Julie Artz | author, editor, book coach, dragon

[Wyrd Words Weekly] - Additional world-building resources, including one from yours truly

published6 months ago
3 min read

Hello Reader,

It may be giving you too close a look at the interior of my writer brain, but I spent quite a lot of time going down a research rabbit hole to determine the best spelling of worldbuilding/world building/world-building before writing this week's newsletter. I mean, if I'm going to teach people about world-building, and work in the publishing industry, I should at least be able to spell it, right? Wrong!

I checked out some of my favorite resources on it to see how they were using the term and although my search yielded absolutely no clarity on the matter at hand, it did produce a great list of additional resources that I'm of course sharing with all of you:

Anyhow, I flipped the magic coin I keep at my desk and it decided that it loves a good hyphen, so world-building it is. Yet another example of my readers reeping benefits from my navel gazing and overthinking. Huzzah!

One last thought on world-building from one of my favorite irreverant voices in the writing community, Chuck Wendig:

“You build a world to serve the story or stories you want to tell...Story comes first. World-building supports the story. Meaning, you must look at the components of the story you hope to tell: it’s got these characters, it’s about this idea, it makes a particular argument, and from there you start to see that the world can organically accommodate and reflect those things. Doing the opposite – leading with the world-building – is what you’d do if you were writing a roleplaying game which has to tell all kinds of stories, not just yours. If you put the cart before the horse the horse is gonna head-butt the cart and knock it over and then you’re all, WAIT NO MY CABBAGES then we laugh at you. The way you get your readers to buy into something fantastical is by making it as real as possible. The way you make an imagined world seem real is by making sure that everything hangs together internally. Even fictional worlds are subject to a certain kind of logic. For every cause, there is an effect, and for every action, a reaction.” --Chuck Wendig

A Special World-Building Offer

If you've enjoyed this series of world-buliding missives but are looking for a deep dive into how to turn the big-picture guidelines--avoid stereotypes and freshen tropes and be specific, etc.,--into actionable steps you can take to plan your world, I hope you'll join me on Saturday, October 29, at 1pm Pacific for a 90-minute webinar titled Plan Now, Play Later: a World-Building Primer.

Wyrd Words Weekly subscribers can use the code WyrdWordsWeekly to receive a $10 discount off the $25 list price for this webinar as a thank you for being part of my writing community.

And there's more! In celebration of the upcoming webinar, my friends Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi, creators of the best-selling Emotion Thesaurus series, would like to offer all webinar registrants 50% off a one-month subscription to their One Stop for Writers tool.

I'll be introducing their robust world-building tool, which is just one piece of One Stop for Writers, toward the end of the webinar, but it's a great place to create and organize information as you plan your story.

Don't delay, register today!

Next Month on Twitter!

Whether you're getting ready to dive into #preptober as you plan a new story or elsewhere in the writing process at the moment, I hope you enjoyed this month's series on world-building. I'll be over on Twitter for the next two months offering a daily writing tip first for #preptober, then for #nanowrimo. Come find me at if you don't already follow me there.

Hope to see you there!



PS - If you enjoy Wyrd Words Weekly, I'd really appreciate it if you would tell a friend. Thanks in advance for forwarding this email to them. They can also subscribe to my weekly newsletter here.