world building topics

I’ve been working on a (rough) list of all the topics that world building could cover in speculative fiction, which quickly became too long and ambitious to ever be able to cover in a month. Still, I think it could probably serve as a guide or inspiration. Most of these topics overlap.

Topic list:

  • Architecture
  • Art
    • literature
    • music
    • painting/drawing
    • poetry
    • sculpture
    • theater
    • use of art in society
  • Astronomy
  • Astrology and divination
    • historical use of divination
    • modern use of divination
  • Biology
    • animals
    • birds
    • fish
    • insects
    • plants
  • Cities
    • districts
    • economic distribution
    • landmarks
    • major roads
    • population
  • Linguistics
  • Food
    • agriculture
    • fruit
    • meat
    • vegetables
  • History
    • economic history
    • governmental history
    • military history
    • religious history
  • Magic
    • application on society
    • practitioners
    • schools
    • theory
  • Military
    • funding
    • hierarchy
    • mercenaries
    • necessities (ammunition, clothes, food)
    • tactics
    • transportation
    • weaponry
  • Religion
    • clergical duties
    • clergical hierarchy
    • churches
    • scripture
    • teachings
  • Political Science
    • borders
    • countries
    • government
    • propaganda
    • tax
  • Sociology
    • craftsmen
    • crime and justice
    • culture
    • high class
    • middle class
    • poverty
    • ruling class
    • slavery
    • wealth
    • working class
  • Sports
    • by region
    • by social class
  • World-building
    • cartography
    • geography
    • oceanography
    • planet attributes
      • atmosphere
      • continents
      • climate
      • currents
      • geology
      • gravity
      • year length
    • solar system attributes
      • moons
      • planets
      • suns

Can anyone spot anything that I’ve missed? I’m sure there are gaps.

13 thoughts on “world building topics

  1. Pingback: Architecture and Art « Five Rings

  2. Pingback: Shiirati architecture « Five Rings

  3. You might want to add Technology, even in a high magic setting
    Also Finance-following the money can teach a lot about a culture and the interactions between cultures

  4. Pingback: Courtly etiquette/Three things « Five Rings

  5. Im 12 and im tring to build anther world. My problem is I always get too cought up in making the people, animals and plants. Ive tried to start with a map but that gets boring after a while. I love to create languages for them and speak the language to my friends. Right now im working on a planet completely drowned in war and I think its starting to get really exiting. I always make the girls and boys have very distinct differences so I also think you should add a gender topic.

  6. Sociobiology and anthropology.

    If one is having sentient creatures remember that biology affects behaviour. Humans are sexually dimorphic and are fertile 90% of the time, this has large effects on how human societies are shaped. As Hannah said, gender is just one of the things that falls out of this.
    If one looks at Harry Turtledove’s ‘The Race’ books (Worldwar series) then for a species of intelligent lizards that have one month in a ‘year’ for mating human sexuality is the height of twisted perversity.
    A lifeform who only survives though co-operation with other lifeforms will not even conceive of war as an acceptable solution to overpopulation/lack of resources.

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