Link Feast For Writers, vol. 19 – World Building

Every writer needs world building (a.k.a. setting), regardless of a genre. Good setting creates and enchances the conflict of the story, and anchors your characters in their world. What characters want and need has no meaning without a context and history.

Hence a big part of the links this week focuses on world building. And well, also because it’s a favourite hobby of mine 😉

You can find the regular features (writing, author platform, deep stuff etc.) when you scroll down further. Happy browsing.


If You Have Time For Only One Thing:

More than Magic & Gadgets–Taking Science Fiction and Fantasy to Another Level by Kristen Lamb


World Building

How Much World Building Should You Do Before Writing the Novel? by Lynn Viehl

Building a World from Top-Down, Bottom-Up or Sideways by Sofie Bird

World Building Do’s by Lynn Viehl

World Building No No’s by Lynn Viehl

The Elevator Speech For Your Setting by Berin Kinsman(After the first paragraphs the advice might not be 100% applicable to writing since it’s aimed for roleplaying games)

Information Density, or, Cramming a Fifty Pound Sausage in a Five-Pound Sack (Swan Tower)

Creating a Story Bible by Suzanne Johnson

Your Writer’s Bible by Sofie Bird

World Building Questions by Patricia C. Wrede

Building Secondary Worlds by Mark Charan Newton

Using Tarot Cards to Create a World by Raeyn Barclay

Drawing Inspiration From Further Afield: Fantasy Set In Non-Western Cultures by Aliette Bodard

World Building 101 by Charlie Stross

World Building Heuristics by Charlie Stross

“The ratio of the near future is: 90% of it is just like today, 9% is stuff that is on the drawing boards, and 1% is unutterably strange and alien and unexpected.” – Charlie Stross

World Building: Psychology by Charlie Stross

World Building: The Unknown by Charlie Stross

Lost and Found: The Orphaned Hero in Myth, Folklore, and Fantasy by Terri Windling

Overused Tropes of Fantasy (Roleplaying Tips)

Medieval Demographics Made Easy. Numbers For Fantasy World

9 to 5: Character Jobs in Fantasyland by S.B. Stewart-Laing

10 Divine Concepts (Roleplaying Tips)

Magic? It’s Complicated (Old Words for Old Worlds)

Sanderson’s First Law of Magic by Brandon Sanderson

Sanderson’s Second Law of Magic by Brandon Sanderson

Magic Systems by Juliette Wade

How To Keep Your Story’s Superpowers/Magic Extraordinary by B. McKenzie


On Writing

Reading Like a Writer by Patricia C. Wrede

Making the Most of Ideas – The Fear by David B. Coe

Story Elements Checklist by Alexandra Sokoloff

Complicated Webs & Pacing by Patricia C. Wrede

Micro & Macro Levels of Writing by Patricia C. Wrede

Deep Characters For Plot-First Writers by Suzanne Johnson

6 Tricks Movies Use To Make Sure You Root the Right Guy by C. Coville at

Making Your Book Memorable: Creating Moments by Roni Loren

Michael Hauge’s Workshop: An Antidote To Love At First Sight by Jami Gold

Michael Hauge’s Workshop: Are These Characters the Perfect Match? by Jami Gold

5 Ways To Respect Your Writing by Krissy Brady

Why Write Short Stories by Sandra Wickham

Idea Prompt: Fairytale/Myth + Genre/Setting by Sofie Bird

Stand Out In The Slushpile: Some Basic Tips by Erika Holt


Author Platform, Blogging & Social Media

How To Create Your Own Brand & Find Your Voice by Marie Forleo (5:08 min video)

Digital Self-Publishing Checklist by Lori Devoti

Advertising Your Freebie eBooks by Karin Cox

Building a Following: The Four Types of Bloggers by Roni Loren

Why I Quit Blogging (and What To Do If You’re Struggling) by Jon Morrow

5 Ways To Systemize Your Blogging by Nick Thacker

How To Legally Use Your Own Photos On Your Blog by Melinda Van Lone

8 Ways To Grow Your Social Media Footprint by Jenny Hansen

How To Build A Rabid Following On Twitter To Promote Your Blog Posts by Jon Morrow (4:56 min video)

Facebook For Authors: Understanding EdgeRank by Chris Robley


Collected Wisdom

Twitterific by Elizabeth Spann Craig (August 12)

Friday Features by Yesenia Vargas (August 10)

World Building Resources by Juliette Wade

(In case you are wondering, there are no links to Gene Lempp’s Blog Treasures and Roni Loren’s Friday Features this week because those formats were on a short break)


