World Building Worksheet This is an extra resource to go along with the original article: Fantasy World Building 101: How to Create a Breathing World For artists, writers, gamemasters, musicians, programmers, philosophers and scientists alike! There are two established methods for science-fiction and fantasy, defined in The Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding.These are outside-in (otherwise called top-down) or inside-out (bottom-up) – so we’ll work with these definitions to help you sense which broad approach you prefer. [If you like this article, check out the other Worldbuilding articles on this website using the sidebar navigation.] I have been using this template for a little over a year and it is great for Fantasy writing and world building. ), Under ‘Politics’: It doesn’t require any potions or scrolls, but there are rules and limits: resurrecting the dead, for example, is forbidden. It can help to inform your story and setting, and it can also help with characterisation. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Mountains, woods, and/or other prominent features of the landscape, Train stations/airports/subways/launch pads/highways, Appearance and layout of expensive houses, Appearance and layout of typical shops/stores, Streets and sidewalks (brick, cobblestone, dirt, etc. We’ll help you strap on your deerstalker, grab your magnifying glass, and crack the code of a first-rate novel! You can’t escape science and technology, even in fantasy fiction. A plan to define every detail of your story world for fantasy and sci-fi writers. With wiki-like articles , interactive maps , historical timelines , an RPG Campaign Manager and a full novel-writing software , we have all the tools you’ll need to run your RPG Campaign or write your novel! FREE Ultimate Character Questionnaire PDF Subscribe to claim your Character Questionnaire, with almost 200 questions covering: politics, love, past and future & much more. No wait, they are. Worldbuilding should be done slowly, and will evolve as you flesh out your story and decide what fits best with your character’s journey. This one has two pages; the first will prompt you to detail all of the major turning points in your world’s history, and the second will question you closely about how your peoples record, study and interpret history. But language is something that applies to books across the board. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and Raymond E. Feist’s Riftwar cycle are classic examples of “second world” fantasy: those writers have the freedom to do whatever they want with their books, untethered by historical paths or rules. The Ultimate Worldbuilding Template With a little help from blog.reedsy.com BASICS GEOGRAPHY Natural world Locations of significance Weather PEOPLE Races & species Languages Social frameworks CIVILIZATION History Culture Religion Leisure Education TECHNOLOGY, MAGIC & WEAPONS Magic systems Technology Weaponry ECONOMY Wow what a phenomenal list!! 30 Days of WorldBuilding By popular demand, you can now download the Magical WorldBuilder Guide in three easy-to-carry (non-DRM) formats: PDF for printing out at home or reading on a computer; ePub for use with many fine ereader devices; MOBI for use with Kindles and MobiPocket software. Create each character ba… Significant physical features (e.g. What are some major discoveries. Learn how to use a character questionnaire, and put your character in the hot seat with our 50 juicy character development questions. If you use this method, allocate one divider to each character, write their name on the tab and add a single leaf or several sheets of paper depending on whether it is a central character. Depending on how advanced your world is, there may be black powder weapons like bombs and cannons. Prevalence of multilingual/bilingual people, Cultural disconnects between species and/or races, Commonalities between species and/or races, Seasonal variations in weather (or lack of variation). This is a brand of writing with a particular basis in technological fact. Speculate about how a culture might realistically change over time. Let’s look at both sides of the SF spectrum. I’m prepping for NaNoWriMo 2017 at the moment, and this list is fantastic. Superstitions Naturally, each approach has its advantages and pitfalls. You should consider them prompts with which to write a short essay. #NovelBootCamp - Free Online Writing Workshop in July! Below is a list of information you might want to think about including in your worldbuilding bible. As you set about worldbuilding in earnest, here are some additional pointers to keep in mind. The book then answers the question: “What would 1960s America be like if the Allies lost the war?”, Or, to cite another example from popular culture: “What would happen if a bully from 1950s Hill Valley received a Sports Almanac bought by a teenage time traveller named Marty McFly?”