How to Build a World

Tips to help your story feel more real

Due to requests, I'll be re-recording this workshop and expanding. Please check back.

This was originally part of WONDER QUEST hosted by Maram Taibah. This event has ended. Thank you to those who joined us.

Worldbuilding tips for beginners: Do you have an idea but don't know how to implement it? Or a vague notion of an idea but aren't sure how to focus it into a believable story?

This workshop is for you.

Brought to you by NYT & USAT Bestseller Michelle M. Pillow.

Scroll down to get the free accompanying worksheet!

Michelle M. Pillow®


Tell Your Story!

How to Build a World Worksheets PLUS Bonus Tips from Bestselling Authors


make sure you come back once you do! 
Scroll down to check out more inspirational tips from bestselling authors, as well as additional resources to help you on your author journey! I'll add more as I find good ones!


Love reading romance?
Click here to join my mailing list and receive two of my fan favorite books FREE!

Did you find me helpful? Please share the workshop with your writer friends:

Meet the Speaker!

Michelle M. Pillow

Michelle M. Pillow® is a NY Times and USA TODAY Bestselling Romance and Cozy Mystery Author with over a million books sold. Romance Writers of America has recognized her for publishing over 100 titles.

Michelle loves to travel and try new things, whether it's a paranormal investigation of an old Vaudeville Theatre or climbing Mayan temples in Belize. She's involved with various film and historical documentary projects with her filmmaker husband.

Come say hello! She loves talking with readers on social media!

Michelle M. Pillow
NYT & USAT Bestselling Author

More Tips from the Pros!

"If you don't write it, you have nothing to be an author about." 
- Michelle M. Pillow, NYT & USAT Bestseller

"Go crazy! Go nuts! Build your ideal world with every fantastical idea you can imagine. Then compare it to other books in your genre and scale it back. Balance your author soul with reader desires."

Celia Kyle
NY Times & USA TODAY Bestselling Author and Owner of Read, Write, Hustle

"Pay as much attention to your character's actions as their words. You can create complexity and intrigue by having them say one thing and do another."

April Aasheim
USA TODAY Bestselling Author

"Your rough draft is a giant slab of rough stone that you’ve just begun to whittle. Your final draft is a beautiful marble statue. 

In between these two phases, you will want to throw your computer at the wall. That’s okay."

Carina Wilder
NY Times & USA TODAY Bestselling Author

"ABC's - Apply Butt to Chair. It is the discipline to finish more than anything that makes a project happen."

Candice Gilmer
NY Times & USA TODAY Bestselling Author

“An ounce of prep work goes a long way. Spending a little time upfront can save you a lot of headache down the road.”

Mandy M. Roth
NY Times & USA TODAY Bestselling Author

"Don't genre hop. Find something that works and stick with it."

Cara Bristol
USA TODAY Bestselling Author

“Loved ones, knowing I’m a writer, will often send me links to any articles or posts or headlines they find strange or interesting. This is one fun way they can participate in my awesome career."

Cynthia Sax
USA TODAY Bestselling Author

"Research, research, research. In world building, the devil (or God) is in the details, even those details you don't put on the page. The wonders of your book world are made more so by the small trappings of the mundane."

Grace Draven
USA TODAY Bestselling Author

"Dedicate as much time as possible to studying craft. [...] Join writer's groups and find critique partners. Do NOT ask successful authors to hand feed you. If you can't research, you can't write a novel. Set daily word count goals. The mind is lazy and needs to be trained to work creatively just as the body needs to be trained to exercise."

Jana DeLeon
NY Times, Wall Street Journal & USA TODAY Bestselling Author

"You'll be fine as long as you love writing enough to do it even when you hate it. Which is 90% of the time. The good news is that the other 10% of the time when everything clicks it is freaking magic." 

Renee George
USA TODAY Bestselling Author

"Don't suffer from comparisonitis by holding up your beginning efforts against a veteran author's career. Work hard today, work harder tomorrow, and enjoy the journey. This creative calling is not a sprint."

Aria Bancroft
Fantasy Author

"Be consistent, and don't box yourself into world rules too much in the beginning. Let them grow over the series." 

Yasmine Galenorn
Publishers Weekly, NY Times & USA TODAY Bestselling Author

"Done is better than perfect! In other words, just write the first draft - go ahead and let it out! Trust yourself (and your editor) to improve the next draft, but don't let a quest for perfection stop you from writing at all."

Tasha Black
USA TODAY Bestselling Author

"Keep your childlike sense of wonder and imagination and absolutely anything can become a story idea."

Evangeline Anderson
USA TODAY Bestselling Author

"In worldbuilding don't detail everything out, paint broad strokes when you start, that way you can let it grow naturally."

Miranda Martin
Bestselling Science Fiction Author

“Read more than you write.”

Scarlett Dawn
NY Times & USA TODAY Bestselling Author

“I love to take two ordinary ideas to create something extraordinary. For example: Pandora’s box + blame men = Lords of the Underworld. 

I use this method with characters too. If a power or weapon has a positive, it also has to have a negative. For example: possessed by a demon that makes the warrior stronger...but also comes with a specific curse, like pain for telling the truth because he is possessed by lies.

Gena Showalter
NY Times & USA TODAY Bestselling Author

Additional Resources!

Free Workbook: Delve deeper into world-building with NYT Bestseller Celia Kyle of Read, Write, Hustle.
Every author of fantasy, science fiction, and paranormal books struggles with worldbuilding and keeping track of all those little quirks about their worlds. Never lose track of those nit-picky details again with this 22 PAGE worldbuilding workbook. FREE at the time of this workshop: LEARN MORE HERE!

Book: 5,000 WRITING PROMPTS: A Master List of Plot Ideas, Creative Exercises, and More by Bryn Donovan 
This "excellent resource" recommendation comes from the fabulous award-winning author Leigh Duncan.
Buy the book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Nook | Kobo | Apple Books

Book: Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass
Highly recommended by NYT, USAT, and WSJ bestselling author, Jana Deleon.
Buy the book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Nook | Kobo | Apple Books

Workbook: Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook by Donald Maass
Buy the book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Nook 

Book: Elements of Fiction Writing - Scene & Structure by Jack Bickham
Highly recommended by NYT, USAT, and WSJ bestselling author, Jana Deleon.
Buy the book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Nook | Kobo | Apple Books

Copyright Michelle M. Pillow® 2019 - All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy