World Building Questions for Beta Reading

 

World Building is one of the hardest things to write. Due to the vast nature of a world, there is a lot of room for mistakes. These questions are designed for those that are beta reading or writing. Some of the categories on this page are geared toward science fiction and fantasy but not all of them. Every book has a world in which characters live.

For more general questions, I have a previous post: Questions Worth Asking During the Beta Reading Process

Geography

Is there a clear idea regarding the distance of places? Not just countries and lands but houses and landmarks?

Do places ever change location suddenly with no explanation?

Land Features

Are area descriptions consistent?

Do any of those elements change size or composition?

Do landmarks change location?

Does the weather change too dramatically? The time of day?

(Another post for advice on this: Micro Holes in Your Book’s Universe)

Creatures

Are their features consistent?

Do they have a back story?

Are they sentient? Do they have politics? Are they just monsters?

Do they have any deadly attributes? Are these addressed realistically in a fight?

Are they from another planet or realm? Are those descriptions clear?

Technology

Does it have a description?

What are its applications?

Where did it come from? What was it used for?

Is it commonly used?

Does it change during the reading of the book without explanation?

(A post with advice on developing technology: Every Book Has Technology)

Magic

Are the mechanics explained well?

Are the limitations addressed?

What does it look like?

Are there rituals/traditions around the magic? Is it a power?

Is magic common in this world or hidden?

Can anyone learn magic or are they just born with it?

Is it ever used as a band-aid?

Does it change restrictions / nature inappropriately in the story?

(A post with advice on magic: Reading Magic)

Politics

Is there a political history? Any wars?

Have politics effected the characters lives or world?

Religion

Are the tenets clearly defined?

How vast is the religion’s reach? Are there different sects? Different systems?

What impact is it having on the world?

 


 

Hopefully these questions will help! If you can think of anymore that I should add to my list, let me know.

 

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