The Magic of World-Building on World Anvil

Or is that the hell of world-building…

Either works.

map
Have a map my friend drew as it looks on World Anvil (click the image to get to her art page!)

Hello! Rosina here and I’m finally back to blogging. I’ve had to take some time to figure out what I actually want to do with this blog. And part of that was to focus a little more on writing and helping others with theirs as well as my own.

So to start us off I’ve decided to share a website I’ve found which is really helpful when you need to build a world. And also helpful for you for storing your notes so you can find them as you need them. This is one you might have heard of. I’ve seen talk of it on Tumblr but mostly through roleplayers. Which is also what I’ve been using it for but I thought why not make sure authors definitely know about it?

What Can You Do With It?

So there’s a hell of a lot you can do on World Anvil. It’s simultaneously impressive and incredibly overwhelming. But that’s why I kind of love it. Because half of these things I wouldn’t think of.

 

world anvil

Look at that!

These are just the general sections. You can also add maps (interactive with links to pages!!!), timelines and historical entries. If something doesn’t fit any of these sections then you can just open up a general article which gives you a single box to fill in as you like.

Under each of these sections is a lot of information. It works by giving you a prompt from something as simple as height to something like how they view each and every one of their companions. Some sections contain drop-down menus for things like the type of terrain with pre-filled options or when it comes to locations or species then it’s filled with your entries and links to those pages.

species
When I say there’s a lot to fill in – I mean it. Have an example from the species section.

 

The amount of information on this site can be a lot so if you’re planning a world-building session then make sure you have the time and will. Be prepared to research and make comparisons but it truly will help. You’ll get a real idea of what this place looks like, what the legends are and how titles work. And it’s so easy to go back and find stuff if you organise it properly.

Pros and Cons

As much as I love this site, there are some issues for authors so I’m gonna list the good and bad now. Then leave you to make up your mind.

Pros

  • A lot of information you may not have thought of before.
  • Easy to organise and find things.
  • Regularly updated.
  • Online so you don’t need to download anything.
  • Offers a free service.
  • Interactive maps! (I really like the interactive maps…)

Cons

  • If you want to go with the free service you cannot have a private world.
  • You really need to focus on locations and species first.
  • It’s all online so you can’t save things to your computer.
  • If you just want to use this for a base there’s a LOT to write down or copy.

Overall I would say the free service is worth it. It means you can share information easily and it’s a useful site. If you really want to keep your WIP private then you can just take the bits you’ve not thought of and fill them in with the rest of your information. I’ve not tried the paid options yet but the pricing is pretty good ($10 a month for the top tier and with $3 a month being the cheapest option) and that will allow for co-authors, more storage and more world options.

This site has been so useful to me. I get a bit lazy with updating it as umm, so much information, but I’m glad I discovered it.

So what are your thoughts? Will you be using World Anvil in the future?

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