Creating worlds rests only in the power of gods and authors like Sir Terry Pratchett. A world renowned British author, satirist and knight, Sir Terry Pratchett weaved his own world into the pages of novels in a collection called “Discworld”.
Terry Pratchett published his first of the Discworld series, “The Colour of Magic”, in 1983 when he was 35 years old. The series grew to be 41 books in length, and it features many locations and time periods within Discworld itself.
I won’t ever be able to give a proper explanation of what Discworld is, but Pratchett’s website can straighten out all the details I don’t mention.
“The Colour of Magic”
“The Colour of Magic” as the first installment of the series is perfect. The story features a disgraced wizard, Rincewind, and a tourist vying to travel all over the Disc with his magical luggage, Twoflower.
Rincewind and Twoflower battle dragons, pirates and demons while having no real goal except exploration and survival, which adds to the hilarity of the misfortune the incur.
By the end of the novel, it leaves readers the drive to crawl all over Discworld to interact with the crazy people that reside there. This want to explore Sir Terry Pratchett’s fantasy haven is from his extraordinary capability to imagine a world of chaos and magic that feels like it could exist.
I regard Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld to be one of the finest works in worldbuilding. He weaves readers, characters and time together to create a fine thread of tales so thick and dense that it would seem impossible to understand, but in reality it isn’t difficult to understand.
It’s fun to pick up one of the Discworld novels and explore the diverse array of characters, landscapes or cities that exist there. The realism and creativity Pratchett uses to blend his narrative style into his own universe is beautiful and breathtaking at times.
Pratchett is not the only one with this gift. There are a few well known Game Masters (or GMs) that run tabletop roleplaying games that can elicit a similar response through their own worldbuilding techniques.
Matthew Mercer and Aabria Iyengar both have extraordinary skills in storytelling and worldbuilding. The worlds these two GMs fantasize and pop into existence are built to explore. Players and characters have to live through dangerous dragon hoard raids, political plot twists and crazy complex puzzles that GMs make.
The End of the World(building)
Worldbuilding makes our own real world bigger too. By having an audience tour small patches of life an author makes, we get a sense of how unique and wondrous our own planet is.
Seeing crazy characters some writers might imagine lets readers wish and find similar characters that mill about around the world.
Many writers and creators of worlds make their fantasy universe to fix or even highlight problems in our own world. Their worlds can be used as mirrors and we can see our blemishes and scars that need fixing and healing.
I love drawing inspiration for new ideas from the most radical corners of literature as they themselves draw from some of the strongest wells of imagination.