World Anvil have just their latest worldbuilding competition for Feburary 2023! This month it's all about creatures and we've been challenged to pick from a list of prompts in their Bestiary February challenge! and I want to write something I'm proud of before the deadline of Feb 28th.
In this post: I share my step-by-step worldbuilding process for answering this prompt, plus some bonus ideas and resources to inspire your worldbuilding.
😅 I really enjoy writing these blog posts at the same time as I'm actually worldbuilding, so you get to see my raw thought process as it emerges!
🔬 Dissecting the challenge
Before I begin worldbuilding, I always read through the competition page to break down the prompt and see what the creative constraints are.
Looking over the challenge page, there are 27 single word prompts to inspire us and we can make any number of creatures (even just one) for our entry!
- Time - deadline of February 28th 2023 at 7pm Anvil Time (bottom of their website)
- Template - must use the Generic article template on World Anvil
- Wordcount - minimum of 50 words in the Generic article, no maximum limit
The generic article only needs to contain links to the worldbuilding you created for each prompt. But we encourage to add short descriptions or, if you enter with art or maps, to embed them directly.
📝 The prompts
|1. Wings||10. Danger||19. Stinky|
|2. Stripes||11. Purr||20. Gentle|
|3. Horn||12. Roar||21. Messenger|
|4. Shell||13. Shriek||22. Food|
|5. Colorful||14. Howl||23. Vicious|
|6. Nocturnal||15. Tamed||24. Silent|
|7. Mythical||16. Pack||25. Parasite|
|8. Prey||17. Burrow||26. Predator|
|9. Monstrous||18. Bond||27. Stalk|
🤯 Not-so generic ideas for a generic article template
Feeling stumped by the generic article template? Think of it this way - we have free reign to create anything we want in our worlds with this template!
You can still make species articles, just link them into one generic one for submitting an entry. Here are some ideas of how to make things interesting (please feel free to use, steal, and adapt these to suit your world)!
- A character journal from an adventure, safari, or trip to the zoo or aquarium
- Literally a zoo, menagerie, or travelling exhibiton
- Musings of a child talking about their favourite creatures and why one is better than the others
- Guidebook on exotic / non-exotic pets and their care
- Creature Cookbook (or it could be for their produce like milk, eggs, cheese, medicinal, alchemical, or magical components)
- Old McDonald had a farm and it probably wasn't just cows
- A species evolution tree with branches of living/extinct creatures
- The food chain of an ecosystem - what eats what?
- Creatures for a TTRPG and their special abilities or stats
- Mythological creatures from long lost tales or current religions in your world
- A famous hunter's trophy room
- A natural history museum
- Things that go bump in the night, literally or figuratively. Maybe nightmares?
- Are the prompts all variants of the same species or group of species?
- Are all the prompts ONE creature? or could you use each word once in a single article?
- Could you use the numbers for inspiration too? What about a creature with 1 wing, or 2