The A-Zs of Worldbuilding: An Introduction

What’s happening on your blog for A-Z?

When I chose worldbuilding as my topic for the A-Z challenge this year, I knew I was biting off quite a task!

I’m just going to warn you now: many of these posts are over 500 words. A few of them are a thousand words or more. Very few of them are 300 words or less. Most of them fall in the 600-700 word mark.

This series is geared toward speculative fiction writers, though if you’re just someone curious about the writing process in general you will still learn some things. 

But I don’t write speculative fiction, or I don’t write at all!

When I’m not writing, my other interests include crafts (crochet, sewing), urban farming (chickens, gardening, self-sustainability), pets (cats, mostly), and reading. I blog about those frequently as well, just… not for this challenge.

If you’re stopping by for the A-Z challenge, but worldbuilding and/or writing doesn’t interest you, but my other activities do, please poke around the other areas of my blog! I’d love to have you as a follower after April.

What is worldbuilding?

Worldbuilding is the ultimate act of creation for a speculative fiction writer – the creation of the world a story is set in. Writers notorious for worldbuilding are: J.R.R. Tolkien, Brandon Sanderson, and Patrick Rothfuss, among others. I’ve also enjoyed the worldbuilding done by Mercedes Lackey (particularly the Dragon Jousters series), Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke & Bone), and Rachel Hartman (Seraphina).

How does one worldbuild?

That’s what this series is for!

When worldbuilding, there are an infinite number of possibilities that need to be considered. Don’t worry about catching all of them right away, though. Start with what is relevant to your story, and work out from there. And above all, don’t spend so much time world-building that your story never gets written.

Unless you like to world-build just for fun. Like some of us crazies.

How can I benefit most from this series?

Use it as a springboard.

Each post covers a different aspect of worldbuilding – not necessarily the scientific aspects of it, because unless you’re writing a fictional dissertation, that’s not what you need to know for creating a fictional world. It covers the aspects you’re most likely to need for placing a story in that world.

There’s a short introduction about each topic, then a set of questions you can answer about your world.

You do not need to answer those questions in the comments.

You are welcome to if you so desire, but this is more for you to create reference materials for yourself. Feel free to print the blog posts so you can assemble your responses at your leisure. My intent is to also assemble a workbook by the end of the summer from these posts, with some more material beyond what I cover here (with writing exercises), that you can download.

I make no promises on that timeline, though. Because the first quarter of my year has been absolutely insane, and I’m desperately hoping the next three will be much smoother… but I’m not holding my breath.

If you’d like to stay informed about the A-Zs of Worldbuilding project after the A-Z Challenge, you can sign up for a newsletter here. Make sure to select the A-Zs of Worldbuilding option!

Thank you so much for stopping by, and I can’t wait for April to get rolling! I’m looking forward to meeting a lot of you in April as well!

Original image used for header by DonkeyHotey.

Recent Comments

  • ivaneluna
    September 6, 2015 - 12:05 pm · Reply

    I’m so stoked to read more. Worldbuilding for my story has been driving me crazy, so to have this kind of resource is amazing. Just today, I queued up a post about worldbuilding and how I’m flailing my arms trying to figure things out. Now, I have this! I’ve got some reading to do!

    • Rebekah Loper
      September 6, 2015 - 12:25 pm · Reply

      I hope it helps you out! I *am* still working on the workbook form of this that I mentioned in the post, hoping to have it ready to go out to beta-readers this fall. I’m adding a lot of content, and making it more user-friendly with actual Q&A forms for worldbuilding exercises, and such. If you sign up for that portion of the newsletter mentioned above, you can get in on that and get to see it all early. 🙂

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About Rebekah

Rebekah Loper writes character-driven epic fantasy featuring resilient women in trying and impossible circumstances who just want to save themselves but usually end up saving the world, often while falling in love.
She lives in Tulsa, OK with her husband, dog, two formerly feral cats, a small flock of feathered dragons (...chickens. They're chickens), and an extensive tea collection. When she's not writing, she battles the Oklahoma elements in an effort to create a productive, permaculture urban homestead.