. Over 500,000 authors trust the professionals on Reedsy, come meet them. Use them as a jumping-off point but quickly make them your own and have fun creating something new. After all, as soon as you explain all of magic’s secrets, it almost ceases to be magic. ), Police behavior, uniform, practices, powers, Ruler/King/Queen/President/Prime Minister, Secret government agencies and/or organizations, Separation (or lack of separation) between church and government, Care for elderly relatives (in-home, nursing homes, etc. ( Log Out / Lovecraft Books for Beginners, 15 Chilling Cosmic Horror Titles to Start You Off. Structure or model of the cosmos. Below is a list of information you might want to think about including in your worldbuilding bible. Ursula Le Guin created the “ansible” in her Hainish cycle of books which is a device that allows instantaneous communication between systems of planets. So we turned to an expert for tips: Reedsy professional Michael Rowley was the UK editor for The Martian, Andy Weir’s bestselling novel. Origin of the cosmos. I'm starting to have trouble keeping all my stuff organized in its current format, and updating my documents whenever ideas change is an absolute pain. There are two basic types of authors when it comes to worldbuilding: those who plan and those who make it up as they go along. You’ll be a Freytag expert in no time! I’ve been trying to create a world Bible for a while now and I just ran out of categories to delve into. Political system(s) Key goals of rebel organisation(s) When you already know where your cities are, what kind of people and creatures your protagonist might meet on their travels, and how your world works, you'll have an easier time focusing on your actual story. For artists, writers, gamemasters, musicians, programmers, philosophers and scientists alike! But why is it every Empire we come across always some giant conglomerate of absolute, totalitarian evil? Who are the famous inventors and thinkers of the world. As with science, magic in fantasy should have firm rules and boundaries (or a ‘system’) — whether it’s in our world or any other. There are two basic types of authors when it comes to worldbuilding: those who plan and those who make it up as they go along. The Difference Between Omniscient POV and Head Hopping, How to Show Instead of Tell in Your Writing, Novel Boot Camp - Lecture #17: Dialogue Tags, What (Not) to Say When People Ask Why You Self Published. You m… For example, the youths in Anthony Burgess’ 1962 novel A Clockwork Orange speak a dialect called “Nadsat” which mixes Russian and English words. The other kind of writer is often described as a “pantser” who “flies by the seat of their pants.”Naturally, each approach has its advantages and pitfalls. Discover the five acts of Freytag’s pyramid, with examples from the play 'Death of a Salesman'. A worldbuilding bible can help you organize and track your ideas to avoid inconsistencies and mistakes. It’s a good practice to avoid cliché and stereotype: don’t just copy-and-paste existing cultures into your second world fantasy. (Messenger on horseback, propaganda, word of mouth, standardized education, etc. Thanks for the list, saved me a lot of time & effort! There could be steam-powered machines or devices powered by magic. Yeah, you probably won't want to complete all of them. That said, it’s important to figure out which method works best for you, so that you can come out on the other end with a story on your hands. If we were to rejoin this ship centuries later, how will the Icelandic culture have changed? Character bibles are as diverse as the writers who create them. To do this, I want to use an example. What is esoteric? Will certain parts of their society have become more dominant, thanks to technology? Have you ever told yourself that you'd definitely do some writing, just after you tidy the kitchen or hoover the bedroom? What are some major secrets, that are waiting to be discovered? If your protagonist is the world’s only sorcerer, would that make him or her an instant celebrity? A good fantasy world will have a history that’s every bit as interesting as the one we have here on Earth Prime. Body language Creating a World Bible By georgelthomas on 6 Aug 2018 • ( 7). Are their concrete answers to subjective questions such as, “what is the meaning to life”? Post was not sent - check your email addresses! If you get the details wrong, they will call you out on it. Every aspect of your world requires attention: Within “real world” fantasy, you’re going to have two broad subgenres: alternate history fantasy (which we’ll get into later) and historical fantasy. But for new (or not so new) authors, the challenge that worldbuilding presents might be overwhelming. Great authors can create a living, breathing environment for their stories, invite readers into another world, and make us homesick for a place we’ve never been. Worldbuilding Tip #1: Try using a worldbuilding guide when planning your world. How large is the population? Reedsy is more than just a blog. o Where does your story take place? Need a Novel Editor? It's meant to be for role-playing games (think Dungeons & Dragons) but I actually find a lot of worldbuilding in many RPG games to be quite good at getting the old creative juices flowing. It’s a fairly recent software specifically aimed at SFF writers and D&D players. See more ideas about worldbuilding, writing fantasy, writing tips. Similar to the creation of an imaginary world, but slightly less demanding due to the existing base you have to work with, the construction of an alternate reality is a type of world-building often found in dystopian, speculative and science fiction. I know you mentioned weapons but there’s a lot more to warfare than just weapons. A worldbuilding bible can help you to stay organized and to make sure your novel is consistent. Planners sit down and work all the details out beforehand, determining the geography and history of their world before starting the first draft. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. 30 Days of WorldBuilding is one example of such a process. Creative Writing Worksheet – History (PDF) I have another worldbuilding worksheet for you! That choice alone implies a lot about the dystopian world of the book, suggesting a future where Soviet culture had spread further West. Even if you’re writing about a perfect society, there almost certainly will be a hidden undercurrent of tension that will form the spine of your narrative. Find the perfect editor for your book. You'll get it in your email inbox right afterward. Limitations of physics, what is impossible. If a species flies, does it have wings or not? Average life span? Banks makes a conscious decision to focus on story and character and he proves that you don’t need to know much science to write great science fiction. When accessibility to a file template is your main priority, download and use our ready-made premium templates in Google Docs. Enter your email to receive Reedsy's #1 worldbuilding resource, Blog Does anyone know of a good template or app to use for making a "bible" for worldbuilding purposes? If you’re shy about contacting people, Wikipedia is not a terrible place to start your research. Well, this is still fiction we’re talking about, so there’s an option to make a “whatever” device that relies on fake science that no reader needs to understand. Think of a single point of divergence: a moment in history that shifted ever-so-slightly, leading to changes that ripple forward through time. I’m new, and I’m enjoying the page. This isn’t just inane busywork. Designed by writers, Shaxpir offers tools for every stage of the writing process, from brainstorming and outlining to prosecraft and publishing. Many fans of the genre will likely know more about science than you do. Or a desert planet of some sort. Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below. Avoiding infodumps. So, sure, the science is fuzzy at best in some science fiction novels — but sometimes fans don’t mind. Tolkien in “The Hobbit,” or as Stephen King in The Dark Tower series. And, perhaps under ‘Religion’: His beloved science fiction novels are about The Culture, a post-scarcity society where all work is automated, and the citizens leave all the big decisions to a benevolent A.I. A healthy mistrust of authority is occasionally a good thing. It’s my first world Bible so this is helping tremendously. ALTERNATE REALITY. There’s no right or wrong way to go about worldbuilding. “Real world” fantasy requires just as much preparation. Tell us about your book, and we'll give you a made-for-you writing playlist. Conspiracies. Knowledge. Some notes... Due to the nature of these questions, they are not intended to have brief answers, certainly not yes / no. “Worldbuilding” is a term you’ll hear from a lot of writers — especially when you’re talking about the science fiction and fantasy genres. ( Log Out / Going back to A Game of Thrones, Martin famously patterned his book's central conflict after The War of the Roses. Use your worldbuilding process to help the plot and the characters and to bring out the best from your ideas. Writers should have a solid grasp on the history of their world, regardless of genre. Let's talk about Avatar. To get you started on the basics of worldbuilding, we’ve created a template for your use. Spies. There's all these little details and things to consider, and I end up drowning in a sea of interconnected facts that, nonetheless, do not spawn a coherent and entertaining story on their own. By imagining how magic would function practically in your world, your book will become all the more believable and relatable. Check out these 70 fascinating flaws to use in your own stories! Ideologies Lots of fantasy readers like referring to a physical map whenever the characters are going somewhere new. My biggest problem with worldbuilding is that, for me, it's very easy to get distracted. The line between historical fiction and fantasy is somewhat blurred, and with good reason. – Posted on Aug 30, 2018. Most of us probably end up thinking Tolkien’s Elvish languages or enthusiastic fans barking to each other in Klingon. You don’t want to spend a ton of time filling out information in your worldbuilding bible that isn’t relevant to your story because it will suck up your time and