About a year ago I started developing something like an alternative world. About two months a go I finally found some time for more work on this theme and now I am collecting information from few science disciplines to develop proper background for my story. Now I have information from history, security studies, demography, psychology, personalities and a bit of biology.

Which subjects do I need to learn more for my world to be complete and thus begin the story?

  • I am unsure what you are asking, due to your title. What you are describing is worldbuilding, not development. Your title, however, is asking for development. Worldbuilding is where you build your world, the people in it, the society, etc. Development, to me anyway, deals with aspects of writing such as plot, characters, and stakes. Are you looking for how to get started in development, or are you looking for the next steps you should take in worldbuilding? Jun 2 '15 at 16:45

Here are some specific ideas to help you get started. First of all and most importantly:

You must understand the core challenge you are facing.

You are facing the overwhelming challenge at the start of writing a story that many writers face and run from. You have all of this information compiled and in some ways you feel as if it is too much. It overwhelms the mind about how you would organize it. (This is an emotional challenge -- for more read my article Great Debate: Can You Learn To Write From a Book?)

Next, there are some specific things to focus on to distract your mind from the overwhelming nature of the work.

Focus on Specifics to Distract the Mind

  1. Think In Scenes
  2. Write Extremely fast draft

Let's go over each of those and see how they might help you:

Think In Scenes

Understand that readers want to see your story played out on the "movie-screen" of their minds. This is when the words transform from words into images that the readers "see".
Now, instead of thinking about all of your research, go ahead and imagine a scene that would show your character in some type of trouble that s/he needs to work out of.

Character's Self-Concept Can Create Tension

Additionally, if you understand your character's self-concept, you may even provide tension as the character has to do something that goes against what she believes of herself. You can read more about the power of self-concept in my article : Easiest Way To Get Fiction Ideas: Self-concept Against the World

But allow me to show you how you might do that here. Suppose your character is kidnapped and taken to a hotel in the desert. Later he escapes into the desert and the kidnapper is following him. He's trapped and the only way out is through a very small opening at the base of the mountain. However, your character is extremely claustrophobic (afraid of small places). Now, there is some tension which will grab your reader.

Write Extremely Fast Draft Instead of focusing on all of that overwhelming research,

focus on writing the shortest possible version of your story

Imagaine if you were going to write a flash-fiction version of your story. How might you do that? Tell only the shortest snippet of what would communicate your story to a FTR (First-time Reader). How might you do that?


Scene 1 Early Monday morning Henry is eating his egg & cheese breakfast sandwich when he steps into the lobby of his bank. Someone pushes in behind him and he drops his sandwich. Before looking at the rude person Henry blurts out, "You idiot. What's the rush, fella?"

The man, in a long black coat and a hat pulled down over his brow, turns, pulls a gun out of from the coat and points it at Henry. "I need to make a quick withdrawal. And you'll do just fine."

Scene 2 The bank robber shoved Henry into the back of the green sedan, looked at the guy behind the wheel and said, "Drive. We've got about 1 minute head start." The driver gunned the engine and Henry slammed into the back seat then rolled into the floor before he could brace himself. The sound of sirens blared through the air and the chase was on.

Scene 3 Back at the hideout, the driver asked the robber, "what we going to do with the dead-weight" and he jerked his thumb toward Henry. "We'll drive out to the desert, kill him and dump him."

Get Something Done

If you really do this, you'll get something done. You're brain will relax from all the overwhelming information. Plus, you'll get the benefit to see where things work or dont' work very quickly in your story.

Hope this helps. Good luck and get started.

Keep on learning, keep on writing.

  • 1
    I deeply thanks both of you. In fact. You are right both. Now i am deep in my research, making small notes about story itself and its tensions, but i thought that i need to have pinpointed world first to create my characters and story to be understandable. I will try to write some small parts of it and try to shatter whole story in to pieces in the beginning. You have my deep thanks.
    – Ernedar
    Jun 3 '15 at 11:25

It seems you have a lot of information that you've gathered, you have a strong idea of how your world works and the people it contains.

Maybe it is time to start compiling some stories around the data that you've got. It doesn't need to be your primary novel, just some short stories to help you get the feel for who your characters are and how they react to their environment, and each other.

Once you have that, and to some degree parallel to that, start thinking about the overarching plot of your primary story, break it down into smaller story arcs.

most aspiring writers get bogged down in the writing, without the research, I wonder if you're getting yourself bogged down in research without the writing.

Start writing, get feedback, and use that to understand what you need to learn next.

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