Welcome to this weeks, Craft Post continuing our series on World Building. Since the end of April, we have been talking about Worldbuilding, and we have already covered Cosmology you can find the links to those posts under the Worldbuilding link in the toolbar under Cosmology. Last week we started a new sub-series called Storyworld. You can find last weeks post Storyworld. This was going to be a three-part series, but since my week has been busy as hell and my head is in a fog of how I was going to separate this post from next week’s post on The Look of your World. Today, I am going to merge those together. Don’t worry, I am going still have three posts, next weeks is just going to be about map making. Yes, I love making maps of my worlds. It will be a tutorial on how to make cool maps in Adobe Photoshop. Let’s get started.


What does your Storyworld planet look like? For those who are writing Science Fiction, which involves multiple worlds what do your Storyworlds look like? Wondering why this matters or don’t think it matters? I am going to tell you it does. If you are only going to develop a small part of you storyworld based on what is in your novel or the entire cosmos what the planet(s) you story takes place on effects everything about the development of your world from this point on.

How? Good question. Depending on what time period in your storyworld when the story takes place. Where the story on the planet takes place, is important as when as the area around where your characters live will influence them greatly. Is it just past caveman period or on the break of medieval or at the end? I bring this up as if this is early in the development of your characters culture then travel will be different, customs will be less developed than if it was two thousand years later. The surroundings will cause a huge influence on myths and legends of the people. Let’s look at part of Japan’s creation myth.

“This they did with the use of a precious stone-covered

spear named Ame-no-nuboko (天沼矛”heavenly jeweled

spear”), given to them by the elders. Standing over

the Ame-no-ukihashi (天浮橋, “floating bridge of heaven”),

they churned the chaotic mass with the spear. When drops

of salty water fell from the tip, they formed

into the first island, Onogoroshima.”  Kuniumi Wikipedia.

Part of their creation myth is formations of islands. Not a whole world, just Japan. Depending what time and where depends on such things for the people on your planet. Do they still believe this old legend or is punishable by death to even question belief? That is only the start, what is around where the people live will determine what their buildings are made of, and what they eat. Weapons will differ from weapons from people on a different continent or island.

That was more planet small, but let’s go back to grand scale for a second. Most your worlds will probably be similar to earth, and I mean that by being completely habitable. What this means your storyworld is located in the habitable zone around the star(s). Or, the planet was terraformed or is a moon of a planet that was terraformed. Let me give you a few ideas on changing this up. What if your planet was Tidal Locked?

What does Tidal Lock mean? Very interesting concept, our moon (Earth’s moon) is tidal locked, kinda. Tidal locked means one side of the planet or moon is always facing one the star or the planet. Our moon actually does spin, but it does it at the same speed as earth so it looks like we are always seeing the same side. For a planet that is tidally locked to its star means one side is going to be a barren wasteland the other side is going to a frozen tundra. However, right around the rim of the planet where cold and fire meet would be a possible place where life could exist. Imagine if that was the only place your world took place? You could have two different people on opp

Imagine if that was the only place your world took place? You could have two different people on opposite sides of the planet that can only get to each other by going up or down around the poles of the planet. If one was advanced enough, they could possibly move through one inhabitable part. Just some ideas. This is why looking different kinds of planets that we have discovered could help bring new life to your world.


Now that we have discussed why it is important to know about your planet and look like let’s discuss the features we need to keep in mind.

  • Planet size
  • Oceans to Landmass Ratio
  • Number of Oceans
  • Number of Continents
  • Mountian Ranges
  • Forests
  • Deserts
  • City locations

Let’s look at a few of these in more context.

Planet Size

How big is your planet? Is it earth size? Smaller or larger? If it is a moon of a larger planet like a gas giant, size could be limited based on the size of the planet it orbits. I bring this up, as the larger or smaller the planet the gravity is going to be greater or lesser. If you have two planets interacting you may need to keep this in mind. Beings that develop on a planet that has ten to twenty times earth gravity are going to be super strong on any planet that has less than their planet. For those coming to the planet with that much lower gravity will be crushed upon arrival. Unless they have an ability or technology to reduce the forces on their bodies.

Ocean to Landmass Ratio

Earth is 71% water. What about your storyworld? Is there more land than large waters pockets? Is it equal? Depending on the size of your planet that could make thing tricky or easy. Is it 98% water and only islands?

Number of Oceans and Continents

I am going to group the next two together since they go hand and hand. Based on how much water and land you need to think about is it once massive ocean with one or two landmasses next to each other? If so, what about continents? Is it only two, for the landmass or are there many continents that are like Europe and Asia? If that is the case, mountains are going to be needed around the tectonics plates and where they meet. Where these plates meet there will be earthquakes.

I am not going to go into the rest of the features since they will come more in handy with the map post next week and the posts that follow. I hope understanding the look of your planet is important. Even for only a small part of your storyworld? Large effects the small and vice versa. Check back on Monday for my disappointing Writing Wrap-up post. Check back next week for the next post in our series. For those who don’t care about maps, you can skip it. I am not going to be posting anything other a tutorial on map making. I may discuss the other features some, but they will come up in later posts, so you won’t miss out on that information. That’s all.



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