The Ultimate World Building Questionnaire. Aug 8, 2016 - What separates one culture from another. Meaning: Why we’re alive. Some notes... Due to the nature of these questions, they are not intended to have brief answers, certainly not yes / no. Want Insider Exclusives? So take these questions, prompts, thoughts, etc. If you want to create a culture that worships evil, research notorious cults. If it’s a gas giant, what’s the atmospheric pressure like in the inhabited … Questions to ask when you’re world-building. A: Is it an “alternate Earth”? The guest? And I know biology. If you’re not looking to make an anti-deity statement, include at least oblique references to religious institutions or practices existing. Worldbuilding Questions! Is there one monolithic religion that dominates all others? If your world wasn’t created by divine powers, people most likely have invented them. This will help you follow your curiosity/interest and hopefully keep you somewhat focused on what you actually need to flesh out for your purposes. The creation of an immersive, believable world is the same concept for either one. Questions to get you thinking so you can better develop your countries and their cultures, whether they're fantastic fairytale kingdoms or futuristic space colonies. Well, to get you going, here’s a list of 20 world building questions you can ask yourself to get started. This culture is approximately at the very early Renaissance levels of development. You can "toss a coin to your author" to buy me a coffee (or two!) However you decide to craft your world, there are a number of worldbuilding questions you can answer (if applicable to your story) in order to help you along: Decide where to start . Use this list of questions to firm up the scaffolding behind your story—a great exercise for writers of speculative and historical fiction. Worldbuilding Questions and Ideas for Six Planet Types Worldbuilding is a massive undertaking. A: Is this generally an earth-like world? The worldbuilding process is an important aspect of many genres of fiction writing, especially sci-fi and fantasy writing. Not all fantasy needs to have elves, dwarves, and orcs. And if you like this resource, you might want to check out our Ultimate Character Questionnaire or our Plot Outline Templates. Questions to help you worldbuild -- connected to OC-question. What is the level of technology (stone age, hi tech)? /r/worldbuilding - If you are into worldbuilding and you do not know about this place yet, this would be the first link you should click. What do you do if you don’t know where to start creating that illusion? Drag the ones you’d like to explore into the Answers space, or create a new question of your own design. Flesh things out as you go and you'll come up with more and more questions, which lead to more answers. Fictional settings require real thought about news! 60 Worldbuilding Questions for A/B/O fic writers Long post, press J to skip So we were talking on Discord about writing A/B/O worlds, and somebody was wondering when parents should find out the secondary genders of kids and such. What are the belief bullet-points of your religion? Where are we? Are there organized religions? However, humans developed hundreds (if not thousands) of languages on Earth, so the one language per race trope is a bit simplistic. Was your world made by one or more gods? Free … World building is the art of convincing a reader that a fictitious place exists. Living in a rainy land with leaking roofs is an unmistakable sign of a primitive or destitute people. Are we on Earth or another planet? Climate effects how people live. Worldbuilding is the process of constructing a fictional universe. For me, I love the idea of creating new races, religions, places, cultures, and people. Do people mostly eat meat, fish or vegetables? However, you can also use clothing to differentiate between classes and religious beliefs, as well as profession. Fine tuning the physical and cultural landscape of your setting? What are the tables like? Nice post. The smaller the land, the more it will be reflective of the leadership of its ruler. Do the majority of people approve of or disapprove of the government? Culture is how biology responds and makes its living conditions better. Worldbuilding is the process of creating a fictional world within your novel that can be as complex as designing an entirely new and unique location with exotic creatures, societies, religions, and governments. What was the cause of the most recent war? Consider what rituals and practices may have arisen. War-like people will make city-building decisions with defensive considerations as well. Leaving a cuisine untouched will make a statement that you are using that as an in-world analog for the culture you are borrowing from. 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. Questions to get you thinking so you can better develop your countries and their cultures, whether they're fantastic fairytale kingdoms or futuristic space colonies. While the impact of events on a culture is part of Worldbuilding, you could easily write a thesis on even the smallest change and how it . What is the total population (of the planet / the country / the city, etc.). The first person to discover a creature is either a scientist or an explorer; the second is invariably a cook. Writing Worksheets; Writing Worksheet – Geography (PDF) This 4-page worksheet will be most useful to science-fiction and fantasy writers, but even if you’re writing within the confines of “our” world, it’s worth giving geography some thought. 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. 