Worldbuilding Exercise

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This is an exercise a lot of contemporary fiction writers use for worldbuilding. Today, you’ll make a map. Don’t worry, art skills aren’t necessary!

To start, grab a piece of paper. A lot of writers will start by discoloring the paper using coffee or another substance. The yellowed look adds to the feeling of an older, ancient map. You can even burn the edges of the paper for a fancy look.

Next, grab something you have lying around the kitchen. I recommend something small. Rice, beans, etc. are good options. You’re going to take your chosen substance and spill them on your paper. Don’t worry about arranging them too much but leave some blank space on the paper.

Now grab a pen and start outlining the groups of rice or beans. You can be as detailed or vague as you’d like. Get close lines around every grain of rice, or just do general shapes around the bigger groups.

Once you’re done, scrape the beans or rice off the paper. You’re left with the start of a map! The outlined areas are your lands and islands, and the blank spaces are the surrounding sea or other lands from different kingdoms.

Add details as you wish. Name areas, add symbols for mountains and trees, etc. This is your world!

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