31 Days to Surviving NaNoWriMo - Worldbuilding: Determining Climate

Sunday, October 07, 2012

To start at the beginning of this series, go here.

Worldbuilding isn't something every writer will need  to do, but if your novel takes place somewhere other than the Earth we live on (particularly prevalent in fantasy works), it's something you really should be taking into consideration.  There's an awful lot to think about when building your own world from scratch.

Please keep in mind that if your novel will only take place in one area of the world, you don't need to create the whole world unless you want to.  It will be a lot less stress to focus on your particular area (for now, at least)

This may not sound particularly important, but unless your world is completely crazy, it is.  Let's use the Elder Scrolls as an example.  If you're familiar with any of the games, you've probably got at least a basic understanding of Tamriel's geography.  Cyrodiil in particular is great for this, because since it's so central, you get a bit of an idea how the surrounding countries are as well.

Bruma, nestled in  the Jeralls, is snowy and mountainous because northernmost province Skyrim is snowy and mountainous.  The Blackwood region (west of Leyawiin) is marshy and swampy because neighboring Black Marsh is marshy and swampy.  Leyawiin and Bruma as far apart as you can get in Cyrodiil, because swamps and mountains aren't supposed to exist near each other.  It's colder in the north, warmer in the south, and a little of both in the middle.

It's important to also keep in mind that your world needs water sources (unless, of course, your characters don't need water).  Lakes, rivers, and ponds are all pretty important to creating a hospitable land.

Climate and Variety
Terrain and Climate
Weather and Worldbuilding 101
World-Building in a Hot Climate
Worldbuilding with Real Worlds

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