Deep Stuff

5 Important Things I Learned Teaching Autistic Kids by Jenny Hansen

Modern Heroes by Kim Vandervort

Sisterhood by Karin Rita Gastreich

Chasing a Storm & Finding One Inside by Lara Zielin


Fun Stuff

Behold Fantastic (Pinterest boards for lovers of history and fantasy)

Immortal Monday: Death Deities & Meg Cabot’s Abandon by Debra Kristi

10 Fantasy Must Reads by Patricia C. Wrede

When Giants Walked the Earth by Ash Silverlock

5 Fresh Urban Fantasy Books To Read

So many great books, too little time. That’s the plight of avid readers as new promising releases come out every month.

My to-read list is a mile long. Here are 5 Urban Fantasy highlights from it.


Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for magic… One moment magic dominates, and cars stall and guns fail. The next, technology takes over and the defensive spells no longer protect your house from monsters. Here skyscrapers topple under onslaught of magic; werebears and werehyenas prowl through the ruined streets; and the Masters of the Dead, necromancers driven by their thirst of knowledge and wealth, pilot blood-crazed vampires with their minds.

In this world lives Kate Daniels. Kate likes her sword a little too much and has a hard time controlling her mouth. The magic in her blood makes her a target, and she spent most of her life hiding in plain sight. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, she must choose to do nothing and remain safe or to pursue his preternatural killer. Hiding is easy, but the right choice is rarely easy…


How To Ditch Your Fairy by Justine LarbalestierHow To Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier

If you lived in a world where everyone had a personal fairy, what kind would you want?

A clothes-shopping fairy (The perfect outfit will always be on sale!)
A loose-change fairy (Pretty self-explanatory.)
A never-getting-caught fairy (You can get away with anything. . . .)

Unfortunately for Charlie, she’s stuck with a parking fairy-if she’s in the car, the driver will find the perfect parking spot. Tired of being treated like a personal parking pass, Charlie devises a plan to ditch her fairy for a more useful model. At first, teaming up with her archenemy (who has an all-the-boys-like-you fairy) seems like a good idea. But Charlie soon learns there are consequences for messing with fairies-and she will have to resort to extraordinary measures to set things right again.


Blackbirds by Chuck WendigBlackbirds by Chuck Wendig

Miriam Black knows when you will die.

Still in her early twenties, she’s foreseen hundreds of car crashes, heart attacks, strokes, suicides, and slow deaths by cancer. But when Miriam hitches a ride with truck driver Louis Darling and shakes his hand, she sees that in thirty days Louis will be gruesomely murdered while he calls her name.

Miriam has given up trying to save people; that only makes their deaths happen. But Louis will die because he met her, and she will be the next victim. No matter what she does she can’t save Louis. But if she wants to stay alive, she’ll have to try.


Unholy Ghosts by Stacia KaneUnholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane

The world is not the way it was. The dead have risen, and the living are under attack. The powerful Church of Real Truth, in charge since the government fell, has sworn to reimburse citizens being harassed by the deceased. Enter Chess Putnam, a fully tattooed witch and freewheeling ghost hunter. She’s got a real talent for banishing the wicked dead.

But Chess is keeping a dark secret: She owes a lot of money to a murderous drug lord named Bump, who wants immediate payback in the form of a dangerous job that involves black magic, human sacrifice, a nefarious demonic creature, and enough wicked energy to wipe out a city of souls. Toss in lust for a rival gang leader and a dangerous attraction to Bump’s ruthless enforcer, and Chess begins to wonder if the rush is really worth it. Hell, yeah.


Restorer by Amanda StevensThe Restorer (The Graveyard Queen) by Amanda Stevens

My name is Amelia Gray. I’m a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts. In order to protect myself from the parasitic nature of the dead, I’ve always held fast to the rules passed down from my father. But now a haunted police detective has entered my world and everything is changing, including the rules that have always kept me safe.

It started with the discovery of a young woman’s brutalized body in an old Charleston graveyard I’ve been hired to restore. The clues to the killer—and to his other victims—lie in the headstone symbolism that only I can interpret. Devlin needs my help, but his ghosts shadow his every move, feeding off his warmth, sustaining their presence with his energy. To warn him would be to invite them into my life. I’ve vowed to keep my distance, but the pull of his magnetism grows ever stronger even as the symbols lead me closer to the killer and to the gossamer veil that separates this world from the next.


What’s on your to-read list right now? Why did those books catch your attention? And what books have been on the list for a long time?


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