World building can be incredibly therapeutic. There’s something about creating a world of our own design that can give us a sense of peace. Maybe it’s the fact that we get a say over all the laws, or that we can create a cool new species of magical dog, but world building is a really calming activity.
That is, until you get to the details. Making our new worlds work once the foundations are laid can be tricky. In the beginning, anything goes, and we are awash with creative ideas. When the world building gets more specific – and therefore, complicated – we can sometimes lose track.
From time to time, we straight-up forget how to be creative. Whether it’s burn out, or just a rough day, having no ideas can happen. Writing novels is hard, but they are only a snippet of our character’s lives. Creating an entire world takes time, effort, and sometimes comes at the cost of our sanity.
Luckily, there are a few tools that can help us build our worlds without us tearing our hair out.
I only recently discovered Inkarnate, but it’s an amazing tool for world creation. Inkarnate is online software which allows you to create a map of your chosen world. Rather than scribbling out an illegible map on a legal notepad, we can actually create one that allows us to see the world we have created for ourselves.
While I’m still getting used to creating maps with Inkarnate, its results are beautiful, and can really immerse us in our new world. There are free or paid options on the site, but naturally the sweet stuff is behind the paywall. Whichever one you choose, you might find that Inkarnate helps to visualise our creations.
This software has played a big role in the creation of The Rogue Valkyrie Series. Word documents are great, but sometimes it’s difficult to remember which information is where, when world building. Finding what you’re looking for can become a big, confusing goose chase.
Scrivener allows us to create folders, and even has a pre-existing template for planning and writing a novel. Settings, characters, and plots can be put all in one place. I tend to put the series planning and the actual written novels in separate Scrivener documents, just to allow for a bit of mental separation. Besides, I wouldn’t want to put all nine books into one document – that’s just dangerous!
Scrivener is a paid piece of software, but it’s pretty cheap for what you get.
World building is the most wholesome book-related activity for me, and while a lot of the world building takes place in my head, it pays to have the important things down on paper. Preferably organised.
If you’re struggling, or just need to shake up your world-building strategies, give these a try and see if they help!
Thanks for reading! Did you know I also write urban fantasy books? Check them out here!