You’re building a world, and hopefully at this point you have a map. What do you do with that map? Aside from using it as a reference point for where your characters are and where they go, of course. How can you use it to further develop your world? Well, chances are you’ve filled it in with landscapes (mountains, forests, deserts, craggy cliffs…), which is a great starting point. A town in the forest is going to act very differently and produce very different materials than a town in the desert. So, how do you tap into these landscapes to develop your cultures? Let’s find out. Continue reading “Discovering Your World: How Regions and Landscape Affect Culture”
Some of you may remember the “Deep Worldbuild Project” that I did in January and February 2017, a blog post series which continues to consistently get traffic to this day. I thought it was time to revisit that series and update it with some of what I’ve learned in the past two years. I’m going to cover most of the same things I covered in the original series (map-making, how landscape affects culture, wildlife, technology and magic, religion, and history) but with some new additions. Instead of seven installments, the new series is going to have nine, including a guest post near the end by Kate Flournoy.
Also, I feel obliged to mention that I’ll almost certainly be referencing World Anvil a lot in this series. No, I was not paid to promote the tool, I just really appreciate it and think it’s super helpful and recommend that y’all try it out for yourselves as well. (Also, there’s a free version that includes the core features and then some, so you can learn how it works, experience it in almost its full functionality, and fall in love with it before committing to pay for extra features.)
However, I may include Amazon affiliate links to books or other tools. These will always be marked with an asterisk, and a little note at the beginning or end of the post will give a brief explanation of affiliate links.
With all the technicalities and explanations out of the way, let’s get into the good stuff!
I usually like to start with a map, or at least Continue reading “Discovering Your World: Map-Making”
There are no current fall superstitions in Mandoria, but when the faeries were around they would have a week around the autumn equinox where they went totally crazy and often wreaked havoc on human settlements for that week. After the faeries were defeated in the Lornean War and vanished into their own parallel dimension, the Mandorians were still terrified that they’d return on the autumn equinox and make messes like they had for centuries prior. It was an ongoing fear for a whole generation after the faeries’ defeat, and it was a legend that they’d still come back to Mandoria in the night and subtly alter things (rearranging bookshelves, flipping things upside down, etc.). People would have new doorknobs and window latches made of iron to keep out the faeries, and this lasted beyond the legitimate fear of faeries returning as a silly tradition and a bedtime story for children.
Mindmaps are awesome for brainstorming ideas. You start with a broad idea and then narrow your scope and narrow your scope until you can’t narrow it any further, and this is great when you want to figure out what sorts of details you need to develop about your fictional cultures. And since I’ve been experimenting with video recently and I think this post would be easier if y’all could see my screen… I’m going to do a video of this post rather than text.
I’m considering making video a common thing next year Continue reading “Using Mindmaps for Worldbuilding”
After two weeks of tags I’m finally back with a worldbuilding post. I’m also promoting Pinterest again, because Pinterest is awesome and I use it for all sorts of writing-related things. (No, they didn’t pay me.)
I’m not sure Pinterest is really something most people think about as a worldbuilding tool, but it’s wonderful for that purpose anyway, particularly for visual people, so here’s a look at how I set up my Pinterest country boards. Continue reading “Pinterest Country Boards”