I both love and hate worldbuilding. I love the feeling of creating a unique system in which whatever I decide is law. I hate how the fact that you can’t be lazy about it. I just want to dive into the story already! Can’t I just make the world up as I go?
…no. No I can’t. As I have discovered after many, many, many attempts to do so.
As much as I love writing by the seat of your pants, if you’re doing it in any kind of fantasy universe, it’s unsustainable if you want to end up with a coherent plot and a rich world. That takes planning, often involving poorly-drawn maps, myriad attempts at naming species/places/languages/everything in existence, mental debates over biology and linguistics and hierarchy, and a lot of, yes, boredom.
I’m sure there are people out there who adore every aspect of worldbuilding, but I get bored pretty quickly once I have a basic grasp on the system. But I try my best not to give into temptation and just start writing, because I know that will just result in frustration down the road, when I realize I didn’t know quite enough about [feudalism/reptile biology/thermodynamics/whatever] to make any of it make sense. And if I fudge my way through it, it just looks sloppy when I go back to it.
I just finished N. K. Jemisin’s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and started the second book, and she has really made me see what you can do with worldbuilding done right. It’s so obvious that she knows her world intimately from politics to ecology, and it shines through not in long tedious description but in small details that make the narrative glimmer. As I worldbuild for my current project, I’m trying to keep that in mind.
PS: My current project is about goblins 🌟