I’m debating on starting a series of
worldbuilding creature development posts, using one of my own species as an example. The pros on this are the resource it would create for you, my reader, and the fun I’d get to have in exploring Olashi history and culture; the con is how inconclusive and patchwork it might be. To mitigate the con, I began doing a little bit of research on worldbuilding and discovered that my methodry is actually geofiction. Wikipedia describes it as “a hobby where people design imaginary cities, countries or entire worlds, including placenames, culture, social and political structures and even constructed languages (conlangs), primarily for personal enjoyment.” (You and I will talk about conlangs later, I promise.)
In my leisurely digging, I found several excellent worldbuilding resources to share with you, but most of these seem to assume that you’re working with a human or humanoid race. I haven’t found much talk about methane-breathers or wholly underwater sapients, except as monsters or figures of myth. Perhaps a little miniseries exploring how to go about expanding and deepening the culture and developmental history of your non-human race would be useful after all, eh?
While I continue my research and possibly begin outlining such a series of posts, have some worthwhile worldbuilding resources.
- Worldbuiling on Wikipedia – A standard, fairly thorough explanation of what worldbuilding is and how to do it.
- Fantasy World-Building Questions by Patricia C. Wrede – A good series of questions to ask yourself during the worldbuilding process, including a few about sapient culture development.
- 30 Days of Worldbuilding – A great miniseries from a NaNoWriMo enthusiast with thirty days of fifteen-minute exercises to broaden your world. The same author also produced the Magical World Builder’s Guide.
- Science Fiction Worldbuilding – A slightly sparse guide to building up a believable scifi setting.
- World Builder Projects – A well-organized list of worldbuilding resources, including forums, names, languages, and general guides.
- Fantasy Worldbuilding Resources – The biggest resource I’ve found yet. The page scrolls forever and has links to a multitude of useful sites, books, and images.
- Physical Geography – If you want to make a geographically-realistic world, check out this online resource on geography and make your world with real rules in mind.
I find designing worlds and their inhabitants – flora, fauna, and sapients all – to be the most enjoyable part of writing. What do you think about worldbuilding? Do you use any kind of tools to help you design, like a map generator, or do you go at it freestyle? Feel free to share links to resources on world-building or any aspect thereof!