We’ve all read amazing fiction where the world itself captivated us as much as the characters did. And let’s all admit it, when we hit the last page of the final book in the series, a little piece of our soul died, because we knew we’d have no more new adventures in that world.
Isn’t this exactly how we want our readers to feel when they read our books? I mean, sorry about the piece of your soul and all, but WOOT on creating a world so rich and textured our audience is still thinking about it months or even years later.
Worldbuilding is not easy. To really create a world that has the depth to convey fascination and realism we have to do significant planning…especially if building a world from scratch. But even if our story takes place in the real world, we still don’t get to skip out on the work. To get readers to invest in the circumstances of the story, we need to know each location down to its bones (and be prepared to show it).
There are some good surveys online, but Becca and I find often they don’t always ask the right questions or we end up skipping big sections because they cover things that don’t apply to what we’re creating. #writerproblems
It’s times like this we get a bit giddy that we happen to know two talented developers. Off we go, explaining our writing woes to Lee and Abhishek at One Stop for Writers, and BOOM, after a bit of collaboration, the Worldbuilding Tool is born.
Imagine a set of surveys that can be customized and will work for all genres so you can easily bring together the important details for your world. Plan key people, organizations, locations, and more, no matter where your story takes place. You can design the solar system all the way down to the communities where your characters live, whatever you need. All you do is choose a survey type, drag over the questions you’d like to answer, and leave the ones you don’t.
And if there’s a question you want to explore that isn’t already in the survey, you can add your own, customizing the survey.
And we’ve included questions with links to thesauruses that may help, allowing you to immediately do some deep-level planning right on the spot.
Once you’re finished the survey, just save it, and make another if you like. Once you have explored all the aspects of a world, you can use the surveys to help you build story timelines, story maps, scene maps, or to have on hand as you write. Access them right from One Stop’s Workspace or print them out (and if you want to keep all your surveys together in one PDF, you can do that too!)
Along with some helpful ideas for each survey, we’ve also put together a Tutorial on Worldbuilding, so check that out.
Now you know the kind of things Becca and I work on when we’re not penning our next book. We love creating our writing guides for you, but some things can’t be done in a book, so we’ve built One Stop. The site has a toolbox brimming with writing goodies, so stop by sometime and check it out if you like using our 2-week free trial!
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Happy writing, all!
Do you love worldbuilding, or is it something you struggle with? Let us know in the comments!
Angela is a writing coach, international speaker, and bestselling author who loves to travel, teach, empower writers, and pay-it-forward. She also is a founder of One Stop For Writers, a portal to powerful, innovative tools to help writers elevate their storytelling.
BECCA PUGLISI says
Looks intriguing! I’ll check it out.
I have a love-hate relationship with worldbuilding! On one hand, it’s one of the things I love most about writing fantasy – creating everything from scratch and immersing yourself entirely in your own fictional universe. But on the other hand, as you pointed out, it’s HARD. I sometimes feel as if I’ll never be able to create enough authentic detail to make the world REAL enough. This tool looks like it will really help with that, though – will definitely be trying it out! 🙂
ANGELA ACKERMAN says
I think world-building is a bit like writing itself. When you start, you’re all like, “Hey I got this!” but then the more you learn, the more you see JUST HOW MUCH YOU DON’T KNOW, and how it all fits together like domino. Mess up one piece and the whole thing collapses. BUT, anything worth doing is worth doing well. And wow, have we all read books where the world was just so unbelievably well drawn! I think deep down we all want to be able to do that, no matter how hard it is. And we can, too. 🙂 I hope you enjoy the tool.
Peter B. Giblett says
Loved this idea. I will take a look at it.