How I Outline: World Building

Welcome to part three of the “How I outline” Series. If you haven’t check out part one, which covers plot, you can click HERE to check it out. If you are interested in learning how I develop characters you can check out part two by clicking HERE.

Today I will be focusing on world building. This is by far my weakest area of planning and one that I hope to get better at in the future. Still, my hope is that at least one person will gain something by reading this post.

The first thing about world building that I need to point out is that it varies from book to book. For Winslow Asylum I barely did any. The first thing I did was create a list of scenes based on my one-page synopsis. From there I looked for inspiring pictures on Pinterest and collected them all into a board for the story. Then I filled out the setting worksheets that came with my copy of Scrivener. What I like about this worksheet is that it only asks for basic information. This way my setting can grow more naturally as I write.

Now for my fantasy novel Bonded, I needed I little more world building. I needed something that would allow me to collect information for each of the kingdoms that appears in the novel. After some digging around I finally found a questionnaire that worked for how I outline. The one I found covers things like the history and what the people there look like. I used the questionnaire to get a bigger picture idea of the world. That I dive into the smaller settings using my scrivener worksheets.

And that is pretty much it. Like I said World building is one of my weakest areas of outlining. If you guys have any tips or resources that might be helpful, feel free to leave them in the comment section below.

There is only one part left to go in my “How I outline series”! Next week I will give you a peek into my Scrivener document, showing how I put everything together.

If you would like to be notified when that part comes up, you can follow me here on the blog. You can also follow me on Twitter (@_andreajcline) and on Instagram (@andreajcline) for updates.

And until then, see you next time!


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