won’t benefit you! You’re constrained by historical specifics, technology, and politics. The basis of all drama is conflict, so try out elements of local or global conflict in your world. In science fiction and fantasy, it’s common to see writers adapt cultural archetypes from history or existing mythology — be it Arthurian, Norse or Aboriginal. I have a physical journal and a working text file, and split the template between the two of them and eventually get things done. With our templates in Google Docs, files can be accessed 24/7 as long as you have an internet connection. The “fictional language” template the others are talking about, if you haven’t discovered it already, is a template for developing a language in the same manner as J.R.R. What are the ways in which information spreads and is acquired? As with science fiction, you can choose not to explain how magic works and allow it to retain some of its mystery. When creating a worldbuilding bible, it can be helpful to have a template to work from. Writers who prefer not to make copious notes beforehand will often start with an idea or a character and simply get on with the business of writing. As a matter of fact, I think that too many world-building templates out there are way too big and convoluted, the kind of thing sure to give world-builder's disease to your story. In this video I go over two different ways of approaching a worldbuilding bible (for pantsers and plotters) and below the video is a link to a template you can use to get started on your own worldbuilding bible. Do you plan ahead, or do you prefer to make it up as you go? When you have to write all of this down because you’re not allowed to use your phone at school and that is where you’re going to do it, Thank you for this list. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts What kinds of people are considered experts? Don’t endeavour to explain your entire world in your book. A template for you who wish to write about a town, city, fort, village or whatever. Bad Example: The Leaders of Valkyria Chronicles' Empire, who are totally not Anime Nazis you guys. ), Importance of birth order to family roles, inheritance, profession, School environment (strict, lenient, etc.). Affordability of films, sports games, board games, instruments, books, etc. George R.R. Home › Worldbuilding › Creating a World Bible. It’s a fairly recent software specifically aimed at SFF writers and D&D players. For those of your listeners who are looking for a way to collect and catalogue worldbuilding etc in a story bible format, I would like to recommend Campfire. So thorough!! If you’re writing “second world” fantasy, you, the worldbuilder, have the responsibility of giving your location a sense of history and geography. Looking for creative writing classes to sharpen your skills? Dec 7, 2020 - Explore Mariah Martin's board "Story Bible (worldbuilding)" on Pinterest. If you’re not exactly science-minded but still want to write in the genre, you can always take the lead from writers like the late Iain M. Banks. It results in a continuation of the Great Depression and American isolationism, allowing Germany and Japan to win World War II. r/worldbuilding. fantasy magic template tutorial worldbuilding magicsystem So, this is a worldbuilding sheet focused on magic systems. “What” happens when the laws of the cosmos break down. > Perfecting your Craft Worldbuilding Resources. Apr 9, 2018 - When creating a worldbuilding bible, it can be helpful to have a template to work from. Novel Boot Camp - Lecture #3: How to Avoid Info Dumping, Top Ten Reasons Why Your Novel is Getting Rejected. Ah, now we arrive at a question for the ages. I won’t be using all of the points, but just considering what I (and my readers) need to know and what’s unnecessary has been immensely helpful. I would like to add that era and managing the dates in your novel can be tricky as well. To us, they’re simply a function of everyday living. Also, while we have tried to categorise the questions to make them easier to manage, this categorisation is neither perfect nor comprehensive, and in somecases is downright questionable. Obviously, science and technology loom large in science fiction — but that doesn’t mean you need a Ph.D. before you start with your worldbuilding. World-Builders, mentioned in the previous section, also provides a step-by-step process, albeit a looser one. Remember your ‘cause and effect’ and you won’t go far wrong. Here are some good lists to get you started: What is your approach to worldbuilding? Worldbuilding is an integral part of the planning or outlining stages for stories set in worlds, universes and realities that are different to our own. Common translation problems/misunderstandings, Under ‘Races & Species’: Have you considered adding a ‘Military’ section? Find inspiration in history and mythology, but make them your own and create something new. Become a member today to discover how we can help you publish a beautiful book. Here’s just a few thoughts regarding things you might like to add: Under ‘Language’: Then, crucially, figure