It’s Twin Thursday, so for my post with the lovely Rachel from Undivinelight, I’m talking about ways to keep track of your worldbuilding. When crafting a fantasy universe, it’s easy to let ideas run all over the place. Strange language, food, clothing, customs… You’re just one person; how do you keep track of it all?
- Set up a Pinterest for your project. Or, if you prefer to have a physical thing to play with, make a scrap book or cork board. This will help you keep visual cues for your setting, costuming, and other world notes.
- Build a glossary. A lot of fantasy comes with new terminology, whether it’s pertaining to magic, landmarks, social status, or so on. To be sure you’re using it consistently and correctly, it can be helpful to have a quick-reference document for strange words.
- Set up a bookmarks list in your web browser. This is especially important if you’re using a real place or time as a template, doubly so if that someplace is somewhere you don’t actually live. If you need to know at a moment’s notice what the shoulder-pieces of a knight’s armor are called or whether or not it snows in the Greek mountains, you should have a quick way to find those answers and to get them right consistently.
- Write a history for your world. The more time you spend in your world and the more detail you’re able to pack in, the more real it will be to you. If you know that the long-standing tension between these two kingdoms is who owns that mountain, you can bring some of that to the your main characters. Even if they don’t give two figs about the mountain or the war, some of the animosity between their countries will carry over.
- Make recipe cards. They don’t have to be functional recipes, like exactly how much honey goes on the honey bread, but it will help you keep track of the flavor profile of your setting. It will also help if you double back to your research tabs and look at comparable areas and the kinds of foods that will be available in a region like that. Everything comes full-circle!