1 Key Question for Worldbuilding (+ A Handy Checklist)

Category: Writing Craft

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I’m a newbie to hardcore worldbuilding. Up until recently, I’d only developed stories that took place in the real world. I may have put fantastical creatures in the stories, but the setting was Earth as we know it. Now I’m writing a novel that takes place 100 years in the future, still on Earth, but it won’t be an Earth we recognize because, you know, it’s post-apocalyptic! That means I get to make up all kinds of stuff. Fun! It also means I need to figure out what Earth could be like in the future after a major disaster. Daunting!

I had some ideas, but I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss anything obvious during my first worldbuilding attempt, so I turned to the Internet and searched for worldbuilding checklists. I found a few blogs that were helpful, but for the most part the information I uncovered was either super general or intimidatingly detailed (really? 500 questions to answer! That seems excessive). So I created my own checklist and in the process discovered there is really just one question to rule them all! Ahem. We’ll get to that. But first…

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