5 Tips: World-Building Template

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EDIT: If you like this journal entry, check out The Sarcastic Guide to Writing ebook www.amazon.com/The-Sarcastic-G… for exclusive content on world-building, character, and dialogue!

Capital City:
Colors: (An example would be red, white, and blue)
Symbol: (An example would be stars and stripes.)
Races: (The races that inhabit the area, whether or not they’re native.)
Government: (Feudal system, caste system, oligarchy, parliament, democracy, plutocracy?)
Religion: (Monotheism?  Pantheism?  Atheism?)
Resources: (What does the country export?  Import?  Make?  Is famous for?)
Description of Major Cities: (I do this to get a feel for the areas the characters will be visiting.)
Quote: (What someone from this area would talk like, or talk about.)
History: (Everyone comes from somewhere.  People just don’t up and appear on islands and such.  I mean, even Native Americans walked across a land bridge way back in the day. Europeans came from Romans and Greeks and Celts and Gauls and more.  Very few people bother to look at this aspect of world-building, and they really should.  Even if a civilization has been around for two thousand years and are elven dragon riders, they came from somewhere.  Even if their mythology says they crawled out of the earth: they came from somewhere.  Examine it!)
Physical: (The ethnic description of your race: skin color, hair color, builds, dress)
Mannerisms: (The likely way someone behaves if they’re from this place.  Because believe me, a fur-wrapped barbarian behaves in a very different way than a Greek statesman.)
Weather patterns: (Tropical?  Stormy?  Cold?  Earthquakes?  Climate in general?)
Magic: (How it is treated by the country.  Whether hated and feared, harnessed for industry, or nonexistent within it’s borders, if magic has a presence in your story you ought to look at how it affects the larger picture than just your heroes and their journey.)
Language: (This is kind of a big one for me, because I’m always very careful to point how and why my characters can understand each other, especially if they are from different countries. Language in the real world is a hell of a barrier, but even if you have a Chinese dragon, an Arabian unicorn, a French knight, a Mayan princess, and a Japanese ninja, they can all talk to and understand each other without explanation. Double I-call-BS-points for someone from another world or time!  Anyone who has ever toured Europe can tell you why this is complete bull.  Take a closer look, especially if you’re modeling anything after medieval Europe; only the Church had a universal language: Latin.)
Cuisine: (What do people from this country eat every day?  On festival days?  As delicacies? Taboo?)
Leisure: (What do people here do in their spare time?  For fun?)
Transport: (How do people move things?  Armies?  Crowds?  Goods?  Animals?)
Weapons: (What weapons are manufactured here?  Commonplace?  Rare?  Forbidden?)
Greetings: (What is considered an acceptable greeting?  In formal setting?  Among friends? Family?)
Customs: (The habits of a people that make them unique.  Google it if you’re confused.)
Superstitions: (Knowing the power irrational explanations have over a populace can sometimes be good story material.)
Beliefs: (Do I really have to explain this one?  This alone can be your story.)
Rituals: (Birth? Coming-of-age?  Marriage?  Death?  Justice?)
Festivals: (What do people celebrate?  What are considered holidays?  Why?)
Education: (How are children taught?  Skilled workers, like architects or brewers?  Is there public education?  Higher education?)

Just in case you’re wondering: yes, I really do fill all of this stuff out.  As a matter of fact, I think that too many world-building templates out there are way too big and convoluted, the kind of thing sure to give world-builder's disease to your story.  I have a physical journal and a working text file, and split the template between the two of them and eventually get things done.  This isn’t just inane busywork. If my world-building is completely brand new because the story is, on average I take anywhere from three to six months to world-build.  But by the time I’m done, I can assure you that my characters, arcs, and plot are all filled out, too.  World-building gets the juices flowing and will solve a massive amount of your plot problems (the only known cure for writer's block is world-building and character-building.)  And yes, all of this is writing before I even begin to write.  My working text files tend to be about 30 pages long after everything is done, in addition to my journals, which can be about 20-30 pages, too.  (I usually have multiple countries and multiple characters in addition to other notes.)  I’m not saying everyone should do this.  I’m only showing you what works for me.
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thank you this is amazing i couldn't find one with enough detail so thank you.