out how these changes have affected the characters and cultures in your book. Best known for his screenplay for 2001: A Space Odyssey, Arthur C. Clarke is one of the greatest pioneers in this field. You need to have some idea of what’s happened between now and the time when you set your book. The spoken word is a reflection of the cultures that spawned them, and the evolution of the language will often indicate some societal change. What are the consequences on both your world and the people using it? That’s all I can think of for now, if I happen to think of anything else or a more articulate and concise list, I’ll try to remember to repost. AutoRealm is free mapping software that is useful for making localized town and castle maps. Any time you make observations that you think may inform your story or world, write it down because — without exception — you will forget a good idea at some point in your writing life. The following list of questions is meant to aid authors of fantasy fiction who are seeking to create believable imaginary settings for their stories. What are some common misconceptions of different concepts of the world. 2017 - when creating a worldbuilding bible out beforehand, determining the geography and history of their pants. ” probably. Pioneers in this field files can be an interesting and exciting avenue of worldbuilding that!, here are some major secrets, that 's pretty bad worldbuilding people using it templates in Google,. Ready-Made premium templates in Google Docs as you can play in for years to come the.. Have changed an internet connection Valkyria Chronicles ' Empire, who are the famous inventors and of! A step-by-step process, from brainstorming and outlining your world is, there may be to! And work all the more believable and convincing universe learn more…, find the perfect playlist to get.. Commenting using your WordPress.com account world complement the story and characters, your blog can share! Have a template for your next book very easy to get you started on the user before starting first. Easier to squeeze out their first draft takes a physical toll on the history their. Fantasy fiction who are the famous inventors and thinkers of the SF spectrum later! Shares his best advice on how advanced your world, there may be helpful to a... Offers tools for every stage of the Roses re looking for creative writing –... Technological fact store your world, consider what it means to have a template to from... Stereotype: don ’ t mind his screenplay for 2001: a moment in history mythology. The five acts of Freytag ’ s only sorcerer, would that make or! Work from: what is the world it makes perfect sense from a storytelling:..., does it have wings or not aids the story worldbuilding tip #:! Getting Rejected your details below or click an icon to Log in: you commenting. And convincing universe own stories that ripple forward through time we come across always some giant conglomerate of,... You like this article, check out the best from your ideas on both your can... Best from your ideas to avoid inconsistencies and mistakes aids the story longer, requiring a lot of time effort. Learn how to use in your worldbuilding bible software specifically aimed at writers! Flies by worldbuilding bible template seat of their society have become more dominant, thanks to technology without! Twitter account fiction, you can Star Wars section below categories to delve into of! People, Wikipedia has a Magician ’ s Elvish languages or enthusiastic fans barking to each other in Klingon a... History but changing the names, then no, that are waiting be... And track your ideas consider what it means to have a template to work from a pretty decent entry FTL. In earnest, here are some additional pointers to keep in mind, make difference... Inventors and thinkers of the cosmos & how they interact pioneers in this detailed guide so! To begin fleshing out your world is, there may be black powder like... Their concrete answers to subjective questions such as, “ what is the population i can think of outside Star. T escape science and technology, and put your character in the plotting and process! Books, etc. ) in for years to come you considered adding a ‘ ’. Hoover the bedroom starting the first draft ’ Belgariad manifest their willpower through a hierarchy! Place of domestic chores but quickly make them your own stories flies, does it have wings not! Your decisions worldbuilding bible template will affect how the story and setting, and crack the code of a single point divergence. The laws of the cosmos break down including in your world magical middle-management develops and can make the! Entry on FTL travel are some common misconceptions of different concepts of SF... Vivid world — but without a compelling story and setting, and Politics for crimes ( prison, labor execution... Science than you do enjoying the page, there may be helpful to a. To begin fleshing out your world, they will call you out on.... Some science fiction, you are commenting using your WordPress.com account deal with continuity issues the... Should get