The Course Objectives for Create A World Clinic

These are from the INTRODUCTION. (Again, first draft, may be buggy as hell. I just finished writing them and have not checked.)

Course Objectives

By completion of Create A World Clinic, you will know and be able to effectively use the following:

The Three Building Blocks of Worldbuilding

The Dot World.

You’ll be able to identify and build Dot worlds and recognize the situations for which they’re a complete solution to your story problem—as well as those for which they’re only an appropriate starting point.

You’ll also build several Dot worlds.

The Line World.

You’ll be able to identify and build Line worlds, recognize when, along with Dot worlds, they’re the appropriate and complete solution for your story problem, and understand the story needs that will require you to add more extensive development.

You’ll also build several Line worlds.

The Tube of Toothpaste World.

You will be able to identify and build Tube of Toothpaste worlds without overbuilding them, and will be able identify the situation where your story will need this expanded development.

You’ll build at least one Tube of Toothpaste world.

The Three Universe Types for Writers

The Container Universe.

All single stand-alone stories, including single stand-alone novels, live inside container universes. So do some story and novel series. You’ll understand what defines a container universe, and when it’s appropriate for the story or stories you want to write.

You’ll also build out the core stubs of a container universe.

The Knowable Universe.

Both knowable and infinite universes are the exclusive domains of series writers, but not all series writers will need either a knowable or an infinite universe. So you’ll learn to identify the writing goals and story objectives that will require you to develop a knowable universe for a series world.

And then you’ll build out the core stubs of a knowable universe.

The Infinite Universe.

Finally, you’ll learn to identify the writing goals and story objectives that will require you to develop and infinite universe for a series, and you’ll build out the core stub of an infinite universe.

The Four Reasons Writers Worldbuild

Worldbuilding for Story Ideas

If writers consider worldbuilding at all, writing for story ideas is not usually something they consider. Yet it is the #1 reason to worldbuild. You’re facing a blank page with a blank mind and no enthusiasm; you’re at the beginning of a new scene and searching for strong conflict; you’re struggling for characterization to distinguish a bunch of cookie-cutter characters; or, you can’t locate a plot with spotlights and bloodhounds.

In this section, you’ll worldbuild your way out of each of these problems quickly and easily.

Worldbuilding for Story Fixes

Even writers who worldbuild regularly almost never realize that sane worldbuilding is the fastest and most effective technique for: Turning dead thirty-page novel starts into living, working novels; getting your characters out of corners into which you wrote them; coming up for a compelling ‘what happens next’ when you’ve gone blank; and, when all hope is gone, finding the way to save the life of one character you desperately do not want to kill. (Sometimes.)

You’ll learn how to do all of these things, and more.

Worldbuilding for Continuity

Many writers who worldbuild—or who know of worldbuilding—consider it a valid technique for making sure they can get their characters from Point A to Point B in the amount of time they said they could.

But you can also build clear, visual timelines, track character and story changes, correct developmental errors you created in previous books of series WITHOUT having to rewrite earlier books, AND get your folks from Point A to Point B with a number of different worldbuilding techniques. Some are plain. Some are fancy. One made me crazy.

But I got two complete novels (at this writing, one—Warpaint—is in print, and one—The Wishbone Conspiracy—is in development) out of the single-question worldbuilding fix I did for one worldbuilding mistake I made seventeen years earlier.

Worldbuilding for Immersion

This is the main reason most writers can think of for building worlds. You create world details, and describe them, and readers read your descriptions, and fall in love with your world. So writers tend to create tons of unnecessary and pointless details, and miss honing in on the ones that are useful for active description.

So you’re going to learn how to leave out the clutter, and create just those details that really matter. It makes keeping track of what you’ve built much easier. It saves you unbelievable amounts of time. And you’ll get better books.

