Worldbuilding resources can make the lives of fantasy writers a hell of a lot easier.
From templates and questionnaires to podcasts and workshops, there are a plethora of options to learn new skills and find inspiration for ideas.
Below, you can find a huge list of resources to help you build your fantasy worlds. You can find a free writing class and a whole bunch of guides, tips and advice, among many others.
If you’d like to learn more beyond this guide, join a writing group and get a free creative writing book, click below to learn more about The Writers’ Toolshed.
How Can Worldbuilding Resources Help Your Writing?
As writers, we should always be looking to improve our craft and learn new things. The more we take on board the more powerful our stories have the potential to be, and that’s why using a broad selection of worldbuilding resources can improve your writing significantly.
First of all, creating a fantasy world involves a lot of imagination, but also a lot of research. If you come up with an idea to shape the technology of a kingdom, it may be necessary to learn about how that technology works in real life so that you can write with more conviction and authority. Not only will this help the writing process, but it’ll also improve the quality of the story.
If you’re yet to begin the worldbuilding process and would like to know how to start, check out my guide below.
Click Here To Learn How To Start Worldbuilding
How To Find Worldbuilding Resources
There are lots of different ways that you can find worldbuilding resources. As well as what you can find on this page, you can check out:
- Forums – places like r/worldbuilding, r/fantasywriters and r/fantasy have lots of worldbuilders all discussing ideas and sharing inspirational resources. Head over to Reddit and check them out.
- YouTube – if you’re looking to research a topic as part of your worldbuilding process, such as what people ate in medieval times, then you’ll be sure to find a quick documentary on YouTube. It’s become one of the best places for learning anywhere.
- Writing Groups – if you join a writing group of like-minded writers then chances are they’ll share resources and guides for you to benefit from too. That’s what it’s like in our writing group anyway. Feel free to join us by clicking the button at the top of this page.
To get you off to the best start, I have, in addition to this guide, a comprehensive guide to building worlds, covering every single aspect, which you can check out by clicking below.
Learn More In My Complete Guide To Worldbuilding
In the following sections, you can find a variety of worldbuilding resources, all of which will help you create your fantasy world.
Fantasy Writing Guides
To help you get off to the best start possible with creating your fantasy worlds, I’ve included links to every worldbuilding guide on my website.
The subjects cover everything from aspects of medieval life, such as living in castles and the lives of peasants, to creating a fantasy map.
Just click through to learn more:
- How To Create A Fantasy Map
- A Guide To Fantasy Armor
- A Guide To Archery
- The Lives Of Medieval Peasants
- The Life Of Lords
- Medieval Weapons
- The Lives Of Women In The Middle Ages
- Horses And The Fantasy Genre
- The Medieval Castle
- Castles In Fantasy
- Siege Warfare
- Cannons In The Middle Ages
- Medieval Diseases
One of the best ways to learn about and understand your world is to complete a questionnaire which helps you to define it.
Some questions can be quite specific, whereas others are broader. They tend to focus on the two distinct areas of creating a fantasy world—the physical make-up of the world, and the cultural side (everything influenced by man).
Here are some links to the best sets of questions currently available:
If you enjoy learning from books, you’re spoilt for choice. There are scores of worldbuilding books available. Some offer methods and approaches to creating fictional worlds. Others provide a template, and a few offer insights and inspiration.
I’ve compiled a detailed guide on the best books on worldbuilding available, which you can find here.
Podcasts On Worldbuilding
If you’ve heard of The Fantasy Writers’ Toolshed podcast then you may have already found our bountiful selection of worldbuilding podcast episodes.
Below, you can find Spotify links to some of the best episodes on the subject:
Something that can prove a very useful aid in the creation process is a worldbuilding template. Luckily for you, I have a free one that you can download. Just click the link below to learn more.
In short, it splits the creating process into two broad areas—physical settings and cultural settings. The template then provides you with a number of prompts for each area, asking you to define the likes of the politics of the world and the types of food people like to eat.
Click Here To Download The Free Worldbuilding Template
Try A World Building Website For Fantasy Writers
There are several websites that can be particularly helpful for fantasy writers who are looking to build their own worlds. Here are a few examples:
- World Anvil – This world building website provides a set of tools to help you create and organize your world, including templates, a world map maker, and a calendar creator.
- World-Maker: – Here you can find all different tools for worldbuilders, including a map maker, a name generator, and a world history generator. It also has a community feature that allows you to share your world with other users.
- The Fantasy Name Generator – This website generates a wide variety of fantasy-themed names, including character names, place names, and more.
- Fantasy Map Generator – This website provides a simple tool for creating fantasy maps, allowing you to customize the terrain, place cities and towns, and more.
- The Fantasy Worldbuilding Question – This website provides a list of questions that can help you build a detailed and believable fantasy world.
- Reddit’s r/worldbuilding – This subreddit is a community of worldbuilders that share their work, ask questions, and give feedback to others.
- Fantasy Name Lists – This website provides a list of names for different fantasy races and cultures, including elves, dwarves, and more.
- Fantasy Calendar Generator – This website allows you to create a custom calendar for your fantasy world.
These are just a few examples of the many websites that can help you with fantasy worldbuilding. Remember that these websites are just tools, you should use them as a reference and inspiration to help you create your own unique fantasy world.
I mentioned World Anvil in the list above and it deserves further mention here.
As we know, World Anvil is a world building website that allows writers, game developers, and creators to organize and manage the details of their world, including characters, locations, cultures, and histories.
World Anvil provides a range of features to help users keep track of their ideas and develop them into a comprehensive and coherent universe. It’s hugely popular, with its website getting tens of thousands of visitors a month and an Excellent rating on Trustpilot.
Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons.
Benefits of World Anvil:
Here are some benefits of WorldAnvil.com
- Organized world building – World Anvil provides a structured framework for creating and organizing details about your world. Users can create pages for characters, locations, cultures, and other elements, and link them together to form a cohesive whole.
- Collaboration – World Anvil allows multiple users to work on the same world together. This is useful for teams working on a project, or for writers who want to get feedback from beta readers.
- Tracking – World Anvil provides tools for tracking the progress of your creation, including timelines, maps, and character sheets. This can help you keep track of all the details and ensure consistency across your universe.
- Community – This particlar worldbuilding website has a large and active community of users who share their worlds and provide feedback and support. This in itself can be a great resource for getting inspiration and improving your creation skills.
Negatives of World Anvil:
Here are some of the cons:
- Learning curve – it’s said it can take some time to figure out how to use all of the site’s features effectively.
- Limited customization – While World Anvil provides a structured framework for world building, some users may find it limiting if they want to create something that doesn’t fit neatly into the provided categories.
- Cost – While World Anvil offers a free version, many of its more advanced features require a paid subscription. This may not be feasible for users who are just starting out or who are on a tight budget.
- Online-only – World Anvil is a web-based application, which means that users need an internet connection to access their work. This may not be convenient for users who want to work offline or who have limited internet access.
Learn More About Building Fantasy Worlds
You can access more worldbuilding resources below:
- The “natural method” of building a world
- Worldbuilding and religion
- A list of the best world building classes
- Head here to learn about the writing community, r/worldbuilding
- Download a free worldbuilding checklist here
- Learn more about worldbuilding in writing here
- How much worldbuilding should you do before you start writing?
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