Thursday, January 24, 2013

Worldbuilding Blogfest Schedule & Details

The Worldbuilding Blogfest starts next Monday! I'm pleased with the great turnout and happy to see both old friends and fresh faces in the mix. It's not too late to sign up if you haven't already.

Worldbuilding is a lot of work! So, I wanted to share some more details so the "plan-in-advancers" among you can get started with your posts now if you choose. This blogfest has a flexible format. The idea is to help you develop the world you've created and share your awesome creation. The topics and post suggestions are to help guide you, but you can change things around or try different things if you wish.

If you can't do all five posts, please don't hesitate to still participate and post what you can. But, if you are one of the first people to sign-up and complete five worldbuilding posts between 1/28 and 2/3, you'll automatically win a free digital copy of my upcoming release The Charge on 3/2/13. All you need is five distinct world-building posts in that time range, it's okay if you're a little behind and your posts bleed into the weekend.

Everyone who completes at least one post will be entered in a drawing to win one of the prizes listed in the original post here.

On Friday 2/1, we'll be posting excerpts that demonstrate world-building. And I've decided to make this a contest. I'll be giving away a full manuscript critique to the excerpt I think best demonstrates worldbuilding. I'll share more information about the contest portion a few days beforehand.

Here are the details on what and when to post. I have listed possible post ideas for each category but feel free to come up with your own ideas.

Monday 1/28
Geography & Climate

Okay, so you’re in your world. Go outside. What do you see? Towering trees? Pools of lava? Mountains? Purple sky? On Monday, you’ll begin with the basics.

Here are some ideas for posts:
  • General encyclopedia/ textbook description of the geography and climate
  • A map of your world
  • A weather report or severe weather advisory
  • Photos or drawings of your setting (or photos of how your setting might be if it’s not real).( Remember not to use copyrighted work without permission.)
  • A post about how the geography and climate of your world impact your characters. Where a person is from is part of who they are. How would your main character be different if they were from somewhere else? How has it impacted their values, beliefs, appearance, personality?
  • Highlight a species of plant or animal that exists in your world
  • A list of “travel tips” or “warnings” one might need to be aware of when visiting your world.
  • A sightseeing guide for a landmark or attraction

Tuesday 1/29
History & Politics

As an author of an alternate history, this particular component has been the bane of my existence. J To alter history, you need to understand history (both real and alternate), and that means lots of research. Do you know what happened in history in your world? What about the political climate now? What type of government is in play?

Post ideas:

-Timeline of important historical events
-Highlight one particular historical event
-An excerpt from a history textbook from this world. Then tell us…is what they teach their kids accurate? Is the textbook biased in any way?
-How does the history of this world impact your characters’ present? Do the actions of the characters ancestors impact who they are today? How does your character feel about the history of the world?
-Describe the type of government in power. Democracy? Monarchy? Anarchy? How does the government affect the day to day lives of your characters?
-Share a campaign ad / brochure/ propaganda
-Write an op-ed piece about an important political issue in your world
-Highlight an important historical or political figure in your world
-Write about your main character’s political views.
-Show us the flag of the nation in your world

Wednesday 1/30
Religion and/or magic

I don't have to tell you that beliefs can shape our worlds and our characters. And if your world has fantasy elements, you may have to even re-write some of the laws of physics for your world. 

Post ideas:
-Describe the religious beliefs in your world. Do they believe in God? An afterlife?
-If an afterlife exists, tell us what lies in the great hereafter.
-Highlight a/the God from your world
-Share an excerpt from a religious text, prayer, or song
-Describe a religious/spiritual/magical ceremony
-Is there more than one religion in your world? How are they different? How do they get along?
-If magic exists in your world, what are it's limitations?
-Describe how to conduct a magic spell in your world
-Highlight a magical creature in your world. What powers does it have?
-How does the beliefs of your world impact your story and your characters? How would they be different if they had different beliefs?

Thursday 1/31
Food, Drink, Holidays, & Culture

Let's have some fun today! It's time to party in the style of your world.

Post ideas:
-Tell us about a holiday from your world. How is it celebrated?
-Tell us about a popular dish or even a recipe.
-Tell us about a popular drink in your world.
-Describe the common attire for the people in your world.
-Does your world have music? Art? Dance? Tell us about it.
-If your world has television, what is the most highly rated show? Why is it popular? You could do the same with a popular book, movie, song, or pop icon.
-How do the people of your world celebrate birthdays, weddings, or funerals?
-Create an product advertisement that might exist in your world.

Friday 2/1
Worldbuilding Excerpt

Post an excerpt from your novel that highlights your world-building. Even if you don't wish to enter the contest portion, please post just to share. For the contest, I'll ask for 1000 words or less, but for the blogfest, you can post whatever you like.

More inspiration!


  1. Sounds fun! I couldn't resist jumping in!

  2. Oh Oh!!! I wanna win a 1st Chapter critique! This is going to be so much fun. I can go on an oober nerd fest and have a good excuse!

  3. This sounds like a great challenge. I need to really think about this before joining because I've already set goals for my writing -- oh dear, I do need to. Such a great opportunity to learn something new and really get into the future world I've created for my NANO novel. How can I not do this?

    Okay, I'm in, talk about twisting arms. :)

  4. This sounds like a great blog hop. Looking forward to Monday:)

  5. Hmm ... is it okay for me to post twice a day with some of these? I just want to avoid some seriously long posts.

  6. Sure, Aldrea, whatever works best for you. Of course, I only expect you to select one of the prompts for each day unless you really want to go above and beyond! :)

    1. lol. I have fifteen years of worldbuilding quietly stored away for this story. So much knowledge that it could fill a book all by itself. ^_^

      And so little peppered through the story ... I will share!

  7. yay! guidelines & deadlines! my favorite things!

  8. Sharon,

    No fair, changing the schedule and topics <_< I had them all formatted and ready to go based on the original scheduled you posted before. LOL *Sigh*, now I need to go back and change things up.

    But this IS your 'world', so I'll play by your rule oh empress of the Worldbuilding blogfest. ;-)

    1. Oh no! I'm so sorry Andrew. I didn't really realize I had done that until I went back and looked at the old post. :( You're welcome to post in the original order if you wish. And that's coming straight from the empress of the Worldbuilding blogfest. :)

    2. Nah, I wanna be like everyone else - but I do appreciate the special imperial dispensation. Very magnanimous of you. :)

      Seriously, not a problem, just teasing you. :P

  9. I had to change the order of scheduled posts, too, but I've done it now.Everything's scheduled except the excerpt.

  10. I'm still ploughing through my notes, got five posts scheduled. I know, I know. But once I got started ... it all sort of spilled out and I couldn't just shove it back in. Be prepare for some 1000+ word posts.

    Now I just need to finish the two posts for the 31st and pick a good excerpt.

  11. I am so glad I found this, gives me a little structure to what I'm going to be blogging about next. I'm not sure about posting an excerpt because of the jinx factor, though.

    1. Hi Nissa, glad you're participating! What's the "jinx factor"?

    2. If I post an excerpt, it will cause my interest in finishing the novel to die a horrible death.

  12. This looks like a great blog hop! I wish I had time to do it. However, I need to answer these questions for my current WIP so I think I'll do it on my own time and post them whenever I can.

    Thanks for the ideas and questions!

  13. I'm in late, but I'm racing for the goal line. (Luckily I've done most of this work already; I've been really anal about building up the world of my first novel.)