How I Write Worldbuilding Notes

I’ve touched on how I write worldbuilding notes before, but in the meantime, I’ve also started to use the program Aeon Timeline (not a sponsored mention) to keep the timeline in my longer works, like The Ruon Chronicles, straight. And Aeon is helping a lot (especially since I’m planning various novels, short stories, and novellas in the world of Airtha-Eyrassa). Okay, and I tend to jump around quite a lot in the timeline of that world when I’m writing.

Worldbuilding ‘articles’

When I write worldbuilding notes, it’s more often than not in the form of an article. This article can again range anything from a paragraph to a few pages depending on what I’m writing. It’s also usually from these that short stories form. But the best way to explain this is, I think, to show you how it looks.

This is how a first draft will look before I add dates and other details of where it fits into the larger timeline of the world. (Don’t worry, this piece of worldbuilding doesn’t contain spoilers!)

Only after I’m done with it do I slot it into Aeon Timeline and Scrivener.

Example: Notes on the Farland War (Third Age)

And it came to be that  Edrosjar, eldest son of the king, took the throne of Ekran in the Farlands. He gazed at the kingdoms surrounding Ekran, and he coveted their riches and lands and, because he wished for his kingdom to stretch to the sea, went to war against Sjahra.

In the meantime, Khallahna readied men on their border, expecting another attack to be aimed at them. In the south, Darland stood with their ally Sjahra and fought off the soldiers of Ekran. The soldiers who managed to return were sent away immediately by Edrosjar to try and retake the land. This battle ended as a suicide mission, and people began to turn against Edrosjar and his rule.

Gado, in their defence against Edrosjar’s men, drove the fighters onto the plains and scattered them as they tried to flee to the cover Sahfaedahol Forest would offer them. However, some of the men rallied once more, setting their eyes on another, smaller city. They were stopped in their tracks and again tried to flee, but all but one was cut down on the border of Sahfaedahol. This is where the forest got the name Dawnholt, which means “Blood Forest”. The survivor was sent back to Edrosjar with a message.

Before he got there, however, Edrosjar was killed by one of his men, and an internal fight for the succession in Ekran starts. As the fighting becomes fiercer emissaries from the Keep Sanctuary Drakenseiland go to Ekran, hoping to be able to help stop the fighting.

The emissaries can stop the fighting long enough for the different factions’ leaders to meet. One of the Keepers, Ornalda, suggest splitting Ekran into provinces, each ruled by their own leaders. Before this could be discussed any further, Ornalda was killed by an assassin, shot through a window through the heart. New fighting erupts as each start to blame the other and blood flows anew in the streets.

Sjahra chooses this time to attack Ekran’s borders. One of Ekran’s captains, Eshra, manages to unite the soldiers under his banner and manages to drive off Sjahra’s attack. Having found renewed faith in Eshra, the people want him for their leader. Eshra becomes Ekran’s new ruler and stays the fighting.

By Carin Marais

Bibliophile, writer of speculative fiction, non-fiction, and maybe-fiction, language practitioner, doer of stuff.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.