Concrete World Building – a writing prompt

Today I invite you to do some world-building, either for a novel in progress or for a story world you’d like to spend more time in, focusing on concrete aspects of the world.

The Prompt

Write a story that focuses on the discovery/invention/ramifications of something that shapes your characters’ physical world.


  • Some questions you might ask: Why do we have roads? What invention led us to spend our evenings the way we do? What does your futuristic society have that might need explained? How did those things come about?
  • Write a story based on the transition point between a world with those things and the world that came before (think: Marty McFly in Back to the Future arriving at his younger-mom’s house the very day her father hooked up their first TV. Rolling the TV into their dining room that first time, probably affected their family dinners forever!)

Don’t forget to leave a comment or do your Victory Dance!

7 thoughts on “Concrete World Building – a writing prompt”

  1. Thank you for this past weeks prompts. I have been struggling with aspects of a novel I am writing. These prompts have helped me to take a step back and to consider my characters and setting in a slightly different way. In a way, they have become stronger in depth, less two dimensional (I hope you understand what I mean). Anyway, will work on the prompt for today in a short while. Just wanted to express my appreciation.

      1. Woohoo! I’m so happy. I’m thinking of putting together a whole book of prompts for novelists, aimed at different stages of the novel-writing process. Thanks for being my guinea pigs!

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