some place that would illicit an emotional response from them
- is it a fantasy world or somewhere closer to the world we live in?
- economic status of the area
Now, this isn't the entire list, that could go on for days, but these are some things to keep in mind when you're writing your story.
Building a world can also help establish the mood of the story. If your area is more run down, it can help build a more solemn mood or even one of danger or one of more urgency to change. Those are some things typically associate with such an environment, but doesn't mean it's the only possible mood. An example is the South Side of Chicago in the US version of the TV show Shameless. The characters there are more ragtag and mischevious, trouble following them like their shadow. Some are discontent with their lives while others bask in it, sucking every ounce of joy from the bottom of the liquor bottle. Many, like Lip and Ian, have learned to adapt. Carl, Lip, Ian and Fiona all had dreams to leave, some following through while others didn't. Some of their dreams came true in the South Side like Debbie and V.
Just because it's run down, doesn't mean there can't be lively, jovial communities where children frolic about, playing with their toys in the yard.
That's where world building can also flip clichés on its head. Most people expect there to be discontent. Not lively people who are genuinely happy even if their situations may not be the best. Some may be putting on a happy face, which is natural. But some may also be happy to be alive and living life to the fullest.
One thing mentioned is weather. Not only does it help establish the environment your characters live in, but it can also add to your mood and even foreshadow future events in your chapters. Sunshine and no clouds develop a more upbeat, sunny mood. Rain on its own relates back to sadness or a potential threat on the horizon. Because rain holds different intensities in the wild, you can use those to your advantage by using ut as a tool. The soft pitter patter of a developing storm can later show your character walking into a trap.
Movies are known for using some tricks like this. Thunder cracks right when the killer arrives/is unveiled/lost in a movie to create suspense but also as a sort of jump scare. One reason why it's raining or storming in a lot of different horror movies or in some crime movies/shows.
One thing I try to do is imagine the scene. Visualize it. From there, write what you see in, using as much necessary detail until you read it back over and are able to re-picture it in your head. When I write, I try and watch the scene develop in my head like a movie and write it from what I see and hear.
It won't instantly transform your writing but a gradual increase as you practice and develop your writing. Like I said before, it takes awhile to develop a style and find a way that works for you. One person's style isn't guaranteed to always work for everyone. It took me years to fully develop my tricks and style. Don't let that discourage you, though. Once you create your own, it's extremly rewarding and refreshing. And, your writing still evolves even when you think it doesn't. When I got back from a month long break, I read over something from what I wrote before it and what I wrote after was still different even after a month of not writing.
What I'm trying to say is practice. Find a way that works for you and run with it. I for one can't write any notes down whenever I'm writing. It just halts it all for me, all the excitement and everything. Others it works well. And the way I do it doesn't work for everyone. Which is why I say experiment.
Experimenting and being willing to try new things is key in writing.
Hope this helps any, and like always, ask any questions or suggest any chapter ideas in the comments below. Have a great day/night.