How to build your fictional world: tips and ideas!

In honor of it being National Novel Writing Month, here are a few ideas for working on your world building.

Happy writing, everyone!


➢ Is your world olden, modern, fantasy, science fiction?

➢ Are you using present day earth as a model or a new and totally made up world?

➢ Decide on a setting, then do your research for that setting!

rain, city, and wallpaper image dragon, fantasy, and aesthetic image
What is the best setting for your story?

Rough Draft Map

➢ Keep everything straight by drafting a map. Because if you're lost, your readers are definitely lost too...

➢ Check out this website for an amazing map generator! Everything is customizable as well if you're patient enough to fiddle around with the settings.

Image by Aurora ✾ Image by Aurora ✾
Examples of randomly generated worlds, but there are many more features available for editing!

➢ If you're using a pre-existing map of a real-world location, refresh yourself on the area. If you don't really know much about the corner of the world you're writing in, it will show. People familiar with that location may be disappointed as well if you don't put in the time to do your research.

Attention to Detail

Creating your tool box of details to pull from.

➢ Language? Religions? Currency? Government? And so much more! Make a list of all of these important tidbits.

➢ Depending on the story, you should decide ahead of time what types of creatures and magic you want to play around with.

➢ Location names. You may make these up as you go, but if you want to add depth to your world, make them up randomly before you start writing. This way, you'll have options for where to take your characters as you go.

coins, cthulhu, and Lovecraft image architecture, building, and church image
Have a working idea of your world's culture before you start writing. Obviously you can expand as you go, but it's good to have a base to start with.

➢ If using a pre-existing location, do your homework! Be familiar with all the neighboring sites and have a basic understanding of the culture there.

These are just all the basic steps I follow when building a new world. It's different for every writer, but feel free to try some of these methods!

You should definitely get carried away! Create crazy worlds, then dive right in.

Don't be afraid to change things up as you go! Add to it, tweak something, get rid of an element. There's no shame in altering your world to make it perfect. You may have to add more details to drive your story through to the end, but starting with a rough idea can help you get further in the beginning. Have fun with it! :)

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, feel free to message me! And thank you for reading.

— Aurora ✾
A collection mostly of writing advice.
For tips on organizing the rest of your plot!
Don't even know where to start? Here's some inspiration!