World Building Tips

Great tips for building your story-world, no matter what genre your writing in!

Writing and Illustrating


This perfect January illustration was sent in by Joanne Friar, who was featured on Illustrator Saturday – March 10, 2012. I love how she has built a winter world around her three characters. She is represented by Christina Tugeau.

Your job as a writer is to build a world around your characters to make readers forget they’re reading a book, to convince them that they’re inside a true experience, and that they are witness to a world that exists beyond the page. We tend to think more about world building when writing and fantasy or sci-fi, but this is true for every book. You can’t make your story about life in the 70’s, being lost in the woods, or your novel about protagonist getting hooked on drugs, if your don’t bring that world to life for the reader. The writer who immerses their audience into the world your story lives in…

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Voice4Society Feature!

I’m excited to announce that one of my stories has been featured on the Voice4Society blog! You can find it here (it’s split up into three parts):

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:

I was inspired to write this story after coming home from a mission trip to India. After hearing about the Voice4Society’s Star Search Writing Contest, I decided to submit it. I wanted others to know this little girl’s story! Needless to say, I’m feeling super blessed to have won and to be featured! Huge thanks to everyone at Voice4Society! 🙂

Hope everyone’s having an awesome weekend!

The Author Extension Community

Really excited about this new writing community! Join in and start learning!

Shannon A Thompson

It’s a new year and so much has changed already. My publisher – AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc. – has cranked its gears and remodeled itself for the future. Instead of being a simple publisher, we are now an open and growing community of writers, cover artists, and editors supporting one another. You don’t have to be published by AEC or spend money to participate. The website is designed for everyone to connect in one place. This website is for you, and hopefully, by the end of this piece, you’ll want to check out The Author Extension Community and/or join it. It’s a great place for authors to support one another as well as readers to come and meet them. We simply need people to help us spread the word, and I’ll give you three, great reasons to do it:

1. The website has many places where you and your work…

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First-Draft Celebrations + What’s Next


I haven’t blogged since November, when I waved goodbye and dove into the hectic sea of NaNoWriMo. And I have a few pretty good reasons for not being around since then–which I’m sure you don’t want to hear about.

But I will tell you this: I won. NaNoWriMo? Finished, with days to spare. My first draft of my first novel? Yeah, it has the words “THE END” scribbled at the end of it. And I might be a *little* proud.

Although I hit 50k words before the end of November, my book was nowhere near done. Working through December, I finally finished the 31st, celebrating the new year with an actual novel under my belt. I didn’t do it by myself, though. Supportive friends, family, and writing buddies are who kept me going. So to all of you: THANK YOU! A first draft may not seem like a huge deal, but it’s definitely a milestone for me.

What’s next for my writing:

  • Short stories and flash fiction, some of which I’ve submitted to different competitions. It’s definitely helpful to focus on these smaller stories as I try to distance myself from my novel (so editing can happen with fresh eyes!).
  • Although this probably should have been done before NaNoWriMo, I’ve finally been putting the pieces together and mapping out the whole series I’m writing. It feels so good to finally get all of these ideas on paper. And, it’s just plain fun to make connections and make paths cross throughout the entire series–it’s making me fall in love with my story all over again!
  • Meeting my daily writing goals with this amazing book. Seriously, you need to check this joker out.
642 THINGS TO WRITE ABOUT by The San Francisco Writers' Grotto

642 THINGS TO WRITE ABOUT by The San Francisco Writers’ Grotto

These just aren’t your average writing prompts. I don’t want to give everything away, but here are a few of my favorite ones so far:

~The next sound you hear and what caused it.

~The end of the world.

~Write a scene that begins with, “It was the first time I killed a man.”

This book was a given to me as a Christmas gift. I can’t get enough of it! There are tons of potential story ideas, for novel-length works and short prose.

And that’s that! Happy Saturday! 🙂