You can love or hate this saga but today’s post isn’t about that. It’s not my post actually, I just stumbled upon one interesting piece about what the latest movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens can teach us writers when it comes to storytelling. So I want to share with you Five Storytelling Lessons from the Force Awakens by Chuck Wendig.
You can skip the majority of the content in the post, but I recommend you to read the section “Worldbuilding can be about what you don’t show.” It’s really useful for writers to understand the power of less details in their books. Of course, you should use it carefully unless you don’t want to look lazy. But done beautifully, the missing of some details, more questions and more secrets will have your reader’s imagination running, making them co-create the world you sketched in your book, color it vividly and populate with so many details.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens shows us that sometimes less is more, and this works perfectly for worldbuilding. Of course, you can write plenty of pages describing your world, common rituals, how people are dressed usually, what odd creatures inhabit those lands, etc. trying to convey each and every detail you can imagine. But does your reader need this or does they even want this? Who cares about the history of royal emblem or some sacred ritual from faraway land when there’s not much happening in your story?
Better build your world on the go, dropping fit details here and there as your characters travel the world you made up, fight for their lives, look for shelter and love, flee from their nemesis, etc. Here’s an exercise for you: next time when doing your usual worldbuilding, try not to engulf a reader by details and descriptions, just give them some directions in the world and let them imagine it for themselves.
What do you think about all this? Let me know in the comments below.
Featured image by Vincentiu Solomon