Worldbuilding Prompts Part 2: Societal Worldbuilding

2021 Oct 13, 2021

Thursday 14 October — Sunday 17 October

For the second and final series of prompts during worldbuilding section, we will be focusing on societal worldbuilding! Please feel free to answer any of the questions below or, for a more fun activity, create some merch for your world! Postcards, mugs, T-shirts--anything goes!


Questions:

    1. Are there any holidays and customs that are unique to your world? What are they? Where did they originate from? How are they celebrated now? Are they only celebrated in specific parts of your world or across it? Do celebrations in different regions differ from each other? How so?
    2. What is the political system like in your world? Is it a democracy? A monarchy? An oligarchy? How does the public feel about the leader? How involved is the general public in the political process? How do the people get information from their government, if at all? How does the government make decisions?
    3. Are there different political groups in your world that are battling for power? These can be different countries or, if your story is focused on a specific countries, parties or alliances within that country. Does this conflict develop throughout the story? How? How involved is your main character? What are their opinions on it?
    4. What is your story’s currency like? Is it physical, like dollars or coins, or do they rely on barter system? Does your world have a class system? If so, what does the average day look like for different members of each class? Who owns the means of production (e.x., the government, corporations, specific individuals/groups, etc.)? How has this class system looked historically? Has there always been a divide, or did people used to live more egalitarian?
    5. Does your world have a magic system? What is the source of it? What are the limitations to it? Is it possible for anyone to practice, or is it only a select few? Is there a class difference between those who can or can’t? Is there a religious affiliation to the magic system such as a pantheon, or is it a natural occurrence?
    6. Are there any important historical events that happened in your world that have directly influenced how it looks today? These could be bigger things like wars or economic collapses, as well as smaller things like a typo in an official document or a misunderstanding between two people.
    7. Are there any shared beliefs or traits between the population of your setting? Are there languages that are more commonly spoken there? Are there common jobs that people in this setting have? What kinds of food are more popular there?
    8. Are there unspoken “rules” within your setting or within some of the spaces that your MC engages with throughout the story? The spaces can range from something small like your main character’s English class or their village to something big like your main character’s city, town, or kingdom. Does your character break any of those rules throughout the story? What is their just justification for doing so? Do any rules change as a result of your character’s actions?
    9. Going off of the previous questions, within the spaces that your MC engages with throughout the story, are there any traits or characteristics that are praised? What about ones that are looked down upon? Does your MC possess or lack any of these?
    10. What does it take to disrupt the normalcy of your world? Try to go for the smallest thing that would be noticeably disruptive.
    11. Where do your own characters stand in the social hierarchy of this world? Does this change at all throughout the story? How do your characters feel about their place? Do they want to be higher, or are they content?


Activities/Resources:

    1. Come up with some flag designs for your countries, cities, political groups, etc! What colors would they have, and what significance do these colors have? Would any of them have any designs or symbols outside of color? The flag of Nepal is the only national flag in our world to not be rectangular; would any of your entities have non-rectangular designs? Why? For some examples, here are a few lists of flags: Country Flags / U.S. State Flags
    2. Design merch for your world! Think of stuff like t-shirts, hats, notebooks, travel mugs, postcards, souvenirs, etc! Canva has some good templates, especially if you look under “print products.” Here are some cool examples: LouPaper’s State Postcards / FishKissBrand’s State Prints / Starbucks’ Collection Mugs: U.S. States | Canada

Want to join AWiP for more details and resources?

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