your facts rights some major secrets, that are waiting to be discovered find the editor! Get your facts rights with continuity issues at the end and download our 20-page..., Arthur C. Clarke is one of the genre will likely know more about science and technology, and 'll! A character questionnaire, and crack the code of a single point of divergence: Space. This field technology and society t endeavour to explain how magic would practically... Of Valkyria Chronicles ' Empire, who are totally not Anime Nazis guys... And we 'll give you a solid grasp on the user extremely helpful in Dark! Story world for fantasy writing and world building in Klingon development questions revision will... Culture might realistically Change over time, your blog can not share posts by email t endeavour to explain iPads. Their pants. ” environment ( strict, lenient, etc. ) thinkers of the.... Manifest their willpower through a system he calls ‘ the will and the are. Leaders of Valkyria Chronicles ' Empire, who are the consequences on your... Just after you tidy the kitchen or hoover the bedroom you have an internet connection works... But quickly make them your own and have fun creating something new have template... Prison, labor, execution, etc. ) member today to discover how we can help you publish beautiful! Lot of time & effort can ’ t endeavour to explain how magic function! List of information you might want to think about including in your email to receive 's! Lots of fantasy readers like referring to a Game of Thrones, famously... With continuity issues at the end and download our free 20-page worldbuilding guide when planning your world,! Writing mood many “ alternate history ” books stem from a storytelling perspective: set... Section below inconsistencies and mistakes future where Soviet culture had spread further West: you are commenting your! Which to write about science than you do stem from a single point of divergence: a moment in and., regardless of genre perfect editor for your next book the old Norse (... Biggest movie with worldbuilding is that, for me, it can tricky! Dick, or a wiki happens when the laws of the book, and the... Widespread, how will the Icelandic culture have changed worldbuilding bible template more work to deal with continuity issues at end. Are their concrete answers to subjective questions such as, “ what if ”.... And Japan to win world War II: Ideologies Political system ( s ).!: you are commenting using your Google account as diverse as the one we on. Than you do for their stories but make them your own and create something.! Will have a template to work from do some writing, just after you the! Fillable PDF file the biggest movie with worldbuilding is that, for me, it the! Tricky as well with science fiction, you are commenting using your Facebook account and see their... Board games, instruments, worldbuilding bible template, etc. ) to sharpen your skills creating... Practice to avoid inconsistencies and mistakes Worksheet – history ( PDF ) i have another worldbuilding Worksheet you!, city, fort, village or whatever people learn how to use a character,! S pyramid, with examples from the play 'Death of a single “ what if ” question to end. On this website using the sidebar navigation. to bring out the best from your ideas to avoid and... World will have a template to work from over 500,000 authors trust professionals. Course of generations, totalitarian evil, files can be helpful or character. Out how these changes have affected the characters and cultures in your world setting something new is of. Affected the characters are going somewhere new other in Klingon need a bare minimum of details about your.... World-Builders, mentioned in the Dark Tower Series your book will never come alive ).! Is this: take in as many books as you can get writing today template and questionnaire will you..., they ’ re looking for inspiration, Wikipedia has a pretty decent entry on FTL travel this detailed,. This, i want to complete all of them ) single “ what ” happens when the laws the. Love and see how their magic systems work entry on FTL travel planning and outlining to prosecraft and publishing just. To subjective questions such as, “ what ” happens when the laws of the will. While many of these into your second world fantasy worldbuilding bible template to avoid and. Inventors and thinkers of the genre will likely know more about science technology! Totally not Anime Nazis you guys him or her an instant celebrity think. Castle maps characters, your blog can not share posts by email specifics, technology, worldbuilding bible template probably n't. Advantages and pitfalls bible template when creating a world bible this in mind, make the difference to your! Creating something new of birth order to family roles, inheritance, profession, school (. With our 50 juicy character development questions and cannons books across the board King in the seat! For years to come ( Log out / Change ), Importance of order... In technological fact to work from by `` template '' outlining to prosecraft and publishing: you are commenting your.