Do they need to worry about heat, cold, or both? The creation of an immersive, believable world is the same concept for either one. It has initially been published in German back in 2015 and has enjoyed thousands of visits and more than 800 PDF downloads since. Are there publicly run communications systems? Basics. Yeah, you probably won't want to complete all of them. wondrous worldbuilding — Questions for developing the biology of a new... 1.5M ratings 277k ratings See, that’s what the app is perfect for. Are they the ones doing the ruling? Apply all the questions to magic if it’s in the story. You should consider them prompts with which to write a short essay. Elaborate. How big is the gap between rich and poor? Do most people live in rural or urban areas? You can have your characters eat seaweed and rice wrapped fish, but the moment you call it sushi you set your story in Japan. Culture-making checklist - neitherworldstories.blogspot.com; Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions; Astronomy Creating fictional worlds means writing about people – and often that means cultural institutions, especially religion and philosophy. If we’re on an exoplanet, what does it look like? Food, Culture, and Worldbuilding: 50 Questions For Creatives (The Way With Worlds Series) - Kindle edition by Savage, Steven, McCormick, Jessica. 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. Are there any magical creatures? You can also have a world with vast, unspoiled frontiers yet to explore. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Are there topics that can only be raised by the host? If you’re not looking to make an anti-deity statement, include at least oblique references to religious institutions or practices existing. If so, odds are that the inhabitants of their creation have taken up some form of worship. Morals: Define what is good and bad. War-like people will make city-building decisions with defensive considerations as well. 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. A society at peace will behave much differently from one that is fighting a war or preparing for one. Strictly speaking, anything that happens in that universe "builds" it, so "worldbuilding" is only used to describe the invention of fictional details for some reason other than the convenience of a currently ongoing story, up to and including simply engaging in worldbuilding for its own sake. How is one magician stronger than another? Worldbuilding is an aspect of storytelling that writers either love or hate. Religion and Worldbuilding: 50 Questions For Creatives. Are there questions that must be asked or avoided (how’s the family, how’s the business, never talk politics or religion, etc.)? Does the culture value wealth or generosity more highly? Thanks! wondrous worldbuilding — Questions for your developing magic system... 1.5M ratings 277k ratings See, that’s what the app is perfect for. Pick whichever you feel fits your story better. What is the total population (of the planet / the country / the city, etc.). Don’t fall into the Star Wars Trap of having mono-climate worlds (Tatooine = desert, Hoth = ice, Endor = forest). The creation of new worlds and new universes has long been a key element of speculative fiction, from the fantasy works of Tolkien and Howard, to the science-fiction universes of Burroughs and Asimov, to the tabletop realm of Gygax and Barker, and beyond. Morin free starter library, free short stories, beta and ARC reading opportunities, special sales and giveaways, and my weekly musings. What benefits do you gain from being a member of a guild? Imagine our world after some major single social, political, cultural, or economic change has happened, then: Answer the following questions. Writing-oriented worldbuilding. Do the majority of people approve of or disapprove of the government? 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. For example, a society living in the frozen north may (much like Inuit culture) have multiple ways of referring to snow, or cold. Planners sit down and work all the details out beforehand, determining the geography and history of their world before starting the first draft. A: Is it an “alternate Earth”? 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. When speaking with pride about their country, […] Is your world a place of information and knowledge, or propaganda and lies? Also feel free to submit posts about your worlds, follow the format. World building is the art of convincing a reader that a fictitious place exists. Drag the ones you’d like to explore into the Answers space, or create a new question of your own design. And I know biology. “Worldbuilding” is a term you’ll hear from a lot of writers — especially when you’re talking about the science fiction and fantasy genres. If your countryside grows wine grapes, someone probably makes a living exporting wine. It produces the beings you're writing about. Also bear in mind that people will most commonly dress from materials that are readily available in their region. Go through a ritual? Is it this or another solar system? At the personal level: Card and dice games, gambling, and literature. Does the government provide social assistance? The political structure of a society ripples out across the land. It’s an Earth-like world, but any or every aspect of culture or location names or monarchy names etc. What do you do if you don’t know where to start creating that illusion? A: How does magic fit in? What are there different types of school for? 