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World Building

Let’s talk World-Building.

What are some questions you’ve asked yourself when first setting out to build your world?

There’s the obvious things. What types of people will inhabit it, what kinds of monsters might be present? Will it be technology based or magic based? A mix of both? Will the society be more advanced than we enjoy today, less so, or about the same?

But there are less obvious questions, too.

What are the weather patterns like? Are the flora and fauna significantly different than ours? Are the days longer, the passage of time marked differently? Are there metals and minerals present which are alien to us?

How about the cultures? How do their ideals about marriage, religion, and commerce differ from ours? What do they consider honorable or illegal activity? How are their governments organized?

If you’re creating different races, how do they differ from each other physically and biologically? Do some age very quickly and others much more slowly? Are they nocturnal or built for watery environments?

The answers to these questions can get quite complex and many find it a daunting task. Thankfully, it isn’t always necessary to know every nook and cranny about your world. It will be tempting to keep delving deeper and deeper into the minutiae of the world, creating detailed timelines and family lineages of local heroes or the menu of your MC’s favorite tavern. While knowing these things can be a fun bit of knowledge for readers and a point of pride for creators, it can quickly spiral out of control and suck away all your writing time.

A solid understanding of the basics and enough about the details can go a long way towards writing a believable and engaging setting. Having clear parameters and awesome character development will do a lot more for your environment than knowing what the 5th King of Frambuga preferred for breakfast (unless, of course, your MC is the Royal Butler).

Have fun with your world-building. Make it a full and interesting backdrop for your characters to interact with. Just keep in mind more complicated doesn’t always translate to better.

Links to world-building blogs:

Some very in-depth questions only the most hard-core of world-builders might want to answer:

For brainstorming your ideas:

Getting started:

More questions:

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