Sign Up Sign In

Are worldbuilding questions on topic?


On SE, Writing and Worldbuilding are separate, and it works pretty well. I, however, use the Worldbuilding SE significantly more than the Writing SE, and as I reduce my usage of SE I would like a place to ask such questions.

In This Question on-topic includes "Questions about fiction..." which in my opinion covers Worldbuilding in a very broad sense. But it also easily could not cover it.

Before I go and ask worldbuilding questions of the fine people here, I do want to make sure it is something that's welcome here. I see that there is a world-building tag, but that only means someone made it as a tag.

Why should this post be closed?


2 answers


It seems to me that there are two types of worldbuilding question. One is about the literary craft of creating the story world in which every story exists, even those that are ostensibly set in the real world. That would strike me as obviously on topic here.

The other deals with the mechanics of fantasy and science fictions worlds. These are not literary questions. They are about the feasibility or plausibility of invented societies, technologies, and magic systems. Many of them seem to depend to one extent of another on scientific knowledge. They are not writing questions, though they may be questions that writers in these genres need to answer, as, for instance, a writer of mysteries may need to find answers to forensic questions or a writer of age-of-sail historicals may need to find an answer about belaying pins.

In fact, writers may need to find answers to research questions in every imaginable field. But they are not writing questions, they are research questions, and to make one type of research question on topic here would seem, in fairness, to require making them all on topic here.

For this reason, my vote would be no on this class of worldbuilding questions.

1 comment

I agree with this answer. The software running this site now supports multiple communities, so a worldbuilding community here alongside our new writing community is quite possible. It just needs people to support it. Monica Cellio 4 months ago


I'd love if world-building included was fair game for possible questions, on this site, both to draw from the obvious expertise from contributors, to run with the idea of being 'not SE,', and also to recognize that all forms of fiction (possibly NF too) involve some elements of world-building.

I'll be happily surprised if the consensus on your question is yes--but I'd like it if one of the distinguishing features of this site is that world building is a valid topic.


Hmm, if we allow worldbuilding questions, then, as per Mark Baker's answer, we might as well allow any research questions that a writer might need to answer, e.g. forensics. We can turn ourselves into a general platform for writers, to research all sort of stuff - I sort of like the idea. Are we equipped to do so? Donno. Maybe give it a try? If what we want to be is a community of writers, it makes sense to try at least. Galastel 4 months ago

I, personally have no issue with being a general-purpose writing platform. There's a lot of things that go into writing, and having one place to ask things would be pretty nice. Andon 4 months ago

Sign up to answer this question »