14.5: Viewpoint as Worldbuilding

Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Howard

When you’re defining your world for the reader, some voice in the text must speak those definitions. This episode is about how we use character voices—their dialog and their narrative view points—to worldbuild. What do they see? How do they perceive it? What are their favorite jokes? What do they say when they swear?

Credits: This episode was recorded by Benjamin Hewett, and mastered by Alex Jackson





From within, from without: Take a character who is alien to the culture/setting you’re writing, and describe things from their point of view. Now describe those same things from the point of view of a character native to the culture/setting.

Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi

5 thoughts on “14.5: Viewpoint as Worldbuilding”

  1. Great podcast. Very informative. I don’t suppose you guys could do an episode on editing. I’ve finished a first draft but now I’m not sure what to do with it…

    1. Um…

      Season 4, episode 29 is about line editing

      Hum, there doesn’t seem to be a generic “What do I do after I write the first draft?” episode. A lot of focused episodes, fixing a broken story, and so forth. You might want to skim through the index of transcripts to see if anything catches your eye.

      You might also try Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King?

  2. Great episode. Thank You.

    I am facing all of the chalenges around POV that were described in the podcast. As well, the lead character in my WIP (which I am trying to write close third person) is a stranger to the environments that he is taken into. So as a result there is a lot of stuff he doesn’t know, and I have to try to a) find ways to explain it indirectly – through dialogue and the like – and b) decide what information about the world is or is not important for him to know. nevertheless he ends up asking a lot of questions and I am wondering if this makes him look a little lame and ignorant at times?

  3. The original quartet, Brandon, Mary, Dan, and Howard, put on their headbands and microphones to talk about how point of view ties into worldbuilding. Or maybe it’s how worldbuilding shows up in characters? Actions, emotions, different characters with different viewpoints, first person versus third person, swearing, jokes, and those darn characters interacting with the environment… Read all about it in the transcript available in the archives and over here:


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