It's my pleasure to have Kim Catanzarite join us today for a guest post about how to develop new worlds and original settings. Her new sci-fi thriller BRIGHT BLUE PLANET: Book 3 of The Jovian Universe was released on March 1, 2023. This guest post is courtesy of Bewitching Book Tours. Please check out her post and enter the book set giveaway!
Tips for Setting and Worldbuilding
It can be argued that the setting in a sci-fi novel is even more crucial than it is for other types of novels that don’t rely on otherworldly details to spin a great story. While there are all kinds of science fiction novels out there—those that take place on Earth versus those that take place on other heavenly bodies or in space itself—the setting must be clear in the reader’s mind. And it’s best when it comes across in an organic manner, a foundation upon which the story can stand.
My Jovian Universe series takes place on Earth, but it’s not the same Earth humans occupy today. One critical detail makes it very different: humans do not realize that beings from Jupiter have been influencing what happens on Earth for many years, and they have big plans for the planet’s future. In the first book, these otherworldly beings conduct their business mostly in the background and the setting is not greatly affected, but by Book Three, Bright Blue Planet, the reader clearly sees just how different the planet has become due to their supernatural presence.
Whatever the environment you’re creating, the writer must weave the details of the fictional world into the forward-moving action. Hint at the ways in which this setting is not the same as the Earth modern-day humans live in at the present time. Things are not the same as they are in the real world (whether it’s only a little different or greatly different), which means the rules are different, the opportunities and dangers are different, and the way things are done are different.
People in general don’t like change, so the setting may cause some tension, and that’s not a bad thing. Tension in fiction is always good. On the other hand, readers love to consider futuristic possibilities and the special talents outer-space creatures possess, not to mention the ways in which technology might enhance human lives down the road. Be sure to pour all of this sci-fi magic into your worldbuilding, and your setting will bring readers back for more.
Questions to Ask
Before you get started with a new book or series, you must establish several things about the world you are creating. Here are a few considerations to make:
+ What year is it?
+ Who lives in this setting? What special talents do they have, if any?
+ What kind of technology is prevalent? Are the inhabitants ahead or behind present-day real life?
+ What is the physical environment like? Hot and dusty? Cold and icy? Rocky or filled with vegetation? How do the environmental details affect daily life?
+ What is the history of this place and how much influence does it have on the present day?
+ Is this a peaceful place? Who has the power? What are the rules, and who are the rulers?
+ How free are the beings who live here? What are the main struggles?
+ Will your book include hard scientific details, or soft?
No matter how you answer these questions, be consistent with your details. Abide by the rules you have established.
When you start writing your novel, tell the story as if all of these things already exist, and be confident that your readers will catch on without much explaining. Simply drop details here and there, and hint at the state of the world they are just starting to know. Of course, you’ll have to supply enough information for them to understand what they need to know “right now” (in the present moment in the book), but that’s all. Just as you reveal details about a character in a gradual way in order for the reader to get to know them in a natural way, you’ll weave in the details of the setting on a need-to-know basis.
The surprises readers learn as the story unfolds will be as thrilling to them as any plot twists.
Thank you Kim for joining us today and offering such great advice. I agree, you need to be consistent with your world-building and follow the rules of your world. I've put down many books because this wasn't done probably. You can find your copy of BRIGHT BLUE PLANET on Amazon and Goodreads.
Bright Blue Planet
The Jovian Universe
Book Three Kim Catanzarite Genre: Sci-fi Thriller Publisher: Forster Publishing Date of Publication: March 1, 2023 ISBN: 978-1-7359522-4-6 ASIN: B0BT2ZKJRS Word Count: 65,000 Cover Artist: Damonza
At a time when humans and clones begin to clash, two men—one Jovian, the other, human—struggle to navigate the new world order and their own families within it. Book Description:
Continuing the story that began with They Will Be Coming for Us and Jovian Son, Bright Blue Planet, Book 3 in The Jovian Universe, takes readers behind the scenes of the otherworldly Jovian family, revealing their most startling secrets.
Former three-term President of the United States, Evander Peterman, does his best to uphold the promise he made his human mother, Svetlana, to protect ordinary humans from the stronger, more-intelligent race of clones the powerful Jovian family has created. Fran Vasquez, former FBI agent and current head of the Jovians’ security squad at Starbright International, not only works with clones and hybrids but recently hired his young, struggling son, who immediately creates tension between members of the squad. Meanwhile, Caroline, the matriarch of the Jovians, may be at odds with her husband, Edmund, who abruptly left Earth for no known reason. She doesn’t seem to care that humans and clones aren't getting along—and suggests something much more menacing looms on Earth’s horizon.
As the story unfolds, Evander and Fran must do their best to navigate not only the rising world order but their own families as well.
About the Author:
Kim Catanzarite is the author of the award-winning Jovian Universe sci-fi thriller series. She is a freelance writer and editor for publishers and independent authors, and she teaches copyediting for Writer’s Digest University. Her Self-Publishing 101 blog discusses the ins and outs of indie life as well as all things writing craft. When she’s not writing or editing, Kim enjoys hiking, drawing, and talking to her cats. She lives on the east coast USA with her husband and daughter.
For more information, visit: https://www.AuthorKimCatanzarite.com
1 set of signed paperbacks of The Jovian Universe (3-book series)
By Kim Catanzarite