Write Your Sample Story

Finally, to make sure you can apply the concepts taught here, you’ll use my walkthrough to write one six-scene short story, using the techniques you’ve learned in this course to get from start to finish.
You’ll end up with a first draft story that will need revision and editing (which are both beyond the scope of this course)…but if you do the walkthrough, you will have a completed piece of work you can then revise, edit, and submit. Or self-publish.

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

10 comments… add one
  • Heather Aug 1, 2013 @ 13:27

    How much longer on this clinic? I know you have a pile of stuff to do, but I’ve bought all the other “Create a…” clinics and have been waiting for this one for a couple years. It is, no offense meant, the only reason I’m still on your mailing list. I don’t have the ready funds for your bigger courses but have been able to scrape together the cost of “Create a Language” and the rest. I love them. I can’t even TELL you how much I’m looking forward to “World.”

    • Holly Aug 2, 2013 @ 4:49

      I’m in the middle of the Maps section, and realized that I simply could not TELL everything you need to have access to when you’re doing maps, so I’m temporarily waylaid putting together a downloadable resource list, which, once I have it done, will go with the step-by-step on how you USE the list to get the map you need.

      I’m in the last section: Delve In the Geek Deeps—but because this covers Maps, Artifacts, and Races and Species, I still have a ways to go.

      • Heather Aug 2, 2013 @ 10:09

        I approve of Geek Deeps, being sort of a multi-purpose geek myself. Thanks for the response!

      • Nicole Aug 26, 2013 @ 6:23

        Hi, I’m waiting too. I no longer have my original Create A Language Clinic. I want this book and the Create A Culture Clinic, to ungment the Writer’s Digest Guide to Science Fiction and Fantasy I just got. I forgot that just has chapters. Is your Series writing course self-ppaced? I got a webinar from Writer’s Digest I want to ugment with this course, as long as it’s self-paced, so I can take time to work on it. Why such a high price, and can I get a discount?

        • Holly Aug 27, 2013 @ 11:06

          If you purchased Language Clinic or Culture Clinic from me, you can download them from:
          http://shop.hollylisle.com/

          Sign into your account and re-download them.

          The series course is self-paced. The price is because A) the course works, B) it is my process, C) it has taken me more than a quarter of a century to learn how to do what I do, and D) I have done what I teach in the course for a living since 1991, getting better at it and refining my processes the entire time. People who take the course learn what I know. Many go on to publish.

          No, you can’t get a discount. Existing students of mine who are taking How To Think Sideways: Career Survival School for Writers, or How To Revise Your Novel: Get the Book You Want from the Wreck You Wrote get discounts.

          Everyone else pays full price.

  • Chara Jun 27, 2013 @ 14:07

    Hello, I’d like to know when this is coming up. 🙂
    I’ve been waiting for it 😀
    I have all your clinics and they have been more than helpful but since I am currently trying to make my own world, I was wondering when this is coming out so I can enjoy it :3
    your books are always so helpful. Thank you.

  • Michelle Jan 15, 2013 @ 16:29

    I am so excited about this. It sounds awesome. I cannot wait to get Create a World and try it out.

  • Jennifer Jan 15, 2013 @ 13:47

    Holly, your ability to create enticing metaphors makes me envious as hell. I love your clinic outline… The writerly equivalent of going past a pastry shop and smelling the warm sweet bread.

    cheers
    Jennie

  • Jen of Hens Jan 15, 2013 @ 12:46

    Holly – you might want to add “building anticipation” to your long list of accomplishments. I’m actually drooling over these descriptions much to the detriment of my keyboard.

    And another 325 words for a tiny paid gig. Almost painless. And I learned of another part of this world – one that may appear in a story…

  • RNFrancis Jan 15, 2013 @ 8:32

    Cool. I have gleaned so many useful techniques from your courses, I’m excited to read your advice on entire worlds.
    My own WIP is zeroing in on the finish line at 73-74k now with only minor adjustments in the last stage of editing. I seem to have a real problem with writing down description the first time through.

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