Some notes... Due to the nature of these questions, they are not intended to have brief answers, certainly not yes / no. Choose the desired Survey Type from the dropdown menu to see all the associated questions. Also, while we have tried to categorise the questions to make them easier to manage, this categorisation is neither perfect nor comprehensive, and in somecases is downright questionable. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. 1. Do people marry for love or other reasons? Email Insiders club members get: the J.S. Worldbuilding questions: What is the political structure of your world? A town of a thousand people has a different feel to it than a village of a hundred, or a city of ten thousand. For artists, writers, gamemasters, musicians, programmers, philosophers and scientists alike! Posted October 12, 2016 by Jennifer Ellision in blog , Writing / 4 Comments Once upon a time, I was a baby author, daunted by the task of world-building for my fantasy novel. Is there one monolithic religion that dominates all others? Are there continents and seas? Below, I’ve included a sampling of questions: 20 Questions for Worldbuilding. World building gives the writer a clear understanding of what their world looks and feels … If your world is more Earth-like, take a cuisine appropriate to your climate and adapt it to your world. Just because there is an established hierarchy doesn’t mean that everyone is satisfied with how it works or their place in it. When worldbuilding, consider: The Deep Past: What happened way back when that fuels the present economy, environment, culture, etc. each month on Patreon. Fictional settings require real thought about news! This ties in with geography and technology, and to a lesser extent with government. Who dislikes/suffers from/disapproves of this change? Magic is a complicated topic in fantasy, one that will be a defining characteristic of the work. wondrous worldbuilding — Questions for developing the biology of a new... 1.5M ratings 277k ratings See, that’s what the app is perfect for. Want Insider Exclusives? Stack Exchange Network. You can also have a world with vast, unspoiled frontiers yet to explore. If so, then there is some culture out there that considers it either a staple or a delicacy. If so, then there is some culture out there that considers it either a staple or a delicacy. ... be working with some parallel version of Earth as we know it. How much land is temperate, equatorial or polar? A: How does magic fit in? Does the government provide social assistance? In an open society, you will develop a merchant class who profits from the local resources. Morals: Define what is good and bad. Imagine our world after some major single social, political, cultural, or economic change has happened, then: Answer the following questions. This will help you follow your curiosity/interest and hopefully keep you somewhat focused on what you actually need to flesh out for your purposes. Is it common or reserved for the wealthy? Well, to get you going, here’s a list of 20 world building questions you can ask yourself to get started. However, you can also use clothing to differentiate between classes and religious beliefs, as well as profession. (And IMHO should be required reading for all North Americans. You can choose to either address this issue, or let it slide to the background. You m… Language shapes culture just as culture shapes language, and language is influenced heavily by geography and history. Do people eat plain or heavily flavoured food? by Amelia Wiens. Are there non-human sentient species? You can make a setting seem new with in-progress construction of great works. How is one magician stronger than another? Are there slaves, serfs, peasants? Pick whichever you feel fits your story better. How do you create a culture? Do the majority of people approve of or disapprove of the government? It produces the beings you're writing about. What is the total population (of the planet / the country / the city, etc.). Element: Consider … Creation myths: Explain the creation and destruction of the world. Consider the climates of your world, and where your story takes place. This is mostly a matter of practicality. Are they looked upon with scorn and fear, to be driven off when found. To what extent is magic a learned skill or an innate talent? There’s a lot of detail that needs to be managed, a lot of nuance and content that readers will probably never see. What is the system of government? Culture-making checklist - neitherworldstories.blogspot.com; Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions; Astronomy Planners sit down and work all the details out beforehand, determining the geography and history of their world before starting the first draft. Step 5: Determine the Culture of Your World. Are we on Earth or another planet? For me, I love the idea of creating new races, religions, places, cultures, and people. I love sitting down and asking questions about the cultures I’ve studied, places I’ve been, and stories I’ve heard. Are there organized religions? People will buy what they don’t have nearby and sell what they have or make in abundance. /r/worldbuilding - If you are into worldbuilding and you do not know about this place yet, this would be the first link you should click. Is it an “alternate Earth”? Living in a harsh environment and shrugging it off by ingenious building is a sign of a more advanced people. Worldbuilding Questions and Ideas for Six Planet Types Worldbuilding is a massive undertaking. In a world of magic, science still exists. Does the culture value strength or compassion more highly? 