Tools for Worldbuilding

In today’s post I’ll share two tools I recently discovered that are interesting for worldbuilding and character building. Worldbuilding can be a complex endeavor, and one that can quickly spiral into rabbit holes of documenting the caloric intake of your giant desert spiders. Organization is key to staying on task, and being able to reference ideas you made canon to your story if you ever need to reference during writing your book or series.

Fantasy Calendar Worldbuilding Tool

I was working with my coauthor on documenting our fantasy world’s months and he was working on making a timeline of the major events in the first book of the Etherea Cycle (as we are working on writing book two) when I decided a visual calendar would be really helpful. I searched on google and after a few tries I found this one: You can display moon phases, which is incredibly useful for us as our characters base a lot of the passage of time by the movement and phases of the moon because their planet is tidally locked. You can add seasons as a color, weather, and your own events. But the most useful part for general worldbuilding is that you can create your own length of weeks and months. You’ll get something like this, which is the first month of our Etherean Calendar.

Height Comparison Character Building Tool

The other part of worldbuilding is building your characters. Many use character sheets which contain the information such as age, height, eye color. But sometimes you want a visual on how your party looks together. This could be used for everything from DnD or other original tabletop RPGs to fantasy and sci-fi stories where there are several characters always together. In TOTI we have six. Here’s what they’d look like all together, vertically speaking.

Let me know if these help you in the comments! And share your favorite world building tools.

IWSG March 2023

It’s also IWSG Wednesday (what’s that? read on!) and the question posed this month is about author envy.

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group post on the first Wednesday of the month. “Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance.” You can find my previous posts here. The group poses a monthly question to answer as well.

IWSG Question of the Month

Have you ever read a line in novel or a clever plot twist that caused you to have author envy?

I love those moments! Not envy. Those moments are entertaining; as a reader I was surprised, or the writing captivated me or filled me with wonder. Those moments are also inspiring; as an author I couldn’t predict what was going to happen and wish that I had. I do wish to be able to write clever and captivating stories, so in those moments I have grabbed my forehead, put down the book, and declared, “Why didn’t I think of that?” But one of the great things about writing is all the different ways you can tell a story, all the different branches that sprout from the trunk of a single idea. Using those fun reading moments to inspire future ideas is a great way to move forward vs lament that you didn’t think of it first. Writing begets more writing and everything gets its inspiration from somewhere. Just find a way to make the idea different and really yours and don’t copy the idea exactly.

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