Deep Worldbuild Project Part 1: Map Outlines

Deep Worldbuild Project:

Part 2: Landscape and How it Affects Culture

Part 3: Wildlife

Part 4: Technology and Magic

Part 5: Religion

Part 6: History

Part 7: Culture

(The book link below is a BookShop affiliate link, meaning if you buy through the link I get a small commission at no extra cost to you. And BookShop is awesome because it supports local U.S. bookstores!)

For a newer and more practical post on this topic, click here.

The book I’m reading (Midnight Thief, by Livia Blackburne) has really inspired me in my own writing, not because of the characters or the plot, though those are incredible too, but because of the worldbuilding. I’m only seven chapters in, but I already feel immersed in the world.

I’ve wanted for years to do a deep worldbuild, which to me is to go into the nitpicky details of my story world and make it incredibly complex and amazing. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to accomplish complex and amazing, but we’ll see.

I want you to be a part of this so that you can enjoy the journey with me and maybe learn something along the way. I’m sure I’ll be learning a TON as I go.

I plan on starting with a brand new planet, a brand new map, a brand new everything (except for one continent that’s as developed as mud and grass before they’re turned into a mud pie), and build completely from scratch. For one thing it’s more fun that way, and for another I think it’ll be easier because there won’t be any preconceived notions of what stories have already taken place there and what it’s already like and whatnot. Which is not to say that I can’t later take some of what I learn in this series and apply it to my existing settings – in fact, I probably will – but for now I’m starting fresh.

I’ve decided to go ahead and do the map outline, so that this post isn’t boring and imageless (like all of my other blog posts), and I’m doing the rice method for the first time, so there will be pictures of rice on a piece of paper, as well. ;D

Rice on paper:

It looks amazing. Totally.

The finished product:

I mainly wanted to use the rice method to get irregular shorelines, and I must say that it worked. I am quite pleased with the results.

I also did two others, since I’m creating a whole new planet, so I’ll share them, too.

Oh look, awesome lines you can’t see in the picture.
And more of them!

All right. Since you can’t really see the lines in those pictures (which really stinks), I’ll just say that the first one has part of the second one in its northwest corner and there’s a little island in the southeast. And there are a bunch of tiny islands in the northeast. Other than that it’s pretty nondescript.

The second one curls around a lagoon and has an island in the northwest.

Fortunately, the first one is a little clearer. I’ll try to get better pictures by the next post.

Speaking of the next post, it’s going to be on climate and landscape and whatnot, which I don’t enjoy as much as some other things since it’s tedious, but which needs to be done.

I hope you guys enjoyed this (and that I’ll be able to make future posts a little less boring and disjointed), and I look forward to talking to you tomorrow, as well. Since I’m really excited about this, I’ll be posting every day (hopefully) with a new section, and at the end I’ll have a roundup post of any articles I may link to later on.


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