30 Days of worldbuilding (integrates some writing/plot). Lily J on April 29, 2014 at 3:03 pm This is just what I needed to read! Basics ; What are the physical characteristics of this race? It has initially been published in German back in 2015 and has enjoyed thousands of visits and more than 800 PDF downloads since. Due to the nature of these questions, they are not intended to have brief answers, certainly not yes / no. Starting a World. What is the level of technology (stone age, hi tech)? and use them as you see fit. How does magic fit in? A society at peace will behave much differently from one that is fighting a war or preparing for one. :) The First Big Questions. A guide to creating news and media in your fictional worlds! Most games come pre-packaged with their own fauna and magic systems. Yeah, you probably won't want to complete all of them. Don’t fall into the Star Wars Trap of having mono-climate worlds (Tatooine = desert, Hoth = ice, Endor = forest). Worldbuilding is the part of the writing process that sets up where your story takes place. $2.99. It’s an Earth-like world, but any or every aspect of culture or location … And if you like this resource, you might want to check out our Ultimate Character Questionnaire or our Plot Outline Templates. Meaning: Why we’re alive. As related to the question of rulership, you need to address how the bottom rung of society lives. You’re welcome. Are different groups of people educated separately? Worldbuilding is the process of creating a fictional world within your novel that can be as complex as designing an entirely new and unique location with exotic creatures, societies, religions, and governments. A “traditional” fantasy monarchy is usually assumed if you don’t get into detail on politics. Basic questions. Is magic a specialist, elite skill or is it used easily by commoners? $2.99. Nice post. Are these gifted individuals looked upon as boons to their communities: protectors, sages, visionaries? What are the seasons like? Where are we? Drag the ones you’d like to explore into the Answers space, or create a new question of your own design. I enjoy the broader aspects of world-building because I don’t keep my stories relegated to either the upper or lower classes. Are the laws of nature and physics actually different in this world, or are they the same as in real life? Other Gaming/Pop Culture Questions (29) Pokémon Biology Questions (93) Pokémon Design Questions (195) Pokémon Move/Ability Questions (66) Pokémon Movies or Anime Questions (20) Pokémon Worldbuilding Questions (115) Spotlight Series (2) Unova Pokédex (71) X Nuzlocke (24) Posts; Ask me anything; Submit a post; Archive; What is the pop culture of your world? Leaving a cuisine untouched will make a statement that you are using that as an in-world analog for the culture you are borrowing from. It is a nice reminder that a lot of that stuff is really helpful to writers as well. Can magic be combined to increase its strength? When you build a world, you include the landscape that your characters will inhabit, the tone of your story, its major preoccupations and themes, as well as the nature of its morality. Buy Now $2.99 USD or more. If so, odds are that the inhabitants of their creation have taken up some form of worship. SteveWrites. The SFWA website has a great list of questions for authors to develop, test, and enrich their world. Worldbuilding is an aspect of storytelling that writers either love or hate. Worldbuilding HOW I DO IT First, your environment. What biomes does it contain? As the god of your world, you need to know everything about it—its physical characteristics, the rules, who lives there, the culture, etc. You should consider them prompts with which to write a short essay. Dictatorship? And Historical research is most definitely useful when worldbuilding. Which resources are abundant? Are some foods poisonous to certain people? The smaller the land, the more it will be reflective of the leadership of its ruler. However, humans developed hundreds (if not thousands) of languages on Earth, so the one language per race trope is a bit simplistic. You can "toss a coin to your author" to buy me a coffee (or two!) “Worldbuilding” is a term you’ll hear from a lot of writers — especially when you’re talking about the science fiction and fantasy genres. For a background group this might be sufficient, but what if instead of a mere outline of a culture, you want to create an in-depth culture? If so, then there is some culture out there that considers it either a staple or a delicacy. At the society level: jousting tournaments, plays and opera, sports, and gladiatorial games. Is there a class system? It’s an Earth-like world, but any or every aspect of culture or … Is the working class well off and comfortable, oppressed, rebellious or broken spirited? What does a basic pauper’s meal look like? When speaking with pride about their country, […] What environment is the main story in? Does it have moons? Basics. If we’re on an exoplanet, what does it look like? If it isa moon, does it revolve around its own axis or is it tidally locked to the planet it’s orbiting? Trauma: Wars, famines, plagues, and their aftermaths. Is it this or another solar system? News and media shape culture and education, forge the future, and record the past. Questions to get you thinking so you can better develop your countries and their cultures, whether they're fantastic fairytale kingdoms or futuristic space colonies. Living in a rainy land with leaking roofs is an unmistakable sign of a primitive or destitute people. This… Bear in mind that in an old world with few people, the settled areas will be only the choicest, since there is little competition. Are there topics that can only be raised by the host? Is the water generally clean enough to