One of the most difficult parts of writing a book is making sure that the world is bulletproof. When it takes place in the world you live in, that’s fairly easy, but when it comes to creating an entirely new world, it can be difficult to know where to start. There are various posts on this dotted around the internet, but as usual, I’m here to offer what I hope is the most comprehensive guide to making your own world.
Personally, I started with what is the climate like? How warm is it? What is the weather like? What do the inhabitants have to do to survive the climate? Does it change from season to season? What plants grow? What food is available?
How is time measured? How do they keep track of age, if at all? How much of their routine does time dictate?
What’s the political situation? Is there a monarchy? Where does the leadership lie on the political spectrum? Is there any leadership at all? How did this come about? Why? How does this affect your characters? Will this change throughout the book? Why now?
And what about the economy? How do people pay for things? What jobs are available? How do people get paid? Who benefits from this system? Who takes the brunt?
What races are present? This is arguably a different category in itself, but is still a huge consideration in world building. Are there many different races? Just the one? How would they respond to a foreigner, if they exist? What languages are present?
What about magic? If magic is possible, how does it work? Can everyone do it, or just a select few? What is the view on magic? How has it helped build the world as it is today?
Do they believe in Gods? How many? Is this belief correct? Do the Gods respond? Do they worship them or fear them? How so?
What other traditions are there? Do they celebrate festivals? Birthdays? How do relationships work? What about sexuality? Does marriage exist? How does it work?
Are your characters educated? How? Is the education system fair?
And last, but by no means least, what is it called? Does it even have a name, or is it the only world your characters know? Who named it?