World building is endlessly fascinating. And, sadly, can become a big black hole that saps your energy and time, and as result, your story doesn’t ever seem to get out into the world. You know, just one more nuance to get right, a backstory detail to figure out. And so on. 🤦😜
Meet World Anvil and Project Deios. World Anvil is a web service that allows creators to capture and display the worlds of their stories and games. Project Deios is a map-making tool that the co-founders of World Anvil helped get off the ground in partnership with the people from Dungeon Fog.
I can’t wait to use the map making tool. I’m hopeful it’ll help me get my legs under me getting a better sense of the visual look and feel of what I’m seeing inside my head. The gaps of what I’m intuiting will probably become grossly apparent when I try to put structure to them in a map making tool. There are many map making tools, of course. I’ve just decided to wait for this one, and play with it as it evolves, because it seems to do the many things I’m looking for all in the one tool. We’ll see what happens.
World Anvil feels like one gigantic wiki which has been elegantly set up to help world builders just focus on creating the worlds and not worry too much about the technical aspects of the tool. That said, I’m still trying to get comfortable with using World Anvil.
What I love about the potential I see with World Anvil is that you can reveal parts of the world to different types of audiences. The general public gets to see certain things. Super fans of the world can get to see more. Of course, you can have groups in between. The point being, there is the possibility of a backstage tour for those who want more. There is so much more to World Anvil, and I’ll probably talk about more as I get used to using the tool. Until then, for now, this is my starting point.
So, as an action step to keep things moving, even if just a little bit, I’ve set up the worlds within World Anvil for the different storylines in the cue.
Working a full-time job, raising kids as a single parent, in the middle of separating and divorcing from my ex, I really don’t know how I can render the stories I’ve captured and made notes for on one hour of writing per day. I suppose one hour a day is infinitely better than doing nothing at all and hoping to get around to it someday. So, an hour a day will just have to do until I can retire from the day job in eight years. 😂😂😂
We’ll see what can get done in the next eight years. It’s not like the stories are going anywhere. 😝
As I continue to make progress, I will post articles to World Anvil. I’ve linked up World Anvil to the story worlds sections of this website. Another small step to keep things moving forward. 😰
I’m also combining with this effort another exercise I had started before I discovered World Anvil. Of the many authors who write about story worldbuilding, I have found Steven Savage’s work very practical because he presents a list of questions to help the creator think up answers that can start to shape the world.
As of the publish date of this blog post, he’s published the books listed below. You can find the most up-to-date list at his website.
- Way with Worlds: Crafting Great Fictional Stories (Volume 1)
- Way with Worlds: Details and Discussions (Volume 2)
- Sex and Worldbuilding: 50 Questions for Creatives
- Magic, Technology and Worldbuilding: 50 Questions for Creatives
- Food, Culture and Worldbuilding: 50 Questions for Creatives
- Religion and Worldbuilding: 50 Questions for Creatives
- Worldbuilding Checkup: 50 Questions for Creatives
- Characters and Worldbuilding: 50 Questions for Creatives
- Superheroes and Worldbuilding: 50 Questions for Creatives
- Organizations and Worldbuilding: 50 Questions for Creatives
- Cities and Worldbuilding: 50 Questions for Creatives
- Fashion and Worldbuilding: 50 Questions for Creatives
- News, Media and Worldbuilding: 50 Questions for Creatives
- Gods, Deities and Worldbuilding: 50 Questions for Creatives
To answer all of the questions would take forever and you’d never ever get your story out. That said, the more you can think about the various dimensions of your story, the richer and more textured it becomes, and can begin to feel more and more like real life.
So as I work through the different questions I feel might be relevant to the building of the story world, I would make double use of that effort and publish to World Anvil articles capturing those ideas.
All of these small actions help take the world from a place of imagination inside my head into something concrete and practical for the consumers of the storyworld to interact with and hopefully enjoy.
I’m looking forward to being in a position eventually to contract out artwork, to help add another layer of depth to the story world. As a musician, I’m hoping to also bring in a musical element to add another level of depth to the story worlds.
Time will tell. It’s a good thing that I have long lifeline. 😜 I’m going to need it. 😇😂
Chat again soon 😘