drink? Help me understand the required level and relevance of “worldbuilding context” in questions that can be answered with real-world science I want to ask in the context of the now-infamous gerrymandering question, which got removed because it did not do enough worldbuilding. Generally you can gloss over laws, but there are opportunities to introduce conflict in unjust or ridiculous laws, or even just laws that have recently changed. How seriously does the culture take the responsibilities of host and guest? I go into quite a bit of detail on the subject of how magic and science interact, but suffice it to say that unless your story is about primitive hunters, killing with their bare hands, you have some technology in your world. The worldbuilding process is an important aspect of many genres of fiction writing, especially sci-fi and fantasy writing. What are there different types of school for? Our worldbuilding tool is packed with surveys that can help with the heavy lifting. There are two basic types of authors when it comes to worldbuilding: those who plan and those who make it up as they go along. Are there many restaurants? It’s all about what you and your story need. What was the cause of the most recent war? This helps. Hopefully these 20 world building questions give you some inspiration on where to start on your next best-selling series, but I’m sure there are plenty more. No, what makes two cultures unique are cultural values. Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions — The World. Other Gaming/Pop Culture Questions (29) Pokémon Biology Questions (93) Pokémon Design Questions (195) Pokémon Move/Ability Questions (66) Pokémon Movies or Anime Questions (20) Pokémon Worldbuilding Questions (115) Spotlight Series (2) Unova Pokédex (71) X Nuzlocke (24) Thanks! Peasants will be better off in a democracy than an empire, but the clergy benefit most from a theocracy. Are there topics that can only be raised by the host? Flesh things out as you go and you'll come up with more and more questions, which lead to more answers. The first person to discover a creature is either a scientist or an explorer; the second is invariably a cook. Basics. Worldbuilding HOW I DO IT First, your environment. If you have more than one sentient race, each probably has their own language. While the impact of events on a culture is part of Worldbuilding, you could easily write a thesis on even the smallest change and how it . Democracy? Smaller settlements have a more intimate feel. We are starting to have a problem with psychology questions. A: How do magical beasts fit in? Magic is powerful. I’m currently reading GUNS, GERMS, AND STEEL to learn more about why societies develop the way they do. A downloadable book. The Dark Side), societal structure (slaves and free), and politics (the trade wars) play huge roles. Not all fantasy needs to have elves, dwarves, and orcs. I have a whole separate article that goes into the basics of determining your magic system. Which are scarce? Are the laws of nature and physics actually different in this world, or are they the same as in real life? Power Shifts: Political, religious, or technological. Was your world made by one or more gods? Why did this change happen, what brought it about? 60 Worldbuilding Questions for A/B/O fic writers Long post, press J to skip So we were talking on Discord about writing A/B/O worlds, and somebody was wondering when parents should find out the secondary genders of kids and such. Climate effects how people live. Three exercises in worldbuilding and extrapolation. A society in decline lets buildings and infrastructure fall into disrepair, while a thriving one will create new and better, seeking to outdo the old standards. Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions: By Patricia C. Wrede. Describe them. Go through a ritual? Is education available to all or only certain groups? World building is the art of convincing a reader that a fictitious place exists. Reply. Thank you. Great authors can create a living, breathing environment for their stories, invite readers into another world, and make us homesick for a place we’ve never been. Help me understand the required level and relevance of “worldbuilding context” in questions that can be answered with real-world science I want to ask in the context of the now-infamous gerrymandering question, which got removed because it did not do enough worldbuilding. If the depiction of the culture is caricatured, demonized, trivialized, or simply inaccurate, it will come off as appropriation. Who goes to them? 10. Laws that restrict freedoms or forbid things that are essential to the characters are the most likely areas to bring laws to the fore. Leave a comment and share with others! Apply all the questions to magic if it’s in the story. Its people? I haven’t looked through this in too much detail, but it’s on the SFWA website, which is a high recommendation, and seems useful from what I did read. There is no limit to the creativity you might employ in devising a non-human race. Fear of spies will make outsiders less welcome. Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions – A great list of questions to help you build a realistic fantasy world. King, emperor, high priest, president … someone has to be in charge. Do an elite control religion / magic or is it accessible to all? It may not even be advisable. To get started, go to My Workspace, click the New button, and select the Worldbuilding Survey option. Stack Exchange network consists of 176 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers. With their own list of questions to add, please comment below frustrating it can.... 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