Worldbuilding from Square One: Part II

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Minibit, Apr 10, 2014.

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  1. This is my personal method of worldbuilding from square one. Others may have different methods, or may do things in a different order; there is no wrong way to worldbuild and these exercises are not intended to imply that one way is 'right' and the others are 'wrong' or 'inferior'. The intent is to share one fairly generic method in the hopes that it will help other structure-oriented worldbuilders find a method that works for them.

    1. Naming and Concept
    2. Mapping and History
    3. Culture and Technology
    4. How It Works
    5. Tying it All Together
    Now that we have a general idea of what kind of world we're building, and know what to call things, we can start on the physical shaping of the world and its inhabitants.

    Here's some quick links to mapmaking resources here in the Guild:
    Specific areas of your world may need more detailed maps. Try to think of the places the story is likely to take the characters, and what locations are relevant to the plot, and devote most of your details to these areas.

    When mapping, you should also consider the geographical connections to the area being mapped; where a place sits in the world will influence a lot about it.

    • Villages near swamps might be subject to a disease from the gasses.
    • A highly elevated region might have sparser foliage than one closer to sea level
    • The architecture of a building on a mountain would take advantage of the view.

    Geographic History
    It can be helpful when designing the physical layout of a world to consider how things got to be where they are. Thinking about the reasons a city may have been built along a cliff, or why a village would settle near a volcano can give a lot of insight into the local culture, since it sheds light on their origins.

    It's not important to assign significance or legendary value to every prominent location on the map. According to the principle of Chekhov's gun, if significance is drawn to something, readers will expect it to be important to the story; refer to the previously established focus points to decide which areas need these kinds of attention-flags, and which should remain more low-key.
    #1 Minibit, Apr 10, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2014
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