I had the honor of leading a worldbuilding workshop at Sirens 2016. I love Sirens – I was thrilled to attend again this year*, and I encourage folks to attend if they have the opportunity. I have found it to be a warm and welcoming experience.
So! Worldbuilding! I never tire of talking about it! The theme this year was Lovers, and so we talked in the workshop about how you can really enter worldbuilding through any anchor point. Why not use lovers as an anchor point? Why not use sex, sexuality, gender, constructions of romance as a way to begin worldbuilding?
Essentially, what we did in the workshop (which you can see in the above slideshow) was establish a general framework for worldbuilding, then talk about ways to breakdown and think about sex and sexuality, then put the two pieces together.
I should say here that none of this is prescriptive. That is, the elements of the worldbuilding framework that work for me are presented in a particular order, but this is not intended to be a suggestion that this work happens in a linear fashion. Perhaps you start in a different place than I do, or you revisit one element, and then need to revise another section. That’s fine! For me, I know my worldbuilding is solid when I have all the pieces in place, no matter what order I get to them.
For reference, here are the materials, which are free to use:
And also for reference, here is a post about last year’s Sirens worldbuilding workshop.
*Well, half-attend. I didn’t get to go to much of it, as I was hella sick this year. But! I still had a wonderful time!