While the most important tool of a worldbuilder is creative thought, the following physical tools may help you shape that creativity into something more tangible.
Having a small notebook on hand is an important tool for a worldbuilder and if you do not already have one we strongly recommend that you get a good one. A small journal allows you to jot down notes and inspiration as they come without risk of forgetting your great ideas. Don’t worry about the order in which this is kept – think of it as a place for ideas and first drafts rather than a true organized account of your world. Organizing these thoughts comes later. We recommend a notebook such as this one. The dotted pages allow for better drawing opportunities (maps, timelines, character sketches, whatever comes to mind!). While notes can be kept on your phone, we find that a dedicated notebook works much better for keeping things organized.
Graph paper is a wonderful tool for sketching maps, drawing vehicles, or creating castle layouts. For those of you creating tabletop worlds it is nearly indispensable. Depending on the purpose, we recommend three different types of graph paper: standard square paper, hexagonal paper, and isometric paper. Standard paper can be used for most tasks, but hexagonal maps have become increasingly popular (especially for game-oriented worlds) and isometric graph paper allows for the creation of more three-dimensional elements like the fort pictured below.
Having a variety of pencils, pens, and markers on hand can be particularly useful. Using color codes to organize a world can be an aid definitely worth investing in. Sometimes it is easier to put your ideas to paper rather than trying (and failing) to describe them on a computer.
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