LESSON 3: The Importance of "Believable Worlds"

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Return to: ETAP 623 Spring 2019 Section 5933 (Byrne) | Creative Writing in the Modern Classroom

Lesson 3: The Importance of “Believable Worlds”

Topic: What is “world-building” and the importance of “believable worlds”

Objective: Use your journal to complete the following informative project.

Project 1: What is “world-building” in creative writing? This broad umbrella term has been used through decades of creative writers’ work and has even permeated into video game design, film production, and tabletop RPG (roleplay games).

“World-building” refers to the process of designing and constructing a fictional world. Creating an imaginary setting for readers employs high-level Blooms Taxonomy vocabulary. Students who write creatively are actively planning, devising, creating, and constructing a world for their reader. They must judge and criticize small details about their worlds in order to make sure that the reader believes the setting they’ve created, which requires examining outside texts and resources to pull together a credible narrative. Watch the following short video on How to Build a Fictional World by author Kate Messner:

Now that you’ve seen this video, answer the questions built into your journal under the heading “World Building Definition.”

Project 2:

For our next project, you’ll need to add an editable copy of this Google Drawing graphic organizer to your Google Drive in the same fashion that you saved your journal. To edit it, click in any of the outside boxes and begin typing.

Below is a variety of resources where you can learn more about creating believable worlds. Choose 3 to read over, and make some notes in the graphic organizer about the importance of believable worlds, or how to create them. Pick sources that you feel most comfortable reading, or that matter to you.

Blog Format:
Inks and Quill's "Writing 101: Setting and Worldbuilding"

Reedsy's "Worldbuilding: the Master Guide (with Template)"

Nina Munteanu's "The Art & Science of World Building: The Tools You Need to Make a Believable World"

Academic Research
"Believable Worlds:The Rules, Role and Function of Magic in Fantasy Novels" by The University of Waikato graduate student (Chapter 1, starting on page 25)

"World Goin’ One Way, People Another: Subcreation and Politics in The Wire" by Evan Higgins for Comparative Media Studies

"Believability and Interaction in Virtual Worlds" by MIRALab researchers are the University of Geneva

Ready to move on? Unit 2: Student Choice, a Tool for Better Lesson Plans