World Weaving

A writer who writes about worldbuilding.

Wow, that's a lot of W's.

"I have all my ideas and a general mental outline in place. It's putting my ideas on paper I'm having trouble with. Any advice?"

Asked by Anonymous

You said you have a mental outline, and that makes me think you haven’t written it down. If you’re having trouble starting or writing the story in general, I’d say definitely get the outline down on paper first, so you can have something concrete.

If you’re having trouble writing anything down, period, then there are a few things you could do. Sometimes, when I’m feeling like I can’t get anything down on paper, I take a break and go for a walk if I can. Distracting your mind by doing something completely unrelated to the story can help break the hold writer’s block gets on you, as long as you don’t let it last too long.

Another thing that helps me is to remind myself why I’m writing this story in the first place. Generally when you write fiction, you write about things you like and are passionate about (I would hope), so it helps to remind yourself about why you started this project. Maybe try to figure out three core things about your story that get you excited, and remembering those will hopefully inspire you.

If you haven’t written anything because you’re afraid of what people might think, well - screw those people. You have a story you’re passionate about, and you’re the only one who can write it. Even if it never gets published or you never show it to anyone, it’s your story to tell, and if it’s a story you love, you deserve to enjoy yourself.

I've got time tonight, so if you have questions, go ahead and throw them at me.

How to Build a Bird!

This is the first in a new series of posts about how to build your own species of a particular group of animals or plants. Once other articles are written for this series, they will appear under “How to Build…” under the resources section of this blog.

If you’re brainstorming a new world, you’re probably inclined to include animals that are at least a little similar to Earth’s animals, even if your world isn’t Earth at all. Usually you see some sort of birds in fantasy world, as long as there’s air, and your story will be all the richer if you make some of your own. Click the read-more, and we’ll begin!

Read More

If I were to do a series of posts about species-building, would people be interested in that?

I would likely be focusing on how to brainstorm your own species of insects, mammals, fish, etc. and make a post about each, but I might do something about making non-human sentient species as well. I already did a post about making different kinds of people here, but I figure if I made another post about it, I could delve more into the physiology aspect of things.

"Hey guys I'm a really big fan of you blog. I am currently developing a plot with a mc that grew up in the foster system. If you could point me towards a few links and possibly a blog or follower that has first hand experience I would be really thankful. Thanks in advance and keep up the awesome prompts"

Asked by awriterswindow

Thanks, I’m glad you like the blog!

I looked around and I found this, which is various people’s anecdotes of their experiences in the foster system. There’s a lot of things that come up when you google “foster children experiences.” Hope that helps!

World building a language

: I came across this on a blog I follow, and it really made me think of the different ways of communication that exist.  I thought others might like it, since it definitely broadened the way I think about language.

 http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/06/star-trek-tng-and-the-limits-of-language-shaka-when-the-walls-fell/372107/

Thank you, this is super interesting! And definitely a good read.

"You may have answered this before, but what is your opinion/suggestions/etc. on using maps as worldbuilding tools? My world's basically going to be a variation of Earth, with different borders and political structures from the world as we know it today."

Asked by Anonymous

Maps are excellent to use for worldbuilding, whether you take inspiration from existing maps, or make your own! When I make a new fantasy world, I usually make at least a simple map of it, so I know what the land is like and where major cities are. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it’s useful to mark down anything you think might be important to the story.

There are probably computer programs out there that can help you build a map, but I usually just draw mine in an art program. I am a mediocre artist at best, and like I said - it doesn’t have to be fancy. As long as it works for you, it’s fine.

Here are some things you might want to mark on a map:

  • Countries/their capital city
  • Major cities
  • Mountains/other geography
  • Rivers/lakes/other bodies of water
  • Bridges
  • Forests
  • Major landmarks
  • Temples/monuments
  • Dangerous locations (and figure out why they’re dangerous!)
  • Hidden treasures
  • Locations of magical objects
  • Ruins

You should also consider where your world grows/gets its food. If it doesn’t import its food, it’ll need some sort of place to grow agriculture (most likely some portion of flat, fertile land). Look up what kind of crops will grow in a climate like your world’s - generally, societies need grains, legumes (beans, peas, etc) and a few vegetables to have a balanced diet. Meat is generally something that societies with more money/resources have, but societies can subsist on the diet I mentioned above without meat.

Major cities tend to develop on the edges of bodies of water, since people need water to survive, and waterways are often important trade routes that allow the city to interact with people from other places.

As for your story in particular, maybe think about why the borders are so different in your version of Earth, if you haven’t already. Those conflicts or stories could provide a lot of interesting ideas for plot, or at least interesting background if nothing else. Hope that helped!

"In regards to the cyborg zombie question: It depends on your level of cyborg. It’s entirely possible that every mechanical part of the cyborg zombie will refuse to work because of lack of correct input signals. It’s also possible, since zombies already stink of magic anyway, that any augmentations on the cyborg will be working at full capacity, but much easier to break down, especially since zombies aren’t especially known for taking care of their bodies."

Asked by arget-normand

"I think robots and cyborgs would be less afraid of zombies; cyborgs are at lower risk of being infected from a bite or something similar, and robots or cyborgs with completely robot bodies (Motoko Kusanagi, for example) would likely be at no risk at all. If a cyborg does get infected, there's a good chance the resulting zombie will be more powerful, since it's essentially a robot zombie. Hope that's helpful!"

Asked by Anonymous

"There was this one book where the "zombies" could think and definitely had personality. They were written just like any other character, but they had to worry about body parts falling off and their body rotting. I hope that helps a little!"

Asked by rose13aris

Thanks! Here’s something, anon.