So You Want To Build a World? Worldbuilding Resources and Tips

So You Want To Build a World? Worldbuilding Resources and Tips

The moment I decided to write this post, I knew that it was going to be a massive one. I love worldbuilding. It’s probably one of my favourite aspects of both writing and roleplaying! The ability to create an entire world to play in, and then see how other people interact in it or want to help you improve it. From the obvious things like the planet and the countries to the more detailed areas like the people and their cultures, there’s so much that can be done. It’s both overwhelming and exciting.

I’ll admit, worldbuilding is something that comes easy to me. I’m not saying that to show off, but collecting resources for this post made me realise how easy I find it to just sit and daydream about worldbuilding. Then all of a sudden, I have notes upon notes of a whole pantheon of gods. True story. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t need resources or to research or anything like that. Research is so important, as is where you’re getting your inspiration from. And I’m hoping this post can help a little bit with that. We might be building a fictional world, but it’s still informed by what we know of the real world. In a workshop for Wired25 back in 2019, N.K Jemisin said:

Even though we’re telling stories about fiction…we’re trying to get the basic facts of science, the world and people right.”

N.K Jemisin, Wired25 – Full Video Here

And this statement couldn’t be truer. It’s not just that our worlds have to scientifically make sense, which they do, but it’s that the cultures and everything on them has to too. We get so many stories inspired by mythology and ancient cultures, but that makes sense because it means we have a starting point to work on. There’s no harm in that, and I’d even encourage it some extent. Just make sure to colour it with multiple aspects from that culture, not just a few obvious things that everyone knows. It’s also worth speaking to people from that culture too if you’re writing a modern one. You’ll want to avoid offensive and inaccurate tropes whilst making this new culture your own. The research is a necessary evil, but it’s one that can be inspirational too.

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