Worldbuilding Questions


*claps hands gleefully*  This is one of my favorite topics.  Yeesh, even if you’re not a writer, keep reading.  My joy and excitement alone are amazing.  

Let’s talk worldbuilding.  My computer still underlines it with red squiggles, but worldbuilding is a word in my book.  What’s worldbuilding?  Basically, building a world.  Rocket science, I know.  Oh, but it’s so much fun.  You take a flat piece of earth, and make it into an amazing world.  That’s how I started writing, actually.  I made up an entire imaginary world in my head while doing the dishes, and it grew, and grew, and grew some more.  It’s still growing, come to think of it.  And then I started making characters up to go into the world.  And then I started coming up with plots for the characters…  and the rest is history.

So, let’s start. This is going to be fun. 🙂

  1. Who lives there?  (A big question)  Are certain areas more suitable for different people?
  2. What is the terrain like?  Is there hills, mountains, and volcanoes?  Or is it flat, sandy, and rocky?
  3. What are the major cities?  Write them down.
  4. Take those major cities.  How are they different from each other?  How are they similar?  What kinds of people live there?  Animals?  
  5. Ambiance is key in cities.  Happy, colorful cities?  Poor, oppressed, dirty cities?  Rich, white, sparkling cities?  Description is ambiance’s best friend.
  6. Do people visit other cities and towns?
  7. Is there magic?  (Elemental, given, inherited…)
  8. Is there rules for magic?
  9. What traditions are present in the world?
  10. What is the weather like?
  11. What are the primary religions, if any?
  12. Are there any myths that tie into your story from that world?
  13. What is the diversity of wealth?
  14. Are there factions?
  15. Social prejudices?
  16. Segregation?
  17. Slavery?
  18. What is the technology?
  19. What color are the trees?  (Are there trees?)
  20. How do people communicate?
  21. Do people have running water?  
  22. Electricity?
  23. What forms of government are there?  Is it a dictatorship?  A republic?
  24. Where do the rulers/ruler live?
  25. How do the rulers live?
  26. What weapons do people possess?
  27. Is everyone allowed to have weapons?
  28. How are laws made?
  29. Where do people live?
  30. What jobs are available?
  31. How are jobs given?  (Apprenticeship, choosing, assigned…)
  32. What is family life like?
  33. How many kids are in the typical family?
  34. Where do people get clothes?
  35. What types of clothes do people wear?
  36. Is it different for different genders?
  37. Are there stores?
  38. How do people greet each other?
  39. What are the roads like?  (paved, dirty, rough)
  40. Are there any landmarks?
  41. What do people eat?  
  42. What do people drink?
  43. What type of currency is there?  Who regulates it?
  44. Are there taxes?  Who makes them?
  45. What is the transportation?
  46. How old do you have to be to drive? (If you can drive)
  47. How old do you have to be to work?
  48. Are certain cultures pacifist or fighters?
  49. Are people allowed free speech?
  50. What are certain laws?
  51. What are punishments?
  52. Are the laws of nature the same?
  53. What monsters are there?
  54. Where do such monsters dwell?
  55. Do people avoid certain parts of the world?
  56. Are there non-humans? (Fairies, dwarfs, elves, cyborgs, aliens, etc.)
  57. How is time measured?  
  58. Are days 24 hours?
  59. How many suns are there?
  60. How many moons?
  61. How is the land laid out?
  62. Is there an ocean?
  63. What is the population?
  64. How many languages are there?
  65. Can people access medicine easily?
  66. Are their medicinal plants or plants with special purpose?
  67. What sort of health care is there?
  68. What do people do for fun?
  69. What is the architecture like?
  70. Can people read and write?
  71. What types of education do people receive?
  72. Can people work themselves up the status ladder?

That’s a lot of questions.  Not all may be relevant, but hopefully some were helpful.  If you have any other worldbuilding tips, share them in the comments!

And, hopefully you have an entire world!  Feel free to escape into it at any time necessary.  Like in a boring math class.  (No, don’t do that.  You need to study so you can get good grades, and get a job, and make a living, so you don’t die homeless and alone.)  That escalated quickly.  But, as I was saying, escaping into a fantasy world in your head is an awesome way to make time fly.  (Like in a boring math class.)


5 thoughts on “Worldbuilding Questions

  1. Pingback: World Building – Questions, and Application – Head In The Clouds


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