Do you enjoy creating new worlds? Whether you’re writing a novel, screenplay, or just daydreaming, worldbuilding can be a lot of fun. It’s also a very important part of the creative process. To create a believable and compelling fictional world, you need to put some thought into it. That’s where worldbuilding prompts come in handy. This blog post will provide 100 prompts to help you get started!
55 Worldbuilding Prompts
- What is the physical geography of your world like? Are there mountains, forests, deserts, oceans, or other natural features that are particularly important?
- What is the climate like in your world? Is it hot or cold, wet or dry? How does this affect the people who live there?
- What kind of plants and animals are found in your world? Are there any unique creatures or species that stand out?
- Who are the principal inhabitants of your world, and how do they interact with each other? Do they live in cities or villages, or are they spread across wide open landscapes?
- How has technology advanced in your world over time? Are there any particular inventions or discoveries that have changed the course of history for its inhabitants?
- What political systems exist in your world, and how do these systems shape societies and cultures? Are there any major conflicts going on right now or historical events that have left deep scars on society as a whole?
- How does religion play a role in your world? Do different religions coexist harmoniously, or do they clash and compete for power and influence among the people living there?
- How does trade work in your fictional world; what kinds of goods are produced and consumed, and how do these items make their way from one place to another?
- In what ways are social attitudes shaped by culture and traditions within your fictional world? What values do people hold most dear, and how do they treat others who differ from the consensus?
- Are there any places of historical importance in your world? What events took place there, and what kinds of legacies do these places hold for the people who live there?
- What are your world’s governing bodies, and what challenges do these responsibilities create for the people working there?
- What kinds of unique flora and fauna exist in your world? Are there any unusual species of plants or animals that are particularly important?
- What weapons are used in your world, and how are they acquired by those fighting on the front lines?
- How does your world influence the way its people think, act, and feel? What problems might arise based on these cultural norms and values?
- Who are the main allies and enemies within your world, and how have they affected the history of your fictional realm?
- What kinds of laws exist within your world, and how do these laws shape the behaviors of its residents? What types of punishments are doled out to those who commit crimes, and how effective are they?
- What kinds of sports are popular in your world, and what roles do they play in its society?
- Which forms of entertainment are most popular in your world? What kinds of activities do people enjoy for leisure, and what forms of entertainment do they find the most entertaining?
- What kinds of music are prevalent in your world, and where do people go to listen to it?
- Which forms of art are most popular in your world? What do people most enjoy looking at or experiencing with art?
- In what ways do the people of your world express themselves creatively? What kinds of art are most popular, and what differences in style and form exist between various regions and cultures?
- What kinds of sports and games are popular in your world?
- What kinds of foods are most popular in your world?
- What are some of the most popular drugs in your world? What are the effects of these drugs?
- How are people educated in your world?
- What kinds of recreational activities do people get involved in?
- What kinds of laws exist within your world?
- What kinds of laws, traditions, and customs are repealed or upheld in your world, and how do these laws, traditions, and customs shape the behaviors of your characters?
- How do your characters cope with losing basic needs or disrupting their daily routines?
- Which historical figures from your world stand out the most, and why are they significant?
- How do your characters deal with the inevitability of death? Which rituals and traditions have they developed to comfort themselves in the face of such a blatant reminder of their mortality?
- What are some of the most common traditions in your world, and why are they so significant to those who practice them?
- What are some of the most elaborate festivals in your world?
- What do your characters say when they want to express their gratitude towards someone? What sorts of gifts do they usually give, and what are their symbolic meanings?
- What historical events do people generally not discuss, and why is it taboo to discuss?
- Which types of people and institutions in your world are considered the most trustworthy and reliable, and why are they so loyal?
- Which types of people and institutions in your world are the most corrupt and exposed to greed and avarice?
- Does your world have any major traditions that hold deep religious significance?
- Which kinds of people and institutions in your world are considered the most selfless and noble, and why are these people so opposed to greed and avarice?
- In what ways do your characters fight against corruption and greed?
- In what ways is your world similar to our own?
- In what ways is your world different from our own?
- How does the rule of law and order play a role in your world?
- How does your world encourage people to live morally?
- How are young people in your world encouraged to pursue meaningful and fulfilling careers?
- How do your people celebrate their values and priorities?
- What do your characters do to stay focused and motivated to achieve their goals?
- How do your characters deal with the interruption of their plans and goals?
- Who are the people that your characters turn to for help?
- In what ways do your characters struggle to reach their goals?
- In what ways do your characters find it easy to achieve their goals?
- What were some of the biggest milestones in the history of your world?
- What are some of the most significant events in your world during the last 200 years?
- How does your world deal with poverty and homelessness, and how does this affect the lifestyles of your characters?
- What are some of the most famous superstitions in your world, and how do these affect the behaviors of your characters?
