• Peter at Start Bay Notebooks

Worldbuilding Journal - Overview

Updated: Aug 10

An overview of the concept of the Worldbuilding Journal and why I do it.

Worldbuilding from Start Bay Notebooks

The Set Up

First you start with approximately four towns that are of interest to the way you view things. What are their values and principles, their trade, the type of people who live and work their, the skills of the people?




My worldbuild is what I called Principium. I soon became aware that the towns represented different facets of my own relationship with the world and with myself and that I had created a way to compartmentalise and rationalise these relationships. It all sounds a bit heavy but basically you can put your world in order and find things out along the way.


"Create, Contain, Record, Explain. Explore your world through the power of worldbuilding."

Creating a narrative

One of the reasons behind Worldbuilding is to create the narrative. The way of putting the sketches into the world, to say where they are and what they represent. For each sketch, I do a paragraph of narrative that says what the building is and its relevance. This narrative is often in the form of a parody of my own memories (internal / micro world) or in the form of an metaphor - belying the surface text is a wider meaning for my views on the outside world (external / macro world). In this way I can record and document my relationship with the world through storytelling rather than factual documenting.


worldbuilding from Start Bay Notebooks
Internal and External Relationships

The different characteristics and activities of the towns can represent both different facets, memories etc. that are a part of, and peculiar to, you (internal / micro world) and your views on different subjects within the wider world (external / macro world).


Positive and Negative

One of the things to be aware, and even wary of, is too much negativity and a lack of humour. We must remember that there is often good in something that may seem wholly bad and that there is humour in just about everything if you look for it. And remembering this helps to give a sense of balance in a place may otherwise seem so dark. And you don't need to dwell in a place that is getting too dark, there are more places to go to in your world - no need to get too bogged down in one place, go and play somewhere else.

Sketching from Start bay Notebooks
The Benefits of Worldbuilding
  • To organise thoughts and views on the world into separate areas

  • To record and comment in a way that you wouldn't normally do

  • Learn not to dwell to long on any particular area - go somewhere else

  • Record and rationalise frustrations by putting them into the world in the form of allegory

  • Record memories through the use of parody and metaphor

  • Bring a sense of balance and humour by harmonising both positive and negative feelings

  • A wholly creative process within a structured framework


I intend to post more on my worldbuilding process as the concept develops and give lots of examples. To date, Principium has the first 100 buildings and narrative completed and I am well on the way beyond this - so it's not something I'm getting bored of!

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