The Jigsaw-Novel – world-building prompts and exercises

The next two weeks are going to be unofficial Fantasy Worldbuilding Fortnight for me. To this end, I'll be sharing updated posts from my 2010 Jigsaw-Novel project. The Jigsaw Novel is a series of world-building exercises, prompts and ideas to dig deep into the world you are creating for your fiction, and build up a... Continue Reading →

May 25th Daily Writing prompt

Describe the maps of your world. Who makes the maps? Show some of the map making process and a problem a cartographer or his/her team has encountered.

May 16th Daily Writing prompt

Today write a section of a guidebook for your world. Choose one aspect: finding accommodation, or how to change money, and write for a traveller visiting your world for the first time.If your world is too extreme/primitive/telepathic to use guidebooks, think of who/what would guide a visitor, and write for that scenario instead.Write for ten... Continue Reading →

February 20th Daily Writing Prompt

Today write about founding fathers (or mothers). What legends surround the founding of your story's society? This might be a grand legend about the beginning of civilisation or a small family story about how your character's ancestors came to be where they are.Write for five minutes about the founding legend of your story.

February 19th Daily Writing Prompt

Today write about houses. What kind of dwelling do the wealthiest, poorest and middling people of your world occupy?Show a character in the process of acquiring their home, however that may happen.

February 18th Daily Writing Prompt

Today write about learning. Show children learning in your world's traditional way - by rote, by memorisation of books, by injecting a knowledge serum... and create a scene showing willing and unwilling learners.

17th February Daily Writing Prompt

Today write about the mildest season in your world's year. How do people celebrate the end of extreme weather, should that be icy winters or searing summers? Is the temperate season a relief or a burden?Show your characters at the start of the gentlest season.

16th February Daily Writing Prompt

Today write about glass. Is it a rarity in your world - perhaps taxed - or does it possess mystical qualities, used in spiritual locations? Show your character with a glass object or structure, engaged in an everyday task.

12th February Daily Writing Prompt

Today show your character eating a forbidden food. Why is it not allowed? Who else knows about this? How is the character given away?Write for ten minutes and show the power of food and taboo.

February 10th Daily Writing Prompt

Today write about light. How much light is enough? Do your characters cope with working by candle light, lantern light - or do they insist on flooding their home and workplace with brilliant artificial light at all times?Write for five minutes without stopping and see where the light takes you.

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