World-Building Template

A blank, open notebook with a blue capped pen on a wooden table.

World-Building is a complicated thing, but often it can be the most exciting part of writing a new story. Some people, like myself, have more fun doing that than actually writing stories.

Despite National Novel Writing Month being far behind us, I know plenty of people will be focusing on building their world instead of writing their stories. It’s perfectly valid, who am I to judge. I procrastinate by world-building all the time, it’s only fair.

Over the past few years, I’ve spent a decent amount of time building random worlds, whether for writing a novel, a short story, or planning my next D&D game.

I won’t for a second claim to be some sort of authority on world-building or writing in general. That honor falls to someone much more experienced and talented than me. Over time though I’ve kind of gotten used to which things are useful for building a world and which aren’t. I’ve used programs like Campfire and World Anvil for world-building, but I’ve also just taken thousands of words of notes in Evernote. I’m going to try to not make that mistake again. I’ve found that none of these methods really have a good way to export your full world bible into a document. I for one would maybe kind of print out my world bible at some point and have it on a shelf. Maybe I’ll finally use up all those print pages I have stocked up at my old university. If nothing else I think it’d be fun to look at the shelf and go “Hey I made that.” Flipping through a big long printed document is obviously not the easiest way to reference story info.

I’ve spent a bit of time throwing together a short(relatively speaking) guide to worldbuilding and put it into the form of a template. If you’re wanting to get a head start building your world, this should be a good place to start. I’ve included short descriptions and examples of everything you might need. It goes without saying it isn’t comprehensive, and it’s bound to be missing a thing or two. This is only version one, and I’ll probably be adding to it in the future. I just wanted to get it out there for people to use.

The template should be useful for anyone wanting to world build. Whether you’re someone who has a world already built and is looking to organize it, or you’re wanting to create a new world and don’t know where to start. It should give you a good idea of the things you might need to start creating your world.

Feel free to download and use as you see fit. Gut it, add to it, delete the whole thing, it’s all fine by me. Let me know if there are things I need to add or that I got wrong and I’ll be sure to update.

Happy world-building nerds!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/y0270w7ib7tl51r/World-Bible_Template.dotx?dl=0

Worst of his name, First of The Sentinels, Player of Games, Dungeon Master, Programmer, Photographer, Writer. (aka SentinelTheFirst)

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Jordan Cates

Jordan Cates

Worst of his name, First of The Sentinels, Player of Games, Dungeon Master, Programmer, Photographer, Writer. (aka SentinelTheFirst)

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