Writer at Work: Fictional world-building

The new project I’m playing with is demanding something I’ve never really dealt with before: large-scale world-building. (Every new book I write includes at least one element I’ve never tackled before, because otherwise I get bored. This can make life difficult. But at least it’s not boring!) In fact, I sort of need to build two different worlds. Customs, politics, language, history–my head starts spinning.

So I looked up some world-building resources to focus my brainstorming and reduce the head-spinning. Found two that seem quite useful. Fellow writers may enjoy these for their own use; readers, take a look and see all the things your favorite writers are probably taking into account when they make up a whole new world:

Patricia C. Wrede’s Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions — Very detailed and thoughtful questions arranged by category (with some overlap between categories). You can skip any that don’t apply to your world, of course–mine doesn’t have magic, for example.

Ad Hoc’s Society Builder Outline — Each point is much more brief, but the list of points itself is quite thorough. I intend to go through this after I’ve finished Wrede’s questions to see if there’s anything I didn’t consider there.

Because I’m anticipating doing a lot of research and back story outlining, I’m giving Scrivener another try. I haven’t taken to it in the past, but my notes are already getting confusingly scattered between my iPad and my paper notebook, and I’m hoping this will help me keep everything organized.

Those are my new tools of the week. Have you been trying out anything new? 🙂


Writer at Work: Fictional world-building — 2 Comments

  1. Today I had Chips Ahoy for the first time! I know they’ve been in North America for yonks, but only saw ads for them in Australia this year. And I got around to buying some today – binge-ate a package in one sitting, and they were AWESOME! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please verify that you are a real person by answering the question below. *