I find myself constantly trying to build up my repertoire of resources when I am working on worldbuilding. Especially with fleshing out my races. And I thought to myself this morning as I stumbled about my morning routine “Why is it so hard to think of things to write down for a race?” And my answer to that question was because I simply didn’t seem to be able to think of all the good questions in the moment of working on it.
So what I did was I went through a bunch of recent notes on races and noticed all the things i put down and turned them into questions. And from there more questions were created. So i figured i would share this resource in case there is some other writer in need of some guidance.Which, there usually is.
Are they nomadic or do they live in one place? Do they live solitary? In pairs? Or large groups? How big are their homes and what do they look like? What is considered to be a family in this culture? What kind of zones do they like to live in (temperate, tropical, etc.)? Do they build cities? Above ground or below?
What kinds of friendly social activities do they partake of? What is there to do around town? Where does everybody hang out? Are they a social race at all or do they keep to themselves? Are there any race specific hobbies or jobs? Are they famous for a certain creation (game, object, holiday, etc.)?
Who’s the head honcho? Government, president, monarchy, council? Nothing of the sort? What kind of hierarchy is there? Does it exist at every level of society? Does the hierarchy upset people or is it mostly accepted?
Are they religion or science based? Or a mix of both? How many gods are there? Is there more than one religion? Practices, beliefs, taboos, superstition, and rituals? How strongly do people believe in and stick to their religion? Do the religious and scientific minds get along or is there conflict? Are there any religions you’re not allowed to practice? Are there any holidays/big special gatherings?
Who raises the young? Is it live birth or the laying of eggs? Do the children go through schooling, if so what kind? Does the “mother” change in any way during pregnancy/after laying/ even once the young ones are walking around? Are certain parents meant to do certain things for the child? How many parents can a child have in this society? Is there a specific time/day/season for mating or is it year round? Which sex produces the eggs and which one fertilizes them? How are the children fed in early stages vs later stages?
What sexes or genders are there? How do the different sexes interact? What kind of roles do the different sexes or genders hold in society? How do people of the same sex interact? Does gender change how you might interact with someone? What is considered more important/important to know: someone’s sex or someone’s gender? How do the different sexes behave differently from each other if at all?
What do they consider to be romantic and non romantic? What kinds of relationships are there? How many partners/lovers is it common to have? Is the person they have children with the same person they spend the rest of their life with? Do they even have life long partnership? Are there any relationship taboos? Are there any sexual taboos? Are there any sex or romance rituals these people go through before they assume “lover” status with each other?
Do they communicate in any kind of special way with each other? Do they have a special way of communicating with other races? Are there any genetic differences between people (men are bigger, some people have blue eyes and some have brown, etc.)? Do certain weather conditions affect people? Are they night people or day people? Carnivore, herbivore, omnivore, fruitivore, insectivore, vampiric? What senses are essential to these people? What senses are lacking or missing entirely? What kind of diversity is there if any? Different cultures within the race itself? How do they tell each other apart (the sexes, the cultures, the religions, etc.)?
Are these people naturally more violent or more friendly? How do they interact with each other vs outsiders? Are there any groups that are treated differently than everyone else? Are they territorial or do they share they space with other creatures/races? Are there any creatures they live alongside symbiotically? How do they handle threats? Are there any groups or races they simply can’t get along with?