World Building Series

While growing up I was accused of having an over-active imagination; I never felt it was an insult, though--it was a gift. When you live in the middle of nowhere like I did, sometimes an imagination is your only friend.  While it wasn't my only friend, my imagination was my BFF.  I would often create imaginary worlds and write stories of what happened in those places.  Now that I've grown up, all of that has been left behind.

I'm kidding, of course!  This section would be as non-existent as those imaginary worlds if that were the case! :)  However, now that I am grown, my world building has grown, too, progressed with my maturity and education.

World building is such an important part to writing, even in stories where the setting isn't imaginary.  In order to write well, you must first know your world inside and out.  Some elements you can create along the way as you're writing, but others you must know beforehand.

Below is a relatively thorough outline of what you should consider when beginning to build your world, one that will grow and change as my own knowledge and practice at world building continues.  Of course, not all stories will use all elements in the outline, and remember that even though you may not show your readers all the details, complete knowledge of your world will only make writing within it that much easier (see Making Tough Choices post by author and guest contributor, Lana Krumwiede).

As I write the posts, I will add the links to each within the respective section of the outline, so please check this section frequently for updated material.  Also, if you have any questions concerning world building, please leave a comment on this section and I will try to respond as quickly as possible.


WORLD BUILDING
PHYSICAL WORLD * CHARACTERS * CULTURE * RELIGION *
* MAJICK * LANGUAGE * MISCELLANEOUS *



        1.1.  Natural Forces
        1.2.  Supernatural Forces
        1.3.  Atmosphere
        1.4.  Geology
        1.5.  Geography & Mapmaking
                1.5.1.  Continents
                1.5.2.  Oceans
                1.5.3.  Coastlines
                1.5.4.  Rivers and Lakes
                1.5.5.  Mountains
                1.5.6.  Biomes
                1.5.7.  Territories and Natural Boundaries
                1.5.8.  Cities and Settlements
        2.1.  Humanoid Advantage vs. Humanoid Weakness
        2.2.  Factors the Cause Evolutional Divergence in Species
        2.3.  Character Archetypes
                2.3.1.  The Ego Archetypes
                        2.3.1.1.  The Innocent, Dreamer, or Romantic
                        2.3.1.2.  The Orphan
                        2.3.1.3.  The Hero or Warrior
                        2.3.1.4.  The Caregiver or Helper
                2.3.2.  The Soul Archetypes
                        2.3.2.1.  The Wanderer, Explorer, or Pilgrim
                        2.3.2.2.  The Rebel, Outlaw, or Misfit
                        2.3.2.3.  The Lover
                        2.3.2.4.  The Artist, Innovator, or Creator
                2.3.3.  The Self Archetypes
                        2.3.3.1.  The Jester, Fool, or Trickster
                        2.3.3.2.  The Sage, Scholar, or Mentor
                        2.3.3.3.  The Magician, Visionary, or Healer
                        2.3.3.4.  The Ruler or Leader
        2.4.  Character Development
                2.4.1.  The Basics
                2.4.2.  Backstory
                2.4.3.  Likes, Dislikes, & Fears
                2.4.4.  Morals, Beliefs, & Faith
                2.4.5.  Relationships
                2.4.6.  Physical Description: Further Exploration
                2.4.7.  General Knowledge
                2.4.8.  Specific Knowledge
                2.4.9. What If?
                2.4.10.  Why Should the Audience Care About Your Character?
        3.1.  Stratification
                3.1.1.  Age
                3.1.2.  Economic Classes
                3.1.3.  Ethnicity
                3.1.5.  Evolutionary Differences
                3.1.6.  Gender Roles
                3.1.7.  Race
                3.1.8.  Religious Classes
                3.1.9.  Social Classes
        3.2.  Government
                3.2.1.  Type of Government
                3.2.2.  Succession of Power
                3.2.3.  Laws
        3.3.  Economic Structure
                3.3.1.  Agricultural Trade
                3.3.2.  Barter, Buy, or Combination
                3.3.3.  Monetary System
                3.3.4.  Skills and Skill Trade
        3.4.  Educational System
        3.5.  Clothing
        3.6.  Art
                3.6.1. Visual Art & Sculpture
                3.6.2.  Literature
                3.6.3.  Music
                3.6.4.  Theatre & Dance
        3.7.  Agriculture & Food
        3.8.  Technology
        3.9.  Transportation
        3.10.  Relationships
        3.11.  Taboos
        4.1.  Religion
                4.1.1.  Theogony
                4.1.2.  Type
                        4.1.2.1.  Ancestor Worship
                        4.1.2.2.  Animism
                        4.1.2.3.  Animatism
                        4.1.2.4.  Anthropomorphism
                        4.1.2.5.  Atheism
                        4.1.2.6.  Fetishism
                        4.1.2.7.  Monotheism
                        4.1.2.8.  Polytheism
                        4.1.2.9.  Totemism
                4.1.3.  Practices & Rituals
                        4.1.3.1.  Altered States of Consciousness
                        4.1.3.2.  Apotheosis
                        4.1.3.3.  Divination
                        4.1.3.4.  Idolatry
                        4.1.3.5.  Intercession
                        4.1.3.6.  Sacrifices
        4.2.  Rites of Passage
        4.3.  Ceremonies
                4.3.1.  Birth & Birthdays
                4.3.2.  Baptism or Equivalence
                4.3.3.  Confirmation or Equivalence
                4.3.4.  Graduation or Equivalence
                4.3.5.  Marriage
                4.3.6.  Children
                4.3.7.  Funeral & Death
                4.3.8.  Other Celebrations
                        4.3.8.1.  Harvest & Feast Days
                        4.3.8.2.  Equinoxes
                        4.3.8.3.  Solstices
        5.1.  Types of Majick
                5.1.1.  Common Majick
                5.1.2.  Contagious Majick
                5.1.3.  Good vs. Bad
                5.1.4.  Immitative Majick
                5.1.5.  Innate/Inborn vs. Learned/Acquired
                5.1.6.  Intentional vs. Unintentional
                5.1.7.  Natural vs. Unnatural
                5.1.8.  Offensive vs. Defensive
        5.2.  Majickal Classifications
                5.2.1.  Abjurative
                5.2.2.  Alchemy & Potions
                5.2.3.  Compulsion
                5.2.4.  Conjuration
                5.2.5.  Curses, Hexes, & Jinxes
                5.2.6.  Disillusionment
                5.2.7.  Divination
                5.2.8.  Elemental Manipulation Majick
                        5.2.8.1.  Empyrean
                        5.2.8.2.  Fire & Light
                        5.2.8.3.  Spirit
                        5.2.8.4.  Tellurian/Tellestrial
                        5.2.8.5.  Water
        5.3.  Rules of Majick
        6.1.  Phonemes
        6.2.  Morphemes
        6.3.  Glyphs
        6.4.  Basic Morphology
        6.5.  Grammar
                6.5.1.  The Basic Parts of Speech
                        6.5.1.1.  Pronouns
                        6.5.1.2.  Nouns
                        6.5.1.3.  Verbs
                                6.5.1.3.1.  Lexical vs. Auxillary
                                6.5.1.3.2.  Conjugation
                                        6.5.1.3.2.1.  Tense
                                        6.5.1.3.2.2.  Mood
                                        6.5.1.3.2.3.  Voice
                        6.5.1.4.  Adjectives
                        6.5.1.5.  Adverbs
                        6.5.1.6.  Prepositions
                        6.5.1.7.  Conjunctions
                        6.5.1.8.  Interjections
                6.5.2.  Syntax & Sentence Structure
                6.5.3.  Evolution of Language
                6.5.4.  The Extras

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