14.48: How to Practice Worldbuilding

Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Howard

The entire year has been about learning how to worldbuild, and we’ve learned a thing or two ourselves while preparing material for you. In this episode we talk about some of those lessons, and try to answer stray questions that didn’t fit into any of previous episode buckets.

Liner Notes: If Dinosaurs Had Body Fat Like Penguins

Credits: This episode was recorded by Dan Thompson, and mastered by Alex Jackson


Take something familiar to you—something you’ve got expertise in—and turn it into a worldbuilding tool.

8 thoughts on “14.48: How to Practice Worldbuilding”

  1. After listening to this podcast, I asked my wife if she thought “Dinoswords” would be about dinosaurs that used swords or about swords made from dinosaur bones. She replied, “Well, what if…”

    What followed was an impromptu brainstorming session and I now have an awesome magic system in which Dinoswords can exist. So, thank you, Dan Wells, for that randomized prompt.

  2. As the end of Season 14 approaches, all about worldbuilding, the fabulous foursome, Brandon, Mary Robinette, Dan, and Howard, reflected on what they might have learned this year about worldbuilding, fitting it in your head, freedom to discovery write, the mighty randomizer, and writing as snapshots, culminating in reflections on dinosaur fat and penguins. Then they turned to RPGs and other parts of life as tools for writing and worldbuilding. You can read all about it in the transcript available now in the archives.

  3. I’ve found math to be a handy tool when appropriate. At the moment I’m using it to model the day-night cycle of a very odd world.

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