In its core meaning, worldbuilding is an act of creating fictional locations and ideas (known also as settings), and things that inhabit them. It doesn't always mean an entire world, it could be even a hut somebody lives in. It's an art of planning the backscene of the story or stories before they're even written (and even that's not a definitive).
To worldbuild means to take things into consideration and root an idea, then build around it. Most commonly people think of worldbuilding as part of sci-fi or fantasy genres, but it is present in every fictional work, from the big screen movies, through gaming and concept art, to a short story written by your friend on a Sunday morning.
On a big scale though, worldbuilding is about creating worlds, with their own countries, cultures, politics, technology etc. The guides we're creating are mostly about this type of the big-scale fantasy worldbuilding, as that's what we're good at; although the techniques presented by Astral Forge may be useful for other types and genres.
Everything starts from an idea. Whether you want to create world for talking hedgehogs, or make a background for a story about teenager struggling to grow up, you need to define an overarching idea behind your world. A context to encompass future endeavors and tie them into a cohesive thing.
Wherever you want to.
The worldbuilding is a flexible tool and there's many methods available. The most common worldbuilding practices are outside-in and inside-out.
• Outside-in focuses on a big-scale first. You create a universe, then fill it in with planets, continents, countries, regions etc etc.
• Inside-out starts from a small idea, such as a farmhouse or a village, and builds the details around it, slowly adding the big scale factors.
There is also a mixed approach, where you take whatever you like and keep working on that, jumping between details, and writer's approach, that focuses on building only story-relevant items.
Our approach changes depending on our focus. The world was founded with inside-out idea, polished with outside-in during its rework, and now the detail-building spurs from information relevant to the stories we're publishing. To stay "in the zone" while creating webtoons, we tend to focus our work just to one country or idea at a time.
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