Worldbuilding Resource Round-Up

Today I have a round-up of worldbuilding resources for you guys that I’d intended to post last month and ended up replacing with a post on infodumping. Hopefully these resources are helpful. :)

General Worldbuilding Resources

How to Use Fantasy Worldbuilding to Explore Worldview by Yours Truly

Laying the Foundations of Your World by Yours Truly

10 Points to Think About When Worldbuilding by Hannah at Hannah Heath

How to Use Multiple Tiers to Worldbuild Effectively by Hope Ann at Kingdom Pen

Worldbuilding Bible Template by Ellen at Ellen Brock

5 Common Worldbuilding Mistakes and How to Correct Them by Naomi at Kingdom Pen

5 Ways to Worldbuild by Vicki at NaNoWriMo

20 Questions for Worldbuilding by Alyssa at Alyssa Hollingsworth

Creating Science Fiction Worlds – 10 Important Questions (It says sci-fi, but the questions can apply to any kind of worldbuilding. I also don’t know for certain who wrote it, so I’m going to leave that blank.)

Creating Science Fiction Worlds Part II – 10 More Questions (See above.)

Questions to Ask When You’re Worldbuilding by Jennifer at Jennifer Ellision

9 Tips to Start World-Building by Thorn at Creative Writing Guild

Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions by Patricia C. Wrede at Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America

Worldbuilding 101 by Ruthanne at The Write Practice

The 5 Keys to Seamless Worldbuilding by J.S. Morin at J.S. Morin

7 Worldbuilding Tropes Science Fiction and Fantasy Need to Stop Using by James at Gizmodo

An Introduction to Worldbuilding by Kristen at Well-Storied

 

Geography & Maps

How Geography Helps Writers with Worldbuilding by Hannah at Hanashlyn

Fictional Ecosystems for Fantasy Worldbuilding by Tina at HobbyLark

Practical Steps to a Rewarding Fantasy Map by Tineke at One Year Adventure Novel

Worldbuilding Tips: Mapmaking by Gabrielle at Write For the King

Worldbuilding By Map by Jonathan at Fantastic Maps

Worldbuilding Considerations: Maps at Reference for Writers

Map-Making 201: Naming Things by Jill at Go Teen Writers

To Create a World: Part 1: The Map by Hannah at Ink Blots and Coffee Stains

 

Species

Creating and Characterizing Fantasy Races by Kaylie (guest poster) at Write for the King

3 Steps for Creating Realistic Fantasy Races and Creatures by Kaitlin at Ink and Quills

Worldbuilding: Animals (And Monsters) by J.S. Morin at J.S. Morin

Worldbuilding: Wildlife by Yours Truly

 

Culture

Why Cultural Worldview in Fantasy is Important by Yours Truly

Developing Fantasy Cultures by Hannah at Dan Koboldt (This whole site is a great worldbuilding resource, so you should have a look around.)

Creating Culture in Fiction: 15 Things to Consider by Clara at The Invisible Author

Questions to Ask When Creating Fictional Ethnicities by Melissa at Quill Pen Writer

Worldbuilding: Festivals & Holidays by Yours Truly

Tips for Building a Fictional Society (a #StorySocial recap) by Kristen at Well-Storied

World Building: Having a Cultural Focus by Gabrielle at Write for the King

World Building: Using a Base Culture by Gabrielle at Write for the King

The 5-Minute Shortcut to Creating Cultures by J.S. Morin at J.S. Morin

Worldbuilding: Government by J.S. Morin at J.S. Morin

Creating a Fantasy Culture by Athelas at Red Lettering

Questions to Ask When Creating a Fantasy Religion by Melissa at Quill Pen Writer

 

Magic

Creating a Fantasy Magic System by Jason at Write Good Books

Questions to Ask When Creating Magical Worlds by Melissa at Quill Pen Writer

Storyworld Building: Types of Magic by Jill at Go Teen Writers

Know How Your Magic Works by Jessica at Mythcreants

Worldbuilding: Magic at The Writersaurus

How to Create a Believable Magic System by Atsiko at Atsiko’s Chimney

Designing Realistic Magic Academies by Hannah at Dan Koboldt

How to Create a Rational Magic System by Chris at Mythcreants

 

My “Deep Worldbuild Project”

I’ve learned a lot since writing this series and have since written another series like it (see below), but there’s still some good info in here.

Deep Worldbuild Project Part 1: Map Outlines

Deep Worldbuild Project Part 2: Landscape and How it Affects Culture

Deep Worldbuild Project Part 3: Wildlife

Deep Worldbuild Project Part 4: Technology and Magic

Deep Worldbuild Project Part 5: Religion

Deep Worldbuild Project Part 6: History

Deep Worldbuild Project Part 7: Culture

 

The “Discovering Your World” series

Discovering Your World: Fantasy Map-Making

Discovering Your World: How Regions and Landscape Affect Culture

Discovering Your World: Organizing the Info

Discovering Your World: Developing Fantasy Races

Discovering Your World: Technology and Magic

Discovering Your World: Religion

Six Ways Your Fantasy World Isn’t as Idyllic as You Think – Guest post by Kate Flournoy

Discovering Your World: History and How it Affects the Present

 

You can also just check out my worldbuilding category to see the many posts I’ve added since this post was first published.

 

Additional Worldbuilding Resources

In addition to blog posts, there are some other worldbuilding resources I’d like to mention. (Links with asterisks are affiliate links, meaning any purchases through them earn me a commission at no extra cost to you.)

Storyworld First* by Jill Williamson of Go Teen Writers

This is a super helpful book; my copy has sticky notes on multiple pages in almost every chapter. A couple of the posts I linked to above from Go Teen Writers are drawn from this book, so if you like those you should consider getting the book. (*The above link is a BookShop affiliate link, which means I get a percentage of the price at no extra cost to you and you’ll support a local U.S. bookstore.)

WorldAnvil*

WorldAnvil is my favorite tool for compiling worldbuilding information. It’s flexible, sleek, and comprehensive. I’ve talked about it a lot on the blog (it’s made my list of top worldbuilding resources at least once) and I recommend it to just about any worldbuilder.

New Worlds, Year One* by Marie Brennan

I came across this book relatively recently and it’s excellent. It’s a collection of essays, but I read it cover-to-cover and both enjoyed and learned from it. The secular worldview is rather evident in a few places; and there are a few chapters where, by necessity of the subject matter, Brennan uses some language or covers uncomfortable topics, but I thought it was handled well. The writing style is engaging, and Brennan’s anthropology background allows her to cover topics that I would never have thought to consider.

Aeon Timeline

This is helpful if you want a timeline of your world’s history, and later you can expand it to include your main story timeline. It’s a really useful tool.

Scrivener

This is helpful for organizing your world’s information and solves the problem of having to jump between a dozen files by keeping all of your story documents in one handy “binder.” You can jump between them via an interface on the left, and there’s even an option to view two files side-by-side. (Handy if you’re editing or, in this case, if you’re in the middle of a scene and have to look up what that animal is called that they just ran across; have the scene in one panel and keep your place while opening your fauna info in the second.)


You can find even more worldbuilding posts on my Writing Tips: Worldbuilding board on Pinterest (there were a lot on there that I thought were too specific to include in this collection, but they’re on there if you want to see them) and map-drawing references on my Maps board, and stay tuned for a couple of worldbuilding posts next month.

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7 thoughts on “Worldbuilding Resource Round-Up

  1. Hi Ariel,

    Thanks for creating this list. I look forward to reading the articles and also your deep dive on worldbuilding.

    If you had to start with one article from your list, which would it be?

    All the best,
    Vancano

    1. You’re welcome.

      I should mention that the “Deep Worldbuild Project” is two years old, so it’s less informative than a current series would be and more of a walk-through of how I built a particular world of mine. However, through February and March I’ll be rewriting and expanding that series, so if you’d like to you can subscribe to read the new and improved version as it comes out.

      It was tricky to pick just one, but I think if I’d start with Hannah White’s post “To Create a World: Part 1: The Map.” At least for me, having a map helps cement the idea of the part of the world I’m creating and the landscape can hold some great ideas for further developing the place.

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