We see worldbuilding a great deal in fantasy and sci-fi books. It gives context for the otherworldly story and characters. I read an apt description which says good worldbuilding shows what the characters see; great worldbuilding shows what they may take for granted or even try to ignore.
I recently read Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko in which Ifueko does a wonderful job with her worldbuilding. For anyone who has read this book, you are immersed in the cultures of her characters and the myths at the foundation of her story. Her details are rich and vibrant whether it is hair or clothes or festival traditions. She incorporates a fantastic chanting/singing type of storytelling that drives the plot and celebrates an oral history tradition found in certain cultures.
Ifueko’s world is complex, and she merges the arcane aspects seamlessly. It is an ambitious plot, I think. Maybe too ambitious? I keep debating this with myself. But I do think that her worldbuilding is a great example for those who are interested in learning more about the craft. I can’t imagine I’m the only one who is curious about how she will create her underworld in her sequel.
I am currently writing a young adult, sci-fi novel, tentatively titled, Spirit Bending, which involves quite a bit of worldbuilding. Part of my world is its language. I’ve chosen the names of my characters, places, things, and animals to accent the world. The Korean language has inspired many of these names. Not that I’ve used the direct word in Korean. But I’ve played with the words so they will resonate with the world I’m creating.
So much can inspire our worldbuilding. It’s part of the joy of writing, to find these influences within our dreams and imagination or in the world at large.
Learn more about Jordan Ifueko’s book on Goodreads: Raybearer