Junot Díaz on Worldbuilding 2 comments


colorful map

Some things to consider always when taking on a new world: What are its primary features—spatial, cultural, biological, fantastic, cosmological? What is the world’s ethos (the guiding beliefs or ideals that characterize the world)? What are the precise strategies that are used by its creator to convey the world to us and us to the world? How are our characters connected to the world? And how are we the viewer or reader or player connected to the world?

— excerpted from Junot Díaz’s Syllabi for His MIT Writing Classes

Can you answer those questions about your story world? What other factors do you take into consideration in your worldbuilding?


2 thoughts on “Junot Díaz on Worldbuilding

  • Sabina Giado

    I think these might be great questions to ask of your work if you’re going for something more stylistic rather than realistic. Not just for the sci-fi/fantasy writers.

  • Angel Mirou

    I agree with Sabina. The most successful experimental films are those where the world feels somehow coherent, no matter how strange. I’m thinking of Eraserhead, Mulholland Drive, Upstream Color, here in Spain Diamond Flash, even Un Chien Andalou… You may sit through them with a permanent WTF on your lips… The world-building works, all the same.

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