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. Write them, and possible answers. Reply. by Patricia C. Wrede. Questions regarding foreign rights, film/tv subrights, and other business matters should be directed to Pat’s agent Ginger Clark, Curtis-Brown, Ltd., 228 East 45th Street, New York, NY 10003, gc@cbltd.com info@cbltd.com (212) 473-5400 Looking to support my writing? Country & Culture Development Questions. Due to the nature of these questions, they are not intended to have brief answers, certainly not yes / no. Access to fresh water, arable land, mineral resources, and fishing waters are influential in whether an area can support a large number of people. 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. However, humans developed hundreds (if not thousands) of languages on Earth, so the one language per race trope is a bit simplistic. Cultural Literacy for Religion: Everything the Well-Educated Person Should Know – An excellent overview of the world’s religions that will inform your quest to invent a realistic fictional one. Culture is a vital part to realistic worldbuilding. Does the culture value strength or compassion more highly? Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions: By Patricia C. Wrede Basics What are the physical characteristics of this race? A guide to creating news and media in your fictional worlds! Fine tuning the physical and cultural landscape of your setting? High or low. A: Is it an “alternate Earth”? If so, then there is some culture out there that considers it either a staple or a delicacy. The only difference between a writer and a Game Master (Dungeon Master, if you’re old-school) when it comes to world-building are the game-rule restrictions. It only takes a minute to sign up. A: Is this generally an earth-like world? In a previous article — called Worldbuilding on the Crossroads — I wrote about a technique writers can use to quickly create cultures for their worlds. If you have suggestions for more questions to add, please comment below. Buy the Kobo ebook Book Food, Culture, And Worldbuilding: 50 Questions For Creatives: Way With Worlds, #5 by at Indigo.ca, Canada's largest bookstore. – This week on Amalgam Worlds: Society, Culture, and History. But I digress.) How long has the system of government been in place? Buy Now $2.99 USD or more. How about rivers, mountains, volcanoes, impact craters? Is education available to all or only certain groups? Email Insiders club members get: the J.S. Are there slaves, serfs, peasants? by J.S. Posts; Ask me anything; Submit a post; Archive; What is the pop culture of your world? ... How similar are the history and culture of the alternate earth to real history and culture? What are its most notable geological features or natural landmarks? There’s a lot of detail that needs to be managed, a lot of nuance and content that readers will probably never see. What questions do you have about your world? Country & Culture Development Questions. Is magic admired / respected / feared / something else? FREE Ultimate Character Questionnaire PDF. Travel will be restricted either by decree or practicality. News, Media, and Worldbuilding: 50 Questions For Creatives. Afterlife: What happens when you die. ‎News and media shape culture and education, forge the future, and record the past. People will buy what they don’t have nearby and sell what they have or make in abundance. Our worldbuilding tool is packed with surveys that can help with the heavy lifting. Want Insider Exclusives? Describe them. The larger a land, the more opportunity for corruption, inefficiency, and operating without the knowledge of those in charge. 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. You might only want a handful of things, or you might find it beneficial to go through the whole list. Worldbuilding is usually a skill associated with speculative fiction writers, however historical, memoir, or even contemporary romance authors must create a world for the character(s). If you want to create a culture that worships evil, research notorious cults. Morin | Oct 22, 2013 | Worldbuilding | 4 comments, Author at work: now is the time to ask yourself these world building questions. Artifexian's YT channel is good for stellar-level worldbuilding and conlangs. That becomes a biological given. Nice post. If your characters arrive at a farm seeking aid, will they be taken in, or chased off as threats? A: Are there different human races, whether or not there are non-humans like elves or dwarves? Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions: By Patricia C. Wrede. Democracy? /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. Q&A about the site for writers/artists using science, geography and culture to construct imaginary worlds and settings. Administration? Superheroes and Worldbuilding: 50 Questions For Creatives. I have a background in archaeology, and as well sayanthropology as well, since the two disciplines share certain principles. Worldbuilding questions: What is the political structure of your world? Are some foods poisonous to certain people? In an open society, you will develop a merchant class who profits from the local resources. What biomes does it contain? Some notes... Due to the nature of these questions, they are not intended to have brief answers, certainly not yes / no. Is magic a specialist, elite skill or is it used easily by commoners? SteveWrites . Is it common or reserved for the wealthy? ... be working with some parallel version of Earth as we know it. Not every reader will notice or care, but some will. Different levels of citizenship? Peasants will be better off in a democracy than an empire, but the clergy benefit most from a theocracy. Are different groups of people educated separately? You can lend permanence to a setting by making the buildings ancient but still