Worldbuilding

The Mechanics of Dystopian Settings

The skies are darkened with soot and ash, and marauding bandits are ravaging the countryside. Sound familiar? Dystopian worlds focus on failed governments and societies where things can range from bad to worse. Dystopian settings are gritty, grim, and have a heavy focus on decay … read more »

Crafting Plausible Maps

Building a map for a fantasy setting involves a lot of details – most of them fun! Art styles, fonts, and icons need to be chosen. But some mapping concerns go beyond mere aesthetics. If you’re building a sizable chunk of continent on an Earth-like … read more »

Designing Your Spaceship

Star Trek has the Enterprise. Star Wars has the Millenium Falcon. Battlestar Galactica has… Battlestar Galactica. Each of these ships fulfills a different purpose and so has a different design. If your work features an important spaceship, then this is something you have to think about. Read more »

Establishing and Transitioning Atmosphere

In previous posts in this series, I discussed setting and meeting expectations for your story’s characters and plot threads. Now I’ll be discussing one last component: what I like to call a story’s worldview. Read more »

Looking Under Your World’s Skin

Last month, we covered how the ground below a constructed world can behave. From the gradual shaping of continents to the rapid devastation unleashed by volcanoes and ice dams, geological processes define and destroy civilizations. Now that we’ve seen your world move, it’s time to see … read more »

Adding Dance to Your Fictional Culture

All human cultures include dancing – with the possible exception of groups that specifically forbid it. Not only is dancing intrinsic to our nature, but it’s an amazingly versatile activity. Dreaming up some dances can add a splash of realism and interest to your creative … read more »

Tweaking Your World’s Geology

Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii

Chances are your world is built on something.  If it’s anything like Earth, your characters are living in a thin veneer of air and water sandwiched between a dark, unforgiving void and a churning sea of white-hot iron. We’ve already looked at what’s above; now let’s … read more »

35 – Theming Worlds

The Mythcreant Podcast

Chris, Mike, and Oren discuss how themes are a common part of worldbuilding. They describe worlds with memorable themes, contemplate how worldbuilders can add themes to their settings, and mention the advantages and disadvantages of doing so. Read more »

Changing the Way Your World Moves

Earth is a great planet. It’s functional enough as life-bearing planets go, and it boasts plenty of room – 510 million square kilometers, to be precise* – for all sorts of interesting stories. Yet sometimes you just have to change the scenery; escape your earthly … read more »

Should You Use Non-Humans in Your Setting?

Picture the scene: you’ve worked long and hard on the perfect setting. You’ve crafted a fantasy world of ancient cities and unexplored depths, or a science fiction empire with planets teetering on the edge of war. Now you must decide, are humans alone in this … read more »

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