Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about world-building, trying to determine what the ingredients are that make a world one we’re not likely to forget, those things that make a world so rich, so vivid that we can imagine ourselves there.

One of the keys, I’ve noticed, is that worlds that leap off the page are rich in detail. All those small things—the Sorting Hat in Harry Potter, the wayward pines in the Sword of Truth, the sights, sounds, and smells of the world that lives on the page—those are what brings the world to life.

I’m currently reading the first book in what promises to be a wonderful series: “The Hunter’s Moon,” the first book in O.R. Melling’s Chronicles of Faerie series. Melling took courses in Celtic studies in college and is originally from Ireland, so the details in the story are amazing. It really feels like I’m there with her characters, backpacking through Ireland and being drawn into the faerie world. It’s not a new series, but I’m glad I plucked this book off the bookshelf.

As I revise one of my own stories about adventures in the faerie realm, I’m carrying all of this with me, slowly digging deeper into the world. For me, revising is all about layering. We’re adding layers and depth to our stories. Bit by bit, the story reveals itself.

What about you? What is your favorite detail from a book? What makes a world memorable to you?

Writing goals

1.) Make measurable progress on one of my WIPs. Wrote 7,960 words in “The Phoenix Feather” and “Stolen by Magic.”

2.) Read four books on the craft/business of writing. 2/4. Continued reading “Beginnings, Middles, and Ends” by Nancy Kress.

Social media goals

1.) Check in on Twitter or Facebook daily. Goal met.

2.) Blog twice a week. Goal met.

3.) Comment on three-five blog posts daily, Monday-Thursday. Goal met.

Life goals

1.) Do yoga or tai chi or meditate three times per week. 1/3.

2.) Do morning pages in journal Monday-Friday. Goal met.


A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. It’s also a blog hop! Click here to cheer on fellow participants.

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