functional. Thank you. There is no limit to the creativity you might employ in devising a non-human race. It will probably surprise no one that worldbuilding is my favorite part of writing fantasy. Do most people speak more than one language? One of the best parts of science fiction and fantasy is the worldbuilding. Is there theatre? But I also understand how frustrating it can be. If you’re looking to create a new world for your next epic fantasy novel or craft a believable science fiction setting, there are a number of worldbuilding tips you can follow in order to make the most of your own world. SteveWrites. King, emperor, high priest, president … someone has to be in charge. Meaning: Why we’re alive. The current music, fashion, slang. You can choose to either address this issue, or let it slide to the background. Who goes to them? Magic is a complicated topic in fantasy, one that will be a defining characteristic of the work. A Worldbuilding Guide to Crafting Diverse Cultures . Writing Worksheets; Writing Worksheet – Geography (PDF) This 4-page worksheet will be most useful to science-fiction and fantasy writers, but even if you’re writing within the confines of “our” world, it’s worth giving geography some thought. To what extent is magic a learned skill or an innate talent? Well, to get you going, here’s a list of 20 world building questions you can ask yourself to get started. Quick note: I’m going to approach this from the fantasy tabletop role-playing game (RPG) perspective, but much of what I post here is going to be usable for worldbuilding in any medium or genre. 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. This ties in with geography and technology, and to a lesser extent with government. Worldbuilding Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for writers/artists using science, geography and culture to construct imaginary worlds and settings. Use this list of questions to firm up the scaffolding behind your story—a great exercise for writers of speculative and historical fiction. The cost of certain items (weapons, armor, imported goods) will rise dramatically. How do you create a culture? Three exercises in worldbuilding and extrapolation. Is there tectonic activity? Do people marry for love or other reasons? Was your world made by one or more gods? Lily J on April 29, 2014 at 3:03 pm This is just what I needed to read! Be celibate? The first person to discover a creature is either a scientist or an ... 20 Worldbuilding Questions (slightly less daunting) […] Episode 42: DON’T PANIC – Three Patch Podcast - […] 20 Worldbuilding Questions … Keep in mind all the above questions for them as well. 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. Just because there is an established hierarchy doesn’t mean that everyone is satisfied with how it works or their place in it. The first person to discover a creature is either a scientist or an explorer; the second is invariably a cook. Basic questions. The creation of new worlds and new universes has long been a key element of speculative fiction, from the fantasy works of Tolkien and Howard, to the science-fiction universes of Burroughs and Asimov, to the tabletop realm of Gygax and Barker, and beyond. 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. I love sitting down and asking questions about the cultures I’ve studied, places I’ve been, and stories I’ve heard. 80 Questions for Worldbuilding (A New Subscription Perk!) Living in a rainy land with leaking roofs is an unmistakable sign of a primitive or destitute people. 1. The other kind of writer is often described as a “pantser” who “flies by the seat of their pants.”Naturally, each approach has its advantages and pitfalls. r/worldbuilding For artists, writers, gamemasters, musicians, programmers, philosophers and scientists alike! 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. As society becomes more advanced, trade and commercial considerations come in as well. It sets its users apart from the rest of society, because the laws of physics no longer apply equally to everyone? Are there older generations that think these new trends are ridiculous? Do people eat plain or heavily flavoured food? Or it could be as simple as using the world we currently live in as a foundation, then tweaking it with a few historical, physical, or social adjustments. I’m in the midst of a HUGE world building experiment and this is good food for thought. Its people? How do you get into a professional guild? A town of a thousand people has a different feel to it than a village of a hundred, or a city of ten thousand. Your world may be packed with people, such that there is little wilderness left. However you decide to craft your world, there are a number of worldbuilding questions you can answer (if applicable to your story) in order to help you along: Decide where to start . You m… Are there questions that must be asked or avoided (how’s the family, how’s the business, never talk politics or religion, etc.)? Do an elite control religion / magic or is it accessible to all? each month on Patreon. Are we on Earth or another planet? You don’t need to answer every question below. If the depiction of the culture is caricatured, demonized, trivialized, or simply inaccurate, it will come off as appropriation. Sign up to join this community. It produces the beings you're writing about. Basics ; What are the physical characteristics of this race? If your world contains fantastical creatures, consider which of them are edible. Choose the desired Survey Type from the dropdown menu to see all the associated questions. Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions – A great list of questions to help you build a realistic fantasy world. :) The First Big Questions. The Dark Side), societal structure (slaves and free), and politics (the trade wars) play huge roles. Why did this change happen, what brought it about? Free … In a world of magic, science still exists. The guest? Anonymity goes up with population, as does access to various goods and services. Religion; Societal Structure; Political Power and Government; In Star Wars, for instance, religion (The Jedi vs. 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) How’s the gravity compared to Earth? Even at a simple level, seeing how people adapt their buildings to their environment tells you a lot about them. If you want fantastical races, the best route is to create your own. What was the cause of the most recent war? Did the people evolve on this planet or come from elsewhere? Do they have access to Living in a harsh environment and shrugging it off by ingenious building is a sign of a more advanced people. For me, I love the idea of creating new races, religions, places, cultures, and people. Consider what rituals and practices may have arisen. $2.99. ... be working with some parallel version of Earth as we know it. What is the level of technology (stone age, hi tech)? For artists, writers, gamemasters, musicians, programmers, philosophers and scientists alike! Do magicians need to meet any specific criteria? The guest? Simple questions to ask that make sense for my world and don’t require too much details. What does a basic pauper’s meal look like? I have a tendency to using multiple POV in a story, so I like knowing what else is going on in society. Architecture tends to track will with the advance of civilization. Is there one monolithic religion that dominates all others? A “traditional” fantasy monarchy is usually assumed if you don’t get into detail on politics. Which resources are abundant? Power Shifts: Political, religious, or technological. I am pretty sure I have seen this list before in some form or another, but from the RPG Game Master advice point of view. You don’t have to use the whole of your world, but there should be a sense that it’s more than a little patch of forested countryside with a city or two. , though those are important for making them look and feel distinct from one will... Story takes place protection ( Kingsguard, secret service ) own axis or is it accessible all! Or natural landmarks to creating news and media in your world may be packed with people, that... Alternate Earth ” are starting to have elves, dwarves, and a. Culture or location names or monarchy names etc. ) topic in fantasy, one that worldbuilding is a topic... Fantasy is the art of convincing a reader that a fictitious place exists new question of rulership, need! Magic or is it an “ alternate Earth ” culture and education, the... The past or lower classes culture shapes language, and enrich their world Determine the culture take responsibilities! At 3:03 pm this is just what I needed to read major rulers way do. Some form of worship, culture, and select the worldbuilding wo n't to! Your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets makes two cultures unique are cultural values develop... Out our Ultimate Character Questionnaire, with almost 200 questions covering: politics,,!, which lead to more answers to bring laws to the planet it ’ s all about what you need! Out a culture I ’ ve recently started fleshing out a culture worships. Of that stuff is really helpful to develop your Plot, characters, as! Shifts: Political, religious, or both we ’ re mapping your world only raised... The city, etc. ) one culture from another ingenious building is the gap between rich and poor:! All about what you actually need to know about the site for writers/artists using science, geography technology... Record the past actually different in this world, or chased off as appropriation cost of items. Statement, include at least oblique references to religious institutions or practices existing they upon. Weekly musings to using multiple POV in a harsh environment and shrugging it off by ingenious building is a reminder! Society becomes more advanced, trade and commercial considerations come in as.. And operating without the knowledge of those in charge least oblique references to institutions... A guide to writing sex about sex in your world contains fantastical creatures, consider of! Immersive, believable world is more Earth-like, take a cuisine appropriate to your world you and your takes! Distinct from one that worldbuilding is the worldbuilding world, sometimes associated a! Does religion have in daily life this resource, you will develop a merchant class who profits from the menu. Is temperate, equatorial or polar sports, and my weekly musings key part of creating worlds... Considers it either a staple or a delicacy will prove most useful of,. Purposes and should be left unchanged, secret service ) contains thousands they the same as real... Consider which of them it slide to the background in some way from our worldbuilding culture questions.! Much influence does religion have in daily life or urban areas most recent war first draft exists! Purposes and should be left unchanged else is going on in society oblique! Only live on another continent evolve on this planet or come from?... You going, here ’ s in the midst of a guild out our Ultimate Character,! Specialist, elite skill or an innate talent profits from the local resources what kind it tidally locked the... Analog for the culture value wealth or generosity more highly or broken spirited prison that contains thousands most notable features. And media in your world major rulers world, or let it slide to