Week 1: Pledge Your Goal
The first step when preparing for a challenge like WorldEmber is to set a goal.
1. Choose an area of focus
Look at your world and choose an area you want to write about. Keep in mind the area doesn’t have to be a geographical one! Here are some examples:
- The main characters of your story and their context.
Your magic system and related topics like magic items or creatures.
- Part of the history of your world.
- The kingdom your story takes place in.
- A new region you’ve been excited to take your characters to
To choose an area, you can consider the following:
- What are you excited about? If you feel excited about an area of your worldbuilding, follow your instincts! It’s easier to keep your motivation up if you write about a topic you enjoy.
- If you have an ongoing or planned story (novel or campaign), pick something that will be useful for it. This will give your worldbuilding a sense of purpose, motivating you throughout the challenge. Otherwise, make a list of directions you could go in. Look at your world map, read your meta document or world primer, and find an area that seems interesting to you.
- If all else fails, you can create a whole new world! Starting from scratch means you can write about basically anything, which is great for a wordcount-based challenge like WorldEmber.
Once you have chosen your area of focus, take a moment to review any related articles! This will warm up your creative muscles and give you inspiration for next month.
2. Create your pledge!
The WorldEmber pledge is a promise you make to yourself to achieve a specific goal by the end of December. Setting your goal in stone can help you better organize your time, plus achieving your goals is super satisfying!
Make your pledge!
Download the form-fillable PDF above and edit it with a PDF software!
Looking for some accountability? Share your pledge on World Anvil using the global community feed, or on social media! You can use the hashtag #WorldEmberPrep to find other people's work and help people find yours.
And decide if you will compete
! If you want to opt in to raffle and special category prizes, make sure to enable competitor mode
in your account’s feature settings.
3. Submit your homework
Follow these steps to submit your homework:
- Create a generic article. You can give it a title like “WorldEmber 2023 Homework”.
- Create a section for the first week’s assignment and write a paragraph about the area you have chosen, and why.
- Upload your pledge document and embed it as an image.
- Submit the article to the homework challenge. You will find the option on the right when editing the article (must be published and public!).
This page will be updated every Friday with a new assignment, so check back soon!
Week 2: Prepare your area of focus
Now that you’ve chosen your area of focus, it’s time to prepare it! Here’s how:
1. Create a mini-meta
Most of you are familiar with the worldbuilding meta by now. It’s a document that explains what the goals of your whole worldbuilding project are. Essentially, it’s everything about
your world that isn’t part
of the world—it helps you keep your setting logical and consistent.
(Check out our guide to the Worldbuilding meta for more information!)
A mini-meta, though, is what you’ll be preparing this week. And yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like: a reduced version of the meta you can use for specific areas of your setting. For this part of the assignment, first take a look at our guide to create a mini-meta
. Then follow the three steps to add a mini-meta for your focus area to the homework article you created last week!
If you already have a mini-meta for the area you’ve chosen, take a minute to review it. Metas can get outdated if the project evolves, so check yours is still up-to-date. You might also like to link relevant articles to your focus area, so you have them to hand!
2. Set up a solid category structure
Organization is a very important part of worldbuilding (and the reason you’re probably using World Anvil!), but you don’t want to spend valuable time in WorldEmber wondering how new articles should be organized. So take a look at your world’s category tree and make sure it’s well-structured and ready to take in new articles about your chosen area.
There are many ways to organize your categories, and it will always depend on your kind of world and goals. But check out our tips to organize your categories for inspiration
If you’ll be creating a lot of articles very quickly, you might choose to create a staging area (a special WorldEmber 2023 category) for your world, then organize your worldbuilding later. If you plan to take that path, make sure you set up that category now!
3. Look at other worlds for inspiration
There’s no better way to be inspired than reading what other worldbuilders have done. So take advantage of the World Anvil community to read other worlds of a similar genre! This will help you get inspired and even see what’s possible on World Anvil. Here are some places you can use to find awesome worlds:
are another great way to get inspiration for your genre. Click the links below to see the latest World Anvil community posts on these topics:
Another way to get inspiration is by reading a book of a similar genre, watching a movie, or playing a video game. The more stories and worldbuilding you experience, the more inspiration sources you can pull from!
4. Submit your homework
Edit your homework article and write your mini-meta. You can also write about how you have edited your category tree and what inspiration sources you have gathered.