I love World Building.
There are some guides on the web on how to world build, for instance Patricia C. Wrede’s Fantasy World Building Questions (http://www.sfwa.org/2009/08/fantasy-worldbuilding-questions/) and 30 Days of WorldBuilding (http://www.web-writer.net/fantasy/days/index.html).
These are both “top-down” world building methods (got that from some other world building site), and quite inspirational. HOWEVER, I find myself preferring more scattershot methods.
This thread has two purposes:
1) Having fun with world building.
2) Compiling a list of scattershot slash down-up approaches to world building.
The rules for the thread are as follows:
Post 5 + challenges/questions/hints to world builders
Answer previous challenges. You yourself choose which and how many to answer. You can answer based on a world you’ve made, one you’re working on, or even someone else’s. You can also answer your own challenges.
(I might publish the final challenges in some sort of blog post at some point.)
Here are some challenges slash slash for starters…
* Draw a creature from your world and post it here. It can be a character, a monster an NPC or whatever. What the heck, it can be a mountain for all we know. Or a photo from our own world identical to something in yours.
* Who’s an outsider in your setting? Why? What does it mean to be an outsider? Limit yourself to 300 words.
* Describe something sacred. You can use as many characters as you like, but you’re not allowed to explain anything about the setting’s cosmology directly.
* Write three words in one of the languages of your setting. Explain their meaning.
* Write five keywords about the mood you wish to convey.
* Use at most 1000 characters on a mood piece about your setting.
* Show us your map.
* In five sentences – show how religion functions in daily life.
* Write a timeline.
* Decide upon the one single element in your setting you’re the least happy with. Remove it from the setting description, and tell us afterwards.
* What’s the most meager resource in the setting?
* Mention three movies/books/comics/RPGs or the like one could be inspired by if one wanted to write/play in your setting.
* Find a photo using Google Image Search which matches your setting, and link to it here.
* Kill your darlings.
* Do a playtest in the setting, no matter how incomplete it might be.
* Invite a few friends. Tell them about your setting. Accept their input. Tell us what you’re going to use.
* What’s the worst profanity one can use in your setting? Why?
* Is there a God?
* What on your timeline would you most want to witness as it unfolds?
* What on your timeline would you avoid at all costs?
* Create a character for any RPG which might fit in with your setting and post it here.
* Who would you rather be in your setting?