The Art of Worldbuilding: An Introduction
When you sit down to write a story, whether it be a novel, screenplay, or even a short story, one of the most important things you have to do is construct a believable and compelling world in which your story takes place. This process is known as “worldbuilding,” and it’s an essential tool for any writer worth their salt. So, what exactly is worldbuilding? How does one go about doing it? Let’s take a look.
At its core, worldbuilding is the act of creating a fictional setting. This can be anything from a small town to an entire universe. When worldbuilding, writers have to consider everything from the ecology of their setting to politics and history. In short, anything and everything that could conceivably affect the lives of the characters in your story must be considered.
The Importance of Worldbuilding
Worldbuilding is important because it helps create a sense of immersion for the reader. If done well, worldbuilding can make even the most far-fetched scenarios seem believable. Additionally, well-constructed worlds will often have a life of their own, becoming almost like another character in the story.
How to Worldbuild
Now that we know what worldbuilding is and why it’s important, let’s talk about how to do it. You need to keep three main things in mind when constructing your fictional setting: logic, coherence, and consistency.
Logic dictates that your world must obey the laws of physics and nature as we understand them. Coherence means that your world must be internally consistent; for example, if you’ve established that magic exists in your world, you can’t have a character suddenly develop superpowers without some explanation. Consistency requires maintaining continuity throughout your story; if a character dies in Chapter 1, they can’t come back to life in Chapter 3 without explanation.
Is Lore Part of Worldbuilding?
Lore is often thought of as the backstory or history of a fictional world, but is it a part of worldbuilding? Worldbuilding is creating a setting for a story; lore is one element that can be used to create that setting. Here are three ways that lore can be used in worldbuilding.
- Lore can provide context for the present day.
- It can give an insight into the people who live in the world.
- It can explain why things are the way they are.
Lore can be a valuable tool for worldbuilders, but it is not essential. A well-built world can still be believable and compelling without extensive lore. It is up to the author to decide how much or how little lore to include in their work.
Day-to-day life in a well-built world should make sense, and lore can help. For example, let’s say there’s a law in the land that everyone must wear green on Thursdays. In our modern world, that would be confusing and strange, but if the law is based on an old tradition where green was considered lucky, it makes a bit more sense. Context like this can be provided through lore, which helps make the fictional world feel more real.
People are complex creatures, which should be reflected in the characters who inhabit a fictional world. What motivates them? What do they believe in? Why do they do the things they do? Again, these questions can sometimes be answered through lore. If a character’s parents were killed by robbers when they were young, that might explain why they’re now a thief themselves. Or if someone was brought up believing that magic is evil, they might react harshly to finding out that it’s real.
Lore can also help to establish why things are the way they are in a fictional world. Maybe there’s a war because natural resources were running low two generations ago, and tensions between the nations boiled over. Or perhaps taxes are high because the government is trying to pay off debt from a previous war. Providing a rationale for things like this, it helps to make the fictional world feel more believable.
Brainstorming Worldbuilding for Your Novel
The best way to ensure that your world is well-developed and believable is to brainstorm all the details before you start writing. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Start with the Big Picture
Before you get into the nitty-gritty details, you must have a general understanding of your world. What kind of environment does it take place in? Is it primarily urban, rural, or a mix of both? What period is it set in? What is the general history of the world? These are just a few questions you should answer before moving on to anything else.
Create a Map
Once you have a good handle on the general layout of your world, it’s time to start mapping it out. This doesn’t have to be fancy; a simple sketch will do. Include all the major geographical features as well as any notable landmarks. If your story takes place in multiple locations, map those out.
Develop the Major Factions
Every story has factions, rival gangs, warring nations, or even different social classes. Who are the major factions in your world? What are their goals and motivations? How do they interact with each other? Answering these questions will help you create fully developed characters that feel like they belong in the world you’ve created.
How to Create a Unique Fantasy World
Here are some tips on how to create a fantasy world that is compelling and original.
When creating a fantasy world, it’s essential to start with the basics. This means creating a history, geography, and culture for your world. These elements will be the foundation upon which everything else in your world is built. Once these basic elements are in place, you can add more unique details to your world. Here are some things to keep in mind as you flesh out your fantasy world:
Be Creative With Your History
Your fantasy world should have a rich history full of exciting stories and characters. Take inspiration from real-world history, mythology, and folklore to create something original. For example, if you’re drawing inspiration from medieval Europe, consider adding elements of mythology or magic into your history. This will help make your fantasy world more unique.
Create an Original Geography
The geography of your fantasy world should be just as unique as its history. Think about the different climates, landscapes, and biomes that exist in the real world and use them as inspiration for your creation. Remember to include plenty of detail when designing the geography of your fantasy world. The more convincing it is, the more immersive it will be for readers or players.
Build a Compelling Culture
Culture makes a society tick, an essential part of any fantasy world. When creating the culture for your fantasy world, think about religion, customs, and values. What do people in your world believe in? What do they do on a day-to-day basis? Answers to questions like these will help you create a deep and rich culture.