I'm one of twenty-five writers blogging a chapter from Alison Kent's new Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing Erotic Romance.
Because I write speculative fiction, as do most people who read my blog, I asked for Chapter 5 Writing 101: World-Building. Here Kent touches upon the basics in world building for any type of novel with tips on research and description, as well as fitting your characters into the world you've built.
In regards to research, Kent is spot on by reminding writers "if your story doesn't require you use all you've learned, don't create a need for those extraneous facts." She also explains the difference between an infodump and exposition, encouraging writers to show descriptive details through your character's POV.
Of particular interest to SF and Fantasy writers are the sections titled Blinded by Science and Logic and Consistency. Here Kent warns of following the rules of science or magic within your world from one page to the next without violating your own laws with inconsistencies.
And, of course, there's the section titled The Five P's of Your Sexual Universe. This is intriguing to me as an SF writer because sex doesn't always mean the same thing in my world as it does in the real world, but it is nevertheless an important aspect.
Among the authors who Kent quotes or references are Holly Lisle, Sarah Monette, Elizabeth Bear, Jordan Summers, and Saskia Walker.