When people talk about world building, there are two types they could be referring to: details of setting or the rules of the world. Whether you’re building a new world or modifying the one you live in, asking yourself key questions will help you create a stronger world for your characters and readers.Social Hierarchy
Remember to make it plausible. Whether you’re describing a hierarchy in a far-away planet or in the present world, the reader needs to understand how the rulers became who they are and understand why. How did this come to be? Even if you’re talking about a social hierarchy in a high school or work environment, explaining who is on the top of the social “food chain” and why. This makes it far more believable.
What type of technology is common or difficult to obtain? If your story is in the present or the future you may want to avoid using brand names or social media sites as they could date your story. However, using current trend adds authenticity so you need to consider what is more essential to your story.
What’s the topography like? Where are things located in relation to each other? What is the mode of transportation? Does your character travel the most common or efficient way, or are they forced to travel in ways that are unusual and why?
Whether or not your novel is set on this world or another (present-day or past/future), you need to know if it’s hot, rainy, freezing, etc. Does the weather change with the seasons or remain consistent year-around? Is the air clean or polluted? Are there strange weather patterns that occur under certain circumstances?
What is the unit of currency? What do your characters buy? Are jobs easy to acquire or dependant on age? Are the prices of items or travel expensive and how does your character get around this? Is your character a saver, or are they from a wealthy background and have an unrealistic view of money? Are they a drug dealer or a workaholic? Are their parents or family members? Do they live on credit cards or have to help support their family?
Does magic exist in this world, and if so does everyone have excess to it? What type of creatures inhabit this world? How about paranormal creatures? Flora and fauna? What are the rules for the magic? Rules for the creatures?
Keep in mind that the knowledge of this fictional world has to be natural to your characters. Weave the details into the story subtly and organically without doing info dumps, and you will leave your readers captivated and believing in your world.