In the past I never had the urge to write, except for poetry, which has always helped me to deal with my emotions. Lately, I have done a lot of world building. Rarely with the intention of writing a story. I just ask myself something like, "what would happen, if our lifespan was dramatically longer?" and then I keep returning to that question and refining the world I have imagined. After months something very strange happens. I get the feeling that I have to write a story in that world, or else it will be... deserted? But I don't have any exciting stories in my mind. Only perhaps some social conflicts, catastrophic events and such.

Are you familiar with this feeling? How do you respond to it? Just wait until the story emerges from the elements and conflicts of the world? Just write whatever comes to your mind?

I can not draw from my experience as a poet here, because I write poetry out of phsychological need particularly when I am depressed.

I am not even sure if this question isn't too opinion based too subjective or too localised.

3 Answers 3


The simplest way of going about it is imagining an alter-ego of yours living in that world.

I suggest starting with an alter-ego because you say you aren't used to writing prose and I therefore assume you don't easily create new characters. So, create an alter-ego and imagine yourself living the events you created, whether in the thick of it or from outside. Ideally, this alter-ego character will quickly become his/her own person and, as you create more and more of these, you won't have the need to start with an alter-ego.

You can also play around with a single event and write several short stories with different main characters allowing for a multitude of points of view of that event.

Since you want to explore the world, I'd say short stories is probably the way to start. As the tales start rolling out, see where they take you, whether it's to continue with short-stories or to embark on a full-fledged novel.


It's okay to have a world without ever writing a story set in it. Nobody is telling you that you have to do anything with your world; sometimes it's fun to just imagine. That's perfectly fine.

If you just want to be able to remember the world you are creating and not feel like it's going to waste, you could try just writing about it. Not a story, just writing about the world. Write about whatever comes to mind about it, as if it were real and you were writing nonfiction. Jot down/type up whatever details you can think of. If you prefer typing, you might create a folder so you can organize notes about different things in different files. If you prefer handwriting, maybe a physical folder. Or a binder, if you don't think a folder will fit it all.

Okay, so maybe you're adamant about writing a story. An actual story with a plot and everything.

A story is not about a world. A story is about characters in a world. Let's take, for example, a couple of stories with awesome worlds: Harry Potter and Star Wars. People love these worlds--a quick glance at SFF.SE will tell you that. But what people really care about--what makes them want to keep reading or watching--is the characters. We want to know what happens to them. We want to see how they overcome the challenges they face.

In Star Wars, there's spaceships, exotic planets, and the Force. Cool, right? But these merely serve as a setting in which to put some characters. We care about Luke and the other protagonists, and we want to see them succeed. The world provides a fun place for their story to occur: it provides its own challenges that contribute to the story.

Likewise, in Harry Potter, most people keep reading because they want to know what happens to Harry. That doesn't mean the world is unimportant; without the magical world, Harry would just be an orphan who grows up with his nasty aunt and uncle, then goes to college and lives a normal Muggle life. That wouldn't be a fun story.

So, you need to start with some characters. Try to imagine a person in your society. What kind of problems will the society give them? What might they do to overcome these problems? What other kinds of people are in this society, and how might they help or hurt the main character?

These questions will help you come up with some characters and some conflict--the beginnings of a story. Now, you just need to organize it and flesh it out into a cohesive plot.


I agree with this answer that developing characters will help you to write stories (which don't have to be full-blown books). Another approach you can take is to write very short stories or even just scenes in your world. These aren't necessarily full stories (though they can be), and you might never reuse them in a longer work; think of it as verbal doodling.

You can see some examples of this approach in the stories linked from this post on the Worldbuilding blog, Universe Factory. The linked post is about the world; the stories came first, starting with this one. The author developed the world for its own sake, like you, and wanted to do something with it.

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