Deciding on what to do – basics
Before starting on the details of worldbuilding, I’ve had a think about what I want to achieve with it. I’ve not done it in quite this detailed way before, so it’s a new experience. I enjoy creating settings and worlds, but it usually starts with an idea for some kind of story, rather than starting with the world itself. When I’ve been looking at the options, and all the possibilities that comes with that, I realised that I have to make some kind of decision regarding what I actually want to do with this project.
When I was younger, I was fascinated by Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea novels, but I was also frustrated, because I wanted to see a map of the planet, wanted to know if those islands were all there was. So I’ve decided to make a nod to Earthsea, and work with a world that has a lot of archipelago, a lot of islands. It may or may not end up with continents as well, I haven’t decided that yet. This decision helps me with the decisions for the early details for my worldbuilding.
The very beginning
Having made the decision about what I’d like to do, in a general sense, it seems that the very first detailed decision I need to make is what kind of solar system I’m interested in. Since I haven’t done worldbuilding this way before, I’m not bored with the “Earth standard”, so I’ve decided to opt for something very close to what I know: a star in the same range as our sun, and a planet that is in about the same place in the habitable zone, within the same range when it comes to mass, density, and other details.