It was early in the year 2000, and I was standing in my aunt’s kitchen, trying to destroy the world. No, I wasn’t having a premonition about all the terrible things that would happen in 2016, I was trying to come up with a new world to write about.
See, I had friends who were writers, and they were writing about these crazy, complicated futures, with technology and people with amazing powers. Meanwhile, I was writing about assassins in present day. As much as I liked the story I was writing, I also wanted to write about people with cool powers, so I decided to push myself to come up with an interesting new world. Not an alien world, but an Earth that was different from the one we had now.
For some reason (I forget why), I wanted to avoid big cities. If I was destroying the world, maybe I could do it in a way that smashed the land into bits, and the biggest pieces left over were the size of small cities. Then these islands could be grouped together based on proximity, and joined by overseas highways, and people could travel between them!
But it would be difficult to build up all these new cities if the entire world had been smashed to pieces, so maybe I should keep one large bit intact. Then, once the remaining people had recovered from the huge war that had decimated their world, they would have the resources to go out and build up the islands for habitation.
Yes… this could work…
So I moved on to creating characters and stories, not realizing that there was more that I should probably take into account. In my defense, the internet in the year 2000 was nowhere close to being the resource it is today.
Years later I found a worldbuilding website and skimmed through their check-list. The good news is that even though I hadn’t consciously thought about agriculture or climate, a vague idea was there in the back of my mind. When I actually thought about those features and the reasons why things were the way they were, it gave me a better idea of what kind of world my characters were living in, and it made the world more tangible.
Also I’m able to justify why this world still has beer and Hawaiian pizza.
Websites that I found helpful: