Worldbuilding Checklist – The Basics

Last week, I talked about the core elements a fictional culture needs, and over time I’ve written posts on many different worldbuilding concepts and how to build them well. Today, I want to share with you a worldbuilding checklist that includes all of the elements (both general to a world and specific to various cultures) that I see as integral to a functioning world. And I’ll include a printable version, too, so stick around to the end for that.

Part 1: General World Questions

  • What is the origin of the world?
  • Does this world have a god/gods? If so, what are the most important elements of their character?
  • What is the inherent moral law in this world?
  • What are the scientific laws of this world?
  • Are there magic systems? If so, how do they work and what are their limitations?

Related Post: Deciding the Foundation Truth of Your World

Part 2: Cultural Questions

All of these questions will help you to develop a world that shapes your characters and feels real to the reader. Some are a bit more important than others, or might be more or less relevant upfront depending on what kind of story you want to tell (e.g. romance/marriage customs will be less crucial if your book is completely free of romance), but they’ll all contribute to the overall shape of your world and culture and give you a foundation for stories moving forward.

To get a printable version of this worldbuilding checklist, join my Discord server or sign up to my newsletter for access to the resource library!

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