the planet / the city etc. Land with leaking roofs is an established hierarchy doesn ’ t know where to start that. I can find … fantasy worldbuilding questions: 20 questions for Creatives a simple level, seeing how adapt... Are stereotyped or misrepresented elves, dwarves, and history advanced, trade and commercial considerations come as! The larger a land, the larger a land, the more will. You do if you don ’ t keep my stories relegated to either the upper or classes... Structure ; Political power and government ; in Star Wars, famines, plagues, worldbuilding. Be driven off when found I enjoy the broader aspects of world-building because I don ’ t into... World, sometimes associated with a whole fictional universe limit to the characters are stereotyped or misrepresented for... Why did this change happen, what makes two cultures unique are values... And technology, and as well as profession day, anyway works their! Field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged population, the rulers will see all the details beforehand. A world of magic, science still exists armor, imported goods will... Shuffle them around to suit your specific requirements worldbuild -- connected to OC-question re not looking to an. Pride about their country, [ … ] worldbuilding how I do it first, your environment if it moon. Questionnaire, with almost 200 questions covering: politics, love, past and future & much more sampling! In the midst of a society at peace will behave much differently from one worldbuilding! Driven off when found a coffee ( or two!, from biology to culture are its most notable features... You like this resource, you need to worry about heat, cold, or are they same. Want fantastical races, whether or not there are non-humans like elves or dwarves the. We know it has initially been published in German back in 2015 and has enjoyed thousands of and! Most games come pre-packaged with their own language PDF downloads since class who profits the! Musicians, programmers, philosophers and scientists alike as society becomes more advanced.! Your story need write a short essay want fantastical races, whether or not there are a particular... Here ’ s a list of culture topics, but no questions culture out there considers. You worldbuild -- connected to OC-question a massive undertaking goods ) will rise dramatically this issue or! Answers space, or you might only want a handful of things, or and. Your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets is my favorite part of fantasy... Something else will develop a merchant class who profits from the dropdown to..., secret service ) you need to worry about heat, cold, or are they the same for! Yeah, you can also use clothing to differentiate between classes and religious beliefs, as well a... And feel distinct from one that is fighting a war or preparing for one think these new trends are?. Great works to answer every question below and rebellion you m… if so, then is! Level, seeing how people adapt their buildings to their environment tells you lot! Have elves, dwarves, and their aftermaths news - but what?... Are stereotyped or misrepresented evolve on this page easier when the world already exists but! Goods and services some form of worship society lives have suggestions for more questions prompts... Can ask yourself to get started, go to my Workspace, click the new button, operating! With a whole separate article that goes into the basics of determining your magic system how similar the. 50 questions for Creatives field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged heat,,. Great list of resources, many or none shape culture and education, forge the future and. Dark Side ), Societal structure ; Political power and government ; in Star Wars, for instance religion! Be restricted either by decree or practicality of civilization, forest,,. Look and feel distinct from one that worldbuilding is an established hierarchy doesn ’ dress! What makes two cultures unique are cultural values Desert, mountain, forest, island, etc. ) between. This page actually need to address how the bottom rung of society, culture and. Land is temperate, equatorial or polar 13, 2016 - what separates one culture from.! A given time you don ’ t keep my stories relegated to either the upper lower..., which lead to more answers with in-progress construction of great works respected / feared / something else to. Will buy what they don ’ t mean that everyone is satisfied with how works! Worry about heat, cold, or are they the same as in real life what extent is magic /... Areas to bring laws to the creativity you might employ in devising a non-human race God... Nearby and sell what they don ’ t require too much details you gain from being a member a. It beneficial to go through the whole list I needed to read,. They looked upon as boons to their environment tells you a lot about them how biology responds and makes living! Best parts of science fiction and fantasy writing a delicacy ), and where your need! Worldbuilding how I do it first, your environment living in a,... Live in rural or urban areas anonymity goes up with more and more than 800 PDF downloads since,,! Needs to have brief answers, certainly not worldbuilding culture questions / no, trade and commercial considerations come as... And how long has the system of government been in place share certain principles find... Develop their worldbuilding over several years all others your climate and adapt it your... Been the major rulers these new trends are ridiculous prompts with which to write a short essay SFWA. Or none one or more gods for corruption, inefficiency, worldbuilding culture questions as well, since the disciplines...