Worldbuilding Bible Template

When creating a worldbuilding bible, it can be helpful to have a template to work from. Below is a list of information you might want to think about including in your worldbuilding bible.

You can copy and paste this list into a document and start filling it out, but please delete anything that isn’t relevant to your story. You don’t want to spend a ton of time filling out information in your worldbuilding bible that isn’t relevant to your story because it will suck up your time and won’t benefit you!

If you have any suggested additions to this list, please post it in the comments!

The Natural World

  • Stars, suns, moons, and planets
  • Oceans and/or major bodies of water
  • Mountains, woods, and/or other prominent features of the landscape
  • Common plants
  • Rare plants
  • Poisonous and/or medicinal plants
  • Common animals/creatures
  • Rare animals/creatures

Locations

  • Natural formations
  • Monuments
  • Government buildings/castles
  • Train stations/airports/subways/launch pads/highways
  • Shops/stores
  • Houses/apartments
  • Countries/states/cities/planets

Travel

  • Restrictions on travel
  • Dangerous locations
  • Luxury/vacation locations
  • Immigration/emigration
  • Travel times between locations
  • Common methods of travel
  • Affordability of travel

Architecture & Infrastructure

  • Common building materials
  • Expensive building materials
  • Appearance and layout of typical houses
  • Appearance and layout of expensive houses
  • Appearance and layout of typical shops/stores
  • Streets and sidewalks (brick, cobblestone, dirt, etc.)
  • Availability of plumbing and sewage
  • Garbage collection
  • Distribution of energy
  • Burial practices

Medicine

  • Curable diseases
  • Incurable diseases
  • Common diseases
  • Rare diseases
  • Availability of medicine
  • Cost of medicine
  • Legal drugs/potions/substances
  • Illegal drugs/potions/substances

Professions

  • Common professions
  • Less common professions
  • Rare professions
  • Gender/racial/species/education restrictions of professions
  • Unemployment rate

Economy

  • Distribution of wealth
  • Lifestyle of average income earners
  • Lifestyle of the poor
  • Lifestyle of the rich
  • Money system or bartering system

History

  • Major world events
  • Major wars
  • Major natural disasters
  • Age of civilization
  • Previous leaders/rulers
  • Recent cultural shifts/changes

Clothing

  • Cheap fabrics
  • expensive fabrics
  • Lower class clothing styles
  • Middle class clothing styles
  • Upper class clothing styles
  • Differences in clothing between genders
  • Differences in clothing between regions
  • Differences in clothing between cultural groups or species

Food

  • Staple foods
  • Luxury foods
  • Availability of food
  • Local/regional dishes

Entertainment

  • Professional sports
  • Hobby/schoolyard sports
  • Board games and/or card games
  • Music styles
  • Common instruments
  • Common themes and subject matter of fiction
  • Government/legal/regional restrictions on films, plays, novels, music
  • Affordability of films, sports games, board games, instruments, books, etc.

Law

  • Criminal justice system
  • Minor crimes
  • Major crimes
  • Laws impacting daily life
  • Common sentences for crimes (prison, labor, execution, etc.)
  • Police behavior, uniform, practices, powers
  • Prison conditions
  • Public opinion of law enforcement

Politics

  • Political parties
  • Ruler/King/Queen/President/Prime Minister
  • Prominent Members of Court/Government
  • Secret government agencies and/or organizations
  • Public opinion of the ruler/government

Magic

  • Common spells
  • Rare spells
  • Restrictions on spells
  • Common magical skills
  • Rare magical skills
  • Restrictions on magical skills
  • Common potions
  • Rare potions
  • Restrictions on potions
  • Prevalence of magic users
  • Society’s perception of magic
  • Requirements of using magic

Technology

  • Availability of technology
  • Capabilities of technology
  • Weapon technology
  • Entertainment technology
  • Energy creation technology
  • Transportation technology

Religion

  • Major religions
  • Dynamics between religious groups
  • Places of worship
  • Religious holidays
  • Morals and beliefs
  • Origin of religion
  • Prevalence of religion
  • Separation (or lack of separation) between church and government

Family

  • Typical age of marriage
  • Typical number of children
  • Typical family dynamic/structure
  • Attitudes towards children
  • Attitudes towards the elderly
  • Attitudes towards romantic love
  • Care for elderly relatives (in-home, nursing homes, etc.)
  • Care for children (traditional parenting, nannies, boarding school, etc.)
  • Gender roles (or lack of gender roles)
  • Importance of birth order to family roles, inheritance, profession

Education

  • Typical education level
  • School subjects
  • School environment (strict, lenient, etc.)
  • Availability of schooling/education
  • Cost of education
  • Restrictions on education due to gender, abilities, species, etc.

Language

  • Primary/major languages
  • Regional/minor languages
  • Prevalence of multilingual/bilingual people
  • Colloquial phrases, slang, and curses

Races & Species

  • Primary/major races and/or species
  • Minority races and/or species
  • Dynamics between species and/or races
  • Cultural disconnects between species and/or races
  • Commonalities between species and/or races

Weather

  • Typical weather
  • Atypical weather
  • Seasonal variations in weather (or lack of variation)
  • Clothes for each season
  • Heating & cooling homes

15 thoughts on “Worldbuilding Bible Template

  1. Tracey D says:

    Amazingly helpful!! Thank you, Ellen!

    A few documents I have created to aid me in my world building, as well, include family trees; basic maps of the pertinent homes/dwellings, the villages/cities, and the world as a whole; a list of the characters’ ages in relation to each other over time; and a height chart, so I can visualize how the different-sized species/characters interact with each other.

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