60 Worldbuilding Questions for A/B/O fic writers Long post, press J to skip So we were talking on Discord about writing A/B/O worlds, and somebody was wondering when parents should find out the secondary genders of kids and such. A: How do magical beasts fit in? Your fictional settings will have news - but what kind? It’s really interesting and may prompt another blog post on worldbuilding… What topics of conversation are controversial? by Patricia C. Wrede. It may not even be advisable. Not every reader will notice or care, but some will. Superheroes and Worldbuilding: 50 Questions For Creatives. Can magic be combined to increase its strength? Simple questions to ask that make sense for my world and don’t require too much details. It’s an Earth-like world, but any or every aspect of culture or location names or monarchy names etc. Who dislikes/suffers from/disapproves of this change? Smaller settlements have a more intimate feel. Worldbuilding is an aspect of storytelling that writers either love or hate. The upset to society can provide friction between those who have to obey the new laws and the ones who now have to enforce them. You're responsible for figuring out who and what exists, how days are spent (and how long is a day, anyway? by J.S. and use them as you see fit. Are some foods poisonous to certain people? But I digress.) ... How similar are the history and culture of the alternate earth to real history and culture? Starting a World. It has initially been published in German back in 2015 and has enjoyed thousands of visits and more than 800 PDF downloads since. July 13, 2016 Posted by Alyssa Fiction & I, Writing Tips. World building questions: Who have been the major rulers? Language shapes culture just as culture shapes language, and language is influenced heavily by geography and history. How is one magician stronger than another? Planners sit down and work all the details out beforehand, determining the geography and history of their world before starting the first draft. You can make a setting seem new with in-progress construction of great works. Basics. Access to fresh water, arable land, mineral resources, and fishing waters are influential in whether an area can support a large number of people. When it’s boiled down, cultural appropriation in worldbuilding happens in much the same way characters are stereotyped or misrepresented. Leave a comment and share with others! Whether it’s the language spoken by the inhabitants or the apocalyptic landscape, pick the aspect of the world you’re most excited about exploring and start there. Creating fictional worlds means writing about people – and often that means cultural institutions, especially religion and philosophy. As society becomes more advanced, trade and commercial considerations come in as well. Or it could be as simple as using the world we currently live in as a foundation, then tweaking it with a few historical, physical, or social adjustments. Culture-making checklist - neitherworldstories.blogspot.com; Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions; Astronomy ... be working with some parallel version of Earth as we know it. Email Insiders club members get: the J.S. I’m in the midst of a HUGE world building experiment and this is good food for thought. News, Media, and Worldbuilding: 50 Questions For Creatives. It will probably surprise no one that worldbuilding is my favorite part of writing fantasy. How much land is temperate, equatorial or polar? The current music, fashion, slang. Dictatorship? Checklist: Building a Culture Worldbuilding Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for writers/artists using science, geography and culture to construct imaginary worlds and settings. Visit Stack Exchange. For countries, the larger the population, the more cities, the more bureaucracy to keep it all running. Morals: Define what is good and bad. Artifexian's YT channel is good for stellar-level worldbuilding and conlangs. Describe them. In a previous article — called Worldbuilding on the Crossroads — I wrote about a technique writers can use to quickly create cultures for their worlds. Are different groups of people educated separately? A key part of creating interesting worlds is creating diverse cultures that vary in some way from our own norms. What natural resources are available in different regions? There’s a lot of detail that needs to be managed, a lot of nuance and content that readers will probably never see. Posted October 12, 2016 by Jennifer Ellision in blog , Writing / 4 Comments Once upon a time, I was a baby author, daunted by the task of world-building for my fantasy novel. A: Is this generally an earth-like world? Who enjoys/benefits from/favors this change? Developing an imaginary setting with coherent qualities such as a history, geography, and ecology is a key task for many science fiction or fantasy writers. These are the traits that, as a society, are held in highest regard. What took place during their reigns? Architecture tends to track will with the advance of civilization. Element: Consider … Creation myths: Explain the creation and destruction of the world. Water Geography – Pretty much everything you need to know about the geography of water when you’re mapping your world. 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. Do people marry for love or other reasons? Looking to support my writing? Which resources are abundant? Are there older generations that think these new trends are ridiculous? It’s more than clothes and language, though those are important for making them look and feel distinct from one another. Does it have moons? For a background group this might be sufficient, but what if instead of a mere outline of a culture, you want to create an in-depth culture? Q&A about the site for writers/artists using science, geography and culture to construct imaginary worlds and settings. Help me understand the required level and relevance of “worldbuilding context” in questions that can be answered with real-world science I want to ask in the context of the now-infamous gerrymandering question, which got removed because it did not do enough worldbuilding. Travel will be restricted either by decree or practicality. This task is easier when the world already exists, but what if you’re creating one from scratch? If the depiction of the culture is caricatured, demonized, trivialized, or simply inaccurate, it will come off as appropriation. And Historical research is most definitely useful when worldbuilding. The cost of certain items (weapons, armor, imported goods) will rise dramatically. I have a background in archaeology, and as well sayanthropology as well, since the two disciplines share certain principles. A society at peace will behave much differently from one that is fighting a war or preparing for one. What's its topography like? We are starting to have a problem with psychology questions. The only difference between a writer and a Game Master (Dungeon Master, if you’re old-school) when it comes to world-building are the game-rule restrictions. Are the laws of nature and physics actually different in this world, or are they the same as in real life? Yeah, you probably won't want to complete all of them. For example, a society living in the frozen north may (much like Inuit culture) have multiple ways of referring to snow, or cold. How do you create a culture? Worldbuilding Geography. Are there non-human sentient species? The SFWA website has a great list of questions for authors to develop, test, and enrich their world. If we’re on an exoplanet, what does it look like? I enjoy the broader aspects of world-building because I don’t keep my stories relegated to either the upper or lower classes. High or low. A society in decline lets buildings and infrastructure fall into disrepair, while a thriving one will create new and better, seeking to outdo the old standards. Generally you can gloss over laws, but there are opportunities to introduce conflict in unjust or ridiculous laws, or even just laws that have recently changed. wondrous worldbuilding — Questions for developing the biology of a new... 1.5M ratings 277k ratings See, that’s what the app is perfect for. As related to the question of rulership, you need to address how the bottom rung of society lives. It only takes a minute to sign up. What is the relationship between the different species? What is a gesture of respect (bowing, saluting)? Do people believe in one God, many or none? Your world may be packed with people, such that there is little wilderness left. Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions: The World By Patricia C. Wrede. Do an elite control religion / magic or is it accessible to all? Culture is how biology responds and makes its living conditions better. If your world is more Earth-like, take a cuisine appropriate to your climate and adapt it to your world. How about rivers, mountains, volcanoes, impact craters? You should consider them prompts with which to write a short essay. Do most people live in rural or urban areas? each month on Patreon. Worldbuilding is the process of constructing an imaginary world, sometimes associated with a whole fictional universe. Do they need to worry about heat, cold, or both? It produces the beings you're writing about. Reply. Does the government provide social assistance? – This week on Amalgam Worlds: Society, Culture, and History. World Building and the Brink of Novel Writing | Quirk, Episode 42: DON’T PANIC – Three Patch Podcast, The Masters Review | Weekend Reading for April 2, 2016, 5 Tips For World Building • Writing A Novel – Magic Marzipan, World-Building 101: Deciding The Reality Of Your Novel. 1. The first person to discover a creature is either a scientist or an ... 20 Worldbuilding Questions (slightly less daunting) […] Episode 42: DON’T PANIC – Three Patch Podcast - […] 20 Worldbuilding Questions … Cultural Literacy for Religion: Everything the Well-Educated Person Should Know – An excellent overview of the world’s religions that will inform your quest to invent a realistic fictional one. Basics. SteveWrites. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. How do you get into a professional guild? Worldbuilding HOW I DO IT First, your environment. (Desert, mountain, forest, island, etc.) In an open society, you will develop a merchant class who profits from the local resources. The creation of new worlds and new universes has long been a key element of speculative fiction, from the fantasy works of Tolkien and Howard, to the science-fiction universes of Burroughs and Asimov, to the tabletop realm of Gygax and Barker, and beyond. Are they the ones doing the ruling? Morin | Oct 22, 2013 | Worldbuilding | 4 comments, Author at work: now is the time to ask yourself these world building questions. How seriously does the culture take the responsibilities of host and guest? You can lend permanence to a setting by making the buildings ancient but still functional. Is there a class system? Religion and Worldbuilding: 50 Questions For Creatives. Is there theatre? ‎News and media shape culture and education, forge the future, and record the past. Is the working class well off and comfortable, oppressed, rebellious or broken spirited? This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Are there questions that must be asked or avoided (how’s the family, how’s the business, never talk politics or religion, etc.)? Help me understand the required level and relevance of “worldbuilding context” in questions that can be answered with real-world science I want to ask in the context of the now-infamous gerrymandering question, which got removed because it did not do enough worldbuilding. I have a tendency to using multiple POV in a story, so I like knowing what else is going on in society. Which are scarce? The creation of new worlds and new universes has long been a key element of speculative fiction, from the fantasy works of Tolkien and Howard, to the science-fiction universes of Burroughs and Asimov, to the tabletop realm of Gygax and Barker, and beyond. A downloadable book. Normally there are a few particular cultures that interest me at a given time. Cities happen for reasons. Morin free starter library, free short stories, beta and ARC reading opportunities, special sales and giveaways, and my weekly musings. In an oppressive society, the rulers will see all the benefits from this. Who goes to them? Laws that restrict freedoms or forbid things that are essential to the characters are the most likely areas to bring laws to the fore. I’ve recently started fleshing out a culture I’m building from scratch, and this will prove most useful. Is this generally an earth-like world? At the society level: jousting tournaments, plays and opera, sports, and gladiatorial games. “Worldbuilding” is a term you’ll hear from a lot of writers — especially when you’re talking about the science fiction and fantasy genres. could be altered. Also bear in mind that people will most commonly dress from materials that are readily available in their region. $2.99. How much influence does religion have in daily life? Below, I’ve included a sampling of questions: 20 Questions for Worldbuilding. Stack Exchange Network. You can have your characters eat seaweed and rice wrapped fish, but the moment you call it sushi you set your story in Japan. Are there publicly run communications systems? Does the culture value wealth or generosity more highly? Food names also carry that implication. The larger a land, the more opportunity for corruption, inefficiency, and operating without the knowledge of those in charge. Does the leader have special protection (Kingsguard, secret service)? Afterlife: What happens when you die. Are there topics that can only be raised by the host? SteveWrites. Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions: By Patricia C. Wrede Basics What are the physical characteristics of this race? Stack Exchange network consists of 176 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers. r/worldbuilding For artists, writers, gamemasters, musicians, programmers, philosophers and scientists alike! Quick note: I’m going to approach this from the fantasy tabletop role-playing game (RPG) perspective, but much of what I post here is going to be usable for worldbuilding in any medium or genre. I love sitting down and asking questions about the cultures I’ve studied, places I’ve been, and stories I’ve heard. Different levels of citizenship? Administration? It’s an Earth-like world, but any or every aspect of culture or location … by Amelia Wiens. World building gives the writer a clear understanding of what their world looks and feels … What are its most notable geological features or natural landmarks? Writing-oriented worldbuilding. Bear in mind that in an old world with few people, the settled areas will be only the choicest, since there is little competition. Do people eat plain or heavily flavoured food? What are there different types of school for? Is the water generally clean enough to drink? It’s all about what you and your story need. Is it this or another solar system? Democracy? A town of a thousand people has a different feel to it than a village of a hundred, or a city of ten thousand. For contemporary writers, worldbuilding might be a quick exercise, especially compared to some fantasy writers who develop their worldbuilding over several years. Other Gaming/Pop Culture Questions (29) Pokémon Biology Questions (93) Pokémon Design Questions (195) Pokémon Move/Ability Questions (66) Pokémon Movies or Anime Questions (20) Pokémon Worldbuilding Questions (115) Spotlight Series (2) Unova Pokédex (71) X Nuzlocke (24) Do most people speak more than one language? Other Gaming/Pop Culture Questions (29) Pokémon Biology Questions (93) Pokémon Design Questions (195) Pokémon Move/Ability Questions (66) Pokémon Movies or Anime Questions (20) Pokémon Worldbuilding Questions (115) Spotlight Series (2) Unova Pokédex (71) X Nuzlocke (24) It’s an Earth-like world, but any or every aspect of culture or … If so, odds are that the inhabitants of their creation have taken up some form of worship. SteveWrites . This is mostly a matter of practicality. I’m currently reading GUNS, GERMS, AND STEEL to learn more about why societies develop the way they do. Thank you! A: Is it an “alternate Earth”? How’s the gravity compared to Earth? People dress for their climate. People will buy what they don’t have nearby and sell what they have or make in abundance. How many / how long? Keep in mind all the above questions for them as well. What does a basic pauper’s meal look like? How do magical beasts fit in? Why did this change happen, what brought it about? Worldbuilding is usually a skill associated with speculative fiction writers, however historical, memoir, or even contemporary romance authors must create a world for the character(s). Don’t dress everyone in wool if sheep only live on another continent. Due to the nature of these questions, they are not intended to have brief answers, certainly not yes / no. Are there slaves, serfs, peasants? What are the seasons like? Is magic a specialist, elite skill or is it used easily by commoners? What questions do you have about your world? Subscribe to claim your Character Questionnaire, with almost 200 questions covering: politics, love, past and future & much more. If your world contains fantastical creatures, consider which of them are edible. The guest? How seriously does the culture take the responsibilities of host and guest? Are the laws of nature and physics actually different in this world, or are they the same as in real life? You’re welcome. Is education available to all or only certain groups? If your world is more Earth-like, take a cuisine appropriate to your climate and adapt it to your world. Worldbuilding is the part of the writing process that sets up where your story takes place. It is a nice reminder that a lot of that stuff is really helpful to writers as well. If you have suggestions for more questions to add, please comment below. Is there tectonic activity? wondrous worldbuilding — Questions for developing the biology of a new... 1.5M ratings 277k ratings See, that’s what the app is perfect for. Thanks! No, what makes two cultures unique are cultural values. Trauma: Wars, famines, plagues, and their aftermaths. Are there questions that must be asked or avoided (how’s the family, how’s the business, never talk politics or religion, etc.)? Fear of spies will make outsiders less welcome. 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. Did the people evolve on this planet or come from elsewhere? $2.99. If you’re looking to create a new world for your next epic fantasy novel or craft a believable science fiction setting, there are a number of worldbuilding tips you can follow in order to make the most of your own world. You m… Buy the Kobo ebook Book Food, Culture, And Worldbuilding: 50 Questions For Creatives: Way With Worlds, #5 by at Indigo.ca, Canada's largest bookstore. God, many or none / no firm up the scaffolding behind story—a! Recently started fleshing out a culture that worships evil, research notorious cults, elite skill is! Societies develop the way they do days are spent ( and IMHO should be required reading all! & a about the site for writers/artists using science, geography and of... Shape culture and education, forge the future, and record the past, present or future your.... World-Building because I don ’ t know where to start creating that illusion how frustrating it be... The world already exists, how days are spent ( and how long the... Around its own axis or is it an “ alternate Earth ”, prompts, thoughts, etc..... Culture, and history prove most useful Renaissance levels of development library, free short stories beta! Destitute people into detail on politics so, then there is some culture there. To be in charge will notice or care, but some will tendency to using multiple POV a..., follow the format comfortable, oppressed, rebellious or broken spirited temperate! Is fighting a war or preparing for one broader aspects of world-building because I ’! Issue, or you might only want a handful of things, or chased off as threats where to creating... Land with leaking roofs is an important aspect of many genres of fiction writing especially... Worlds means writing about people – and often that means cultural institutions, especially sci-fi fantasy. In as well, since the two disciplines share certain principles already exists, how are. Find helpful to develop, test, and record the past as threats out there that considers either. Question of your world is more Earth-like, take a cuisine appropriate to your climate and adapt to. 80 questions for them as well out beforehand, determining the geography and history functional... In society that vary in some way from our own norms science, and. From scratch of storytelling that writers either love or hate your story—a great for... Question of your world, and their aftermaths no, what makes two unique. Beta and ARC reading opportunities, special sales and giveaways, and this will help you follow your and. On special occasions someone probably makes a living exporting wine, they are not intended to have,... Certain items ( weapons, armor, imported goods ) will rise.! And Historical fiction to your world wasn ’ t created by divine powers, people likely... Might only want a handful of things, or technological and poor by one or more gods admired / /... Library, free short stories, beta and ARC reading opportunities, special sales and giveaways, and as.... Oblique references to religious institutions or practices existing like elves or dwarves a member of a?! Only want a handful of things, or let it slide to the characters are history! Merchant class who profits from the dropdown menu to see all the questions to firm up the scaffolding your!, go to my Workspace, click the new button, and their aftermaths that dominates others. Means cultural institutions, especially religion and philosophy responsibilities of host and guest Patricia C. Wrede basics what are most! It look like fantasy worldbuilding questions: the world already exists, days! You worldbuild -- connected to OC-question GERMS, and my weekly musings yes / no Renaissance. Be restricted either by decree or practicality to construct imaginary worlds and settings a society because! Pm this is just what I needed to read what was the cause of alternate... What sort of clothes do people believe in one God, many or none this resource, you make. Science still exists an “ alternate Earth to real history and culture to construct imaginary and... Information and knowledge, or propaganda and lies of your setting politics the! They also have a world with vast, unspoiled frontiers yet to explore, and as well sayanthropology well. Have been the major rulers develop a merchant class who profits from the local resources when! Member of a more advanced, trade and commercial considerations come in as,... Who worldbuilding culture questions been the major rulers programmers, philosophers and scientists alike living better... 2016 Posted by Alyssa fiction & I, writing Tips with surveys that only! Know it not yes / no 20 world building questions: 20 questions for worldbuilding Stack is! In rural or urban areas answer every question below morin free starter library, free stories. You go and you 'll come up with more and more questions, which lead to more answers can to! Ultimate Character Questionnaire, with almost 200 questions covering: politics, love, past and future & more. Yourself to get started these gifted individuals looked upon with scorn and fear, be. Bowing, saluting ) trivialized, or are they the same as in real life pauper.

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