I LOVE Worldbuilding, but how do I cover it in my series?

So far, I have three books loosely planned (the second and third storylines still a WIP) in my fantasy/adventure series. I’ve created the whole world from scratch, even renaming humans and creating my own common plants and bugs. I love doing this! However, I don’t know how to cover everything I’ve created in just three books. The mythology, the different clothing and beauty standards, even the way the grass varies from faction to faction within the two countries mentioned in the series…how can I convey my love for the world of Vittefoeld within just three novels?

(Also, I’m not sure if I put this in the right category. Sorry if I did not!)

I’d say it’s the right category!

Hm. I suspect that your love for your world will come through in your writing without you having to specifically attempt that.

In terms of the aspects of worldbuilding, well some would likely be through your characters’ eyes (swearing by that goddess, telling the difference in what geographical area they’re in by the difference in the grasses, meeting someone from another area and the difference in the standards of clothing and beauty…).

And honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me if once you finish those three, there are more stories to be told!

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Honestly? You can’t. It’s almost impossible to show off that amount of world detail without it distracting from the story — just as the same holds true for sharing information about our own world. Some readers will appreciate the wealth of information, yes, but many will glaze over if you start infodumping.

However, there is a plus side to having all this worldbuilding detail: your world as it’s presented in the story will feel incredibly deep and believable. Even passing mentions of things which get no “screen time” will add to the depth of your setting.

And, if you do want to write about everything you’ve created for your world, why not write another book for it, perhaps in the style of an encyclopedia? That lets you stick your infodumps — including ones for things you had no opportunity to introduce in your novels — into a format where infodumps are not just accepted, but expected. Casual readers will glaze over infodumps in your novels, but fans love all the extra material they can get their hands on.

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Thank you both!!
Yes, I was thinking maybe I ought to take a leaf from Tolkien’s notes and write something akin to his lovely Silmarillion…
You have both been very helpful!! ^^

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A common method is for an important character to be a foreigner. It justifies obvious questions and allows for exposition you wouldn’t get with native characters.

That being said, some of my fave reads have been worlds where stuff isn’t explained and you have to deduce some things and wonder at the rest. It makes me want to read more!

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Showing worldbuilding in a novel can be compared to an iceberg. And yes, it’s a cliché, this comparison.

The part that shows above water is the things you can show in your novel without it being info dump-y or going into too much detail about everything. Or using the “As you know” dialogue all the time. The iceberg is ruined and will tip over and crush the story if you expose too much of the world.

But you can hint at the things that are below the surface, much like you can see glimpses of the bottom part of the iceberg if you look at the water and not at what you can see above the water. The iceberg will feel stable and not wibbly-wobbly. @krikkit_war_robot put to words the result:

This is something that you’re going to have to practice. It won’t come naturally at first because, hey, you’ve built an awesome world and you want to show it off. But write, rewrite, write something else, rewrite that, and eventually it’ll start coming naturally to you.

Also… (some) readers love figuring things out, like @StephanieRidiculous said. That moment when you’ve figured something out and then get another fact thrown at you by the author, confirming your “guess”… awesome. Makes the reader feel smart.

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First, tell yourself, you can always write more stories. You might know everything there is to know about some distant country that never directly affects the plot, but if it’s such an awesome place it deserves its own focus. You might not ever actually write stories that take place in those places, but just the knowledge that you could is often enough to let you give offhanded mentions that show the depth of the world rather than infodumps about irrelevant information.

Your characters are drinking tea from Namegenland? Just say they’re drinking tea from Namegenland. Maybe have one character bemoan how hard it is to get tea from Namegenland. Don’t go into a lengthy discussion on the history of the tea trade with Namegenland. Imagine that you could tell a story centered around Namegenlandish tea traders – but that’s not this story. Does that make sense?

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Yes! Thank you very much. I think I know how to go about this now. It’ll still be a difficult process, but if course, writing isn’t easy!

@StephanieRidiculous
Thank you! My MC is from the same country the book is about, but he has never been outside his faction, so maybe that will help. And, yes, I agree it is fun to guess and figure things out when reading, so hopefully I can get a bit of that mystery level in my own books.
@naava
Thanks, that was really inspiring! I always forget about the most useful writing comparisons, like the iceberg one. I’ll keep your advice in mind.

Thank you all for your replies!

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