World Building Part III–
Now that we have discussed maps, it’s time to populate them and detail the terrain. As I’ve stated before I’m a die-hard pantser. The thought of plotting sends my muse in some deep dark corner of my mind never to be seen again BUT world building is different in ‘my’ logic. And I don’t work out every detail at this point; I do enough so I can layer in setting details. I add things as I go…where a fight happened… where someone is kidnapped, etc. Because I’m a pantser and not a plotter I don’t know where these things are going to happen or that they are even going to happen J
I have a ‘form’ that I use for this step of world building. For me, it’s more about thinking about the locations than actually filling in the blanks. And as I said above, I added to this all the time while writing.
For each country, I’d fill out a “landscape” form.
- Is the population mostly warriors, farmers, tradesman, or a mixture? Is there civil wars or do they live peacefully with each other
- What is the religion make-up (this may need entire sheet of it’s own depending if you are writing a fantasy where Gods/Goddesses have a role)
- Economics – is the wealth evenly disturbed or only a select few
- Is there Magic
-Who can use it
-Does the magic have a source or an ability that a person is born with
-Are those who use magic trusted/liked
-how do these ‘stories’ effect the communities
- Do secret societies exist
-If so for what reason
-Why are they secret
-How long have existed
- Is there a common physical feature (IE – everyone has purple eyes and dark skin)
- What are the roles of females and males
- What is the dress
- How are they educated
- What is the common food dishes
- Is he/she liked
- Elected or a born into title
- Where do they reside in the country (a single castle or several different ones)
- Who makes the ‘elite’ inner circle – (think of King Arthur’s roundtable)
I usually insert pictures here of various things I want but this would be where you detail the forest, deserts, and rivers, etc.
- Average temp
- Rainy season
- Major storms – Hurricanes, blizzards
- What effects the weather – moons cycles, etc
- What are the seasons
I’d love to hear any suggestions or comments you have.