I realize that there are many worldbuilding concepts and approaches, as it is a complex art in and of itself. In Part 1, I talked about why worldbuilding is important and how it contributes to the story as a whole, and in Part 2 I brought up aspects of worldbuilding that I personally feel are important to include when developing one’s story world. But if I were to touch on all the possible ways to incorporate worldbuilding into a story, and all the elements you could possibly consider, my post series could be neverending. I am also no expert when it comes to writing, as writing is an art that is constantly being perfected; there’s no such thing as a perfect story. All that to say, I’m most certainly not a worldbuilding master, but there are plenty of other writers who have great tips and inspiration that I highly recommend. Part 3, the last post in the series, features only a few great posts with worldbuilding tips that focus on certain aspects. Also, this has been a great excuse to include links to some of my favorite authors and bloggers.
Geography is a really important element to worldbuilding, and in her post, Hannah Krynicki looks at the five themes of geography according to how each of them works in a story. This post is brilliant, and it’s a great resource if you’re working on a map for your story’s world as well. Plus, she took a geography class, so consider her credible. What she says goes.
If you’re artistically challenged and you’re looking for easy map-drawing tips and tricks, Rachel has a clear step-by-step tutorial on her blog R’s Loft, and if you’ve never done any geography or map drawing before, I’d recommend this as a great place to start. Her instructions are concise and simple and minimilistic, and she also includes clear pictures of her map-drawing process. As a visual learner, pictures and good aesthetics are important to me, so this post will definitely be referred back to often when I get to the point where I’m ready to draw my world’s map.
If you’re more into the techy, digital artistic side of map making, check out Jonathan Roberts’s step-by-step tutorial with plenty of pretty pictures and sketches to help you throughout the process of designing a map. He uses a Wacom graphics tablet and Photoshop in this tutorial, and so if you have those tools, awesome, this post is just for you. But you can totally go through the entire post and just sketch by hand with traditional pencil and paper.
Arsenal and Tech
For starters, Hannah Heath’s blog is the place to go for aaallll the cool writing tips. If you’re a writer utilizing the internet to further your writing skills and create an author platform, her blog is one of the first resources I’d recommend. One of her most recent posts is a conglomeration of actual little-known and uncommon weapons to use in fantasy or sci-fi stories, so if you’re working on this aspect of worldbuilding, I’d highly advise you to check out this post.
Also from Hannah Heath’s blog is the guest post written by sci-fi writer Alex S. Martin, author of the Recovery series, which I’ve heard are amazing and have yet to read. In this post, he gives tips specifically on how to write stunning science fiction. Even if you don’t write or even read in the genre, it’s still very inspiring and worth your time reading. And go check out his books, while you’re at it.
Religion and Government
In this post, Melissa Gravitis gives questions to ask yourself about the monarchy in your fantasy (or even sci-fi) world. This really helps delve into the logical details to create a realistic and believable ruling system in your story’s world. If one of your characters is at all involved in a monarchy of any sort, this is definitely a great post to have on your writing resource list.
Mythcreants is an awesome go-to website for all the SFF writing tips. This post specifically hones in on creating a fantasy empire: expansion, government, reach, territorial control, power projection, etc., and lists aspects in each category that one should consider when designing a fantasy empire. It also takes you through a list of some of the main types of governments and how they run (i.e. dictatorship, theocracy, etc.).
Shameless plug!! This post of mine was written four years ago––*mouth drops* So, apparently it’s been a while, but I was taking a history class at the time, which inspired me to write the post focusing on religion and government in fantasy fiction. I also used Star Wars as a main example of how the religion and government aspect in the worldbuilding helped shape and mold the character of Anakin/Darth Vader. Fortunately, I did go back and update the post, so now it doesn’t include the cheesy writing style of my younger years, and my thoughts on the topic remain the same.
There are so many other awesome sites and resources that are worth including and important aspects that can be researched when it comes to worldbuilding, but I’m going to stop here. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this worldbuilding series as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them. Do you have any favorite SFF worldbuilding resources? Drop some links in the comments below!