It’s a clear evening and cold. I’m walking at the edge of my small town, away from what little light pollution the area produces this late at night. Far above me are the stars. I can recognize some major constellations—Orion and the Big Dipper are pretty obvious—but they don’t look like they did when I lived near or in cities. They don’t look like a few stars in an obvious shape; they are part of a tapestry of hundreds and hundreds of twinkling pinpricks.
There are so many of them and they are so beautiful—and yet I know that, as many as I can see, I can see but a few. These few give me a hint of the more there are, and I want to dig deeper, see more. I want to visit a place with even less ambient light, discover the full beauty of the night sky. I want to read an article about stars and another about mythology.
When I lived in the city, the stars weren’t that interesting; I might as well have had a constellation mug, they looked so bland. But I didn’t need to see everything to be intrigued—just a bit more. A bit more of a hint, a bit more insight to inspire my interest and imagination and make me want more.
Good world-building is like that.