Writing Tip 25: World Building Do’s

I will list some do’s of world building.

DO’S

  1. Setting: The planet that houses your setting or realm.
  • Where is it on a map, what is made up of, what are the resources, what flourishes in your world, and what kind of life would be found there (animals and plants)? Name the kingdoms and describe them in your story. What are the villages like, are they like huts or pods, or bunkers, or mud houses, or apartments, or houses, or underground communities? Where does your novel take place? This will depend on your story. Do the characters travel from village to village, realms to realms, or world to world and everything in between. What are the seasons like, the surface of the earth looks like, plant life are they lushes with greenery or is it a desert-like environment? How do the people live and where they live? What is the architecture like and what makes it relevant to your story? Make it detailed so that the readers can visualize as they read but not to detail as where you are numbering plants or how much homes are there in your world, or if the buildings are on the left or right side with its coordinate (readers don’t want to know unless that’s relevant to the story.)
  • 2. What is the history of your setting?
  • How was the kingdom/world created? Who are the current leaders? Who were the previous leaders if it’s relevant to your story to tell or show.
  • 3. Politics and government
  • What is the government like a dictatorship, monarchy, communist, one-party (autocracy), theocracy, republic, parliament, and presidential just to name a few.
  • Who are the most important leaders in your world and why? How did they get that position? Were they voted in or appointed themselves, was there a supreme being that gave them that role, or did they overthrow the previous leaders?
  • How are laws passed and enforced? Is there a monetary system? Are there taxes collected? Is there a military entity? How is their punishment system is there a death penalty, public torture, or prison.
  • 4. What is the society or what makes up its citizens
  • Is there class distinction such as lower, middle, or upper class. How do they dress? How are the different classes separated? What makes those classes different? How are people viewed? How do they interact with each other? How are they addressed?
  • Is there racial diversity in your world? Or does a particular region, village, or, kingdom has predominantly a certain race or a mixture of races.
  • What are the gender norms? Who is responsible for the day-to-day operations in the kingdom or the house? Are there prejudices and injustices? If you’re basing your world in ancient times do research to help with world building in that era. How are relationships viewed? How are children raised and expected to behave? What are the jobs or trades in your world?
  • 5. What makes your world colorful and unique
  • What is the culture like? What are the beliefs? Do they celebrate holidays and what are they? How are relationship treated? What are their views on marriage, dating, and sex? What is their entertainment? Are the citizens in your world involved in athletics, competition, or the arts? Does your characters have body modification such as piercings or tattoos? Is it normal or frown upon? What are the moral codes that people in your world follow?
  • 6. What are your world technological advances
  • Is it through science or magic. Who can perform them, who has access to them, and how they perform them.
  • Obviously, I’m limited to a lot of things on my post but you can use these as guides and research any others as you write. Not everything mentioned above will be relevant to your world building if you’re creating another world. But these are a good start.
  • Let me know what I’ve missed in the comments!
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