World building by Cynthia Woolf

First I want to thank me for having me on my blog today. LOL Seriously, I like to reward my readers, so I will be giving away one copy of my CENTAURI SERIES: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION to one lucky commenter. Be sure to comment in order to get the entry.

One of my critique partners asked me about world building. How do I do it? I answered her that I didn’t know. I just built it and they came.

Seriously, I never thought of it as world building. That has such a forbidding connotation to it. All I did was decide that I wanted this planet to use higher technology than we do. Especially since in my world they’ve been able to build spaceships that go faster than the speed of light. That has become a given in science fiction, thanks to Gene Roddenberry and Star Trek with the warp drive.

I also decided that this world would have a monarchy, that is always passed through the Queen not the King. But it would also be a British style monarchy with a senate. However, any change must be ratified by the Queen and she can make anything she wants into law without the Senate’s approval. She can request their input but doesn’t have to pay any attention to it if she doesn’t want to.

In my world, there are air cars which work like silent helicopters without the blades. Why? Because I can. It’s my world.

I discovered that I was creating lots of words for things and would get several pages in and say to myself, “What did I call rabbits in this world?” and have to go back and try to find the passage where I referred to the rabbit type animal. They are wheebee’s by the way. So I made a bible. I use this to keep track of every word I create and what it means in English. For instance, Hell is Ashara. God is Krios. These are things I need to remember especially if my character is going to swear…which they do periodically.

I discovered that I don’t need to change the name of too many things or I lose the reader. They are trying to understand what I’m calling what. I change just a few, just enough to give the flavor and not too many so as to lose the reader. I don’t want to pull them out of the story, trying to figure out what the thing is that I’ve named something. It should be seamless. It should be obvious from the sentence what the English word would be. If it’s not then I didn’t do my job.

I’ve discovered that I don’t have to change everything for the flavor of the change to be there. I want to give my readers just enough to give them the flavor of my world. I don’t write hard science fiction. I don’t concentrate on the workings of the warp drive. Other authors have already paved the way for me in that arena.

No matter what I decide my world is going to have, going to be like, I have to remain faithful to that decision. I have to be consistent, or I’m going to lose my readers and that’s the last thing I want to do.

Book Blurb from Centauri Dawn

Audra is a normal grad student in law school in Boulder, Colorado. Until the day she finds out she isn’t. She’s a princess from the planet Centauri. Her mission, whether or not she chooses to accept it, is to marry an alien and save the world, in order to save her family.

Darius is charged with delivering his brother’s bride home to Centauri, ready to be queen. Falling in love isn’t just forbidden, it’s a death sentence for him and for his world.

Book Blurb from Centauri Twilight

Lara Danexx suffered years of torment at the hands of the evil and twisted Ranzon Slavarien. But she escaped and raised an army of rebels to destroy him. Victory is within her grasp when an unwelcome intruder hunts her down and spins wild tales of her lost family and royal blood. This arrogant invader stirs her long dead emotions and threatens to ruin all of her plans. She can’t allow herself to desire his touch, or believe his lies…too much is at stake.
General Anton Coridian gave his word that he would find his beloved queen’s long lost sister, Princess Jondalara. He expects a pampered princess. Instead he finds a guerilla leader with an army of loyal cut-throats and rogues at her back. Every instinct he has demands that she is his lifemate and he must steal her away to safety. But the dark determination and pain in her eyes reminds him of his own tortured past. She offers him redemption and the chance to right an unspeakable wrong. Destiny must be laughing, because now he’s fallen in love with a woman who will stop at nothing to free her people…even if it means sacrificing herself. Anton is determined to join her, both in bed and in battle. Now he must convince Lara that his love can save not just her battered heart but her life.


Kitari ‘Kiti’ Dolana wants justice for her murdered brother. She’s trailed the man responsible to a distant planet where swords outmaneuver blasters.

Garrick Marcus, Spaceship Captain, is on a mission to hunt down a ruthless killer. The same man Kiti is after.

But Kiti and Garrick discover an explosive attraction that makes it hard to keep their minds on their goals. As they try to bring down the killer, they find that love and vengeance are a volatile mix.

Author Bio

Cynthia Woolf was born in Denver, Colorado and raised in the mountains west of Golden. She spent her early years running wild around the mountain side with her friends.

Their closest neighbor was one quarter of a mile away, so her little brother was her playmate and her best friend. That fierce friendship lasted until his death in 2006.

Cynthia was and is an avid reader. Her mother was a librarian and brought new books home each week. This is where young Cynthia first got the storytelling bug. She wrote her first story at the age of ten. A romance about a little boy she liked at the time.

She worked her way through college and went to work full time straight after graduation and there was little time to write. Then in 1990 she and two friends started a round robin writing a story about pirates. She found that she missed the writing and kept on with other stories. In 1992 she joined Colorado Romance Writers and Romance Writers of America. Unfortunately, the loss of her job demanded the she not renew her memberships and her writing stagnated for many years.

In 2001, she saw an ad in the paper for a writers conference being put on by CRW and decided she’d attend. One of her favorite authors, Catherine Coulter, was the keynote speaker. Cynthia was lucky enough to have a seat at Ms. Coulter’s table at the luncheon and after talking with her, decided she needed to get back to her writing. She rejoined both CRW and RWA that day and hasn’t looked back.

Cynthia credits her wonderfully supportive husband Jim and the great friends she’s made at CRW for saving her sanity and allowing her to explore her creativity.
Find her books on Amazon

6 thoughts on “World building by Cynthia Woolf

  1. Wow fascinating loved the excerpts and the ideas of how you built your world. Thanks for sharing with us today.

  2. I stumbled into world-building for my debut novel and discovered I loved it!It was only afterwards that I realized how much ‘The Otherland’ reflected things that I wanted to change in my current world. I’m guessing my characters are going to change the world for me. LOL Does that happen to you too?

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