Worldbuilding Questions: Post #15 – Daily Life
Welcome everyone! This is the very last post in this worldbuilding questionnaire series. I’ve really enjoyed connecting with you all on this particular subject, and I look forward to guiding you through others. But don’t worry! I’m not swearing off the discussion on worldbuilding forever. It’s one of my favorite parts of writing fantasy, so you’ll definitely see it again.
Without further ado, one last time, we are working from this link for our last section.
First, let’s talk about social mobility. How easy can social advancement occur? What items are considered luxuries in your society?
What are acceptable norms of personal hygiene? What systems and tools help to assist that? For example, plumbing systems assist with keeping running water moving to and form the house.
How is garbage and waste material disposed of?
Think about the interior of a typical citizen’s home. What does the furniture look like? What kind of material is it made from? Think about the craftsmanship, whether it is kept fairly simple or is more elaborate. Does more elaborate design mean a more expensive piece of furniture?
How early do people tend to wake up in the morning? How do they know what time to wake up?
Fashion and Dress
What do people wear in your society? Consider all walks of life and all species. What kind of fabric would this clothing be made from? Also think about professional uniforms like healers or soldiers or the dress of the politician.
What does current fashion look like? What’s considered trendy? How about physical characteristics, like tan skin or curly hair?
I believe most of these have been covered in previous sections, but essentially we want to focus on respect of procedure. Who walks through doors first? Who should be introduced to who in what order? What rules surround a formal court dinner? To name a few.
Food! Glorious food. This question section will focus on the typical diet of the average citizen as well as traditions involving food. This will require you to look back to what crops and animals are available to use. Think about what kind of dishes a person would eat in a day and when. Does your society eat at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or are there entirely different norms? Are some dishes local to certain areas? Different cultures tend to have different signature dishes. What herbs and spices are available to season foods? What kind of foods are eaten around the holidays?
Is there an organized system of education? How many levels does it consist of; does some education happen primarily at home? Is literacy considered a necessary skill to the society? Who teaches in these schools? Where are those people trained?
Think about what is being taught in these schools. An educated populace or an uneducated populace changes the course of society. It changes what it allows its government to do to it. This can be a massive plot point. Don’t forget about magical education!
Time! A world must run on time. Or be timeless! This is fantasy, after all. If your world does in fact adhere to the laws of time, consider having a universal calendar that your people can run on. Divide up your days in a way that’s understandable. Feel free to use the time scale we operate on now (second, minute, hour, day, week, month, year, etc.). It might make it a lot easier for your reader to follow. Feel free to modify it by making the week longer or changing the names of the months. Think about what holidays are celebrated around certain times of the year and plan accordingly.
We have reached the end, my friends! This series constitutes the best and most comprehensive worldbuilding questionnaire I have ever seen. I have really enjoyed walking through this with you all. I hope the resource has been super helpful to all you writers out there. Much love. <3 Happy writing!