B is for (world)building

This entry is part 4 of 18 in the series A to Z 2023

I think some of the best books that I’ve ever read have brilliant worldbuilding, which I think is essential. Being able to immerse myself in a new world, with a rich amount of background is important, and I think that’s why, beyond solid characters, is world building. From understanding the culture around everything that is going on with the characters, to the world they’re taking us through, experiencing and allowing us to experience it with them. (I’ll talk about unreliable narrators and how that affects how we experience things in a later post).

All in all, I think worldbuilding is critical. Too little, and it fails to support the story, too much, and it can be distracting.

Is the ‘setting’ another character?

In some cases, I’d say yes, though I’d be interested to hear from you. I personally think that in some cases, the setting is probably a character – it’s something we associate with, and can be just as unreliable or unsupportive, or supportive as the narrator. Whether it’s truly a character, or if it’s something that we just build into something extra is probably something to do with how we experience books, but I think a well crafted world can serve as a foil, an obstacle or a system of ways to highlight or detract from the characters.

Sparse worlds

The last two examples of my ‘great examples’ of well built worlds, below, has two books that include very sparse, but absolutely critical world-building. The worldbuilding itself happens while the book progresses, but also informs HOW the book progresses. Both the Martian, and Project Hail Mary by Andy Wier contain some of the best ‘sparse’ world-building I’ve ever seen.

Great examples of well built worlds

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Today’s post is sponsored by Cry Havoc, the first book in my Urban Fantasy series, Cry Havoc.

Series Navigation<< A is for All my BooksC is for Character >>


  1. Timothy S. Brannan

    Oh. Yes, this one will be a lot of fun really. Looking forward to it.

    I am looking forward to seeing what you do all month long!

    • D Kai Wilson-Viola

      I hope I’ve got enough subjects to cover it all.


  2. Zoe Davies

    I absolutely love worldbuilding! It’s one of the things that makes reading so great. I think it’s so important, and I think it can make a big difference in how well a story turns out. Some of my favorite books have worldbuilding that’s really brilliant – it makes the story so much more interesting. I want to know more about the world around the characters, and how it affects their lives.

  3. Anne Young

    Visiting from A to Z

    Creating a believable world is important so that the reader can visit and immerse themselves. It must be hard sometimes to avoid inconsistencies.

    • D Kai Wilson-Viola

      Yeah. I’m pretty bad at throwing up stuff and having to explain it away 🙂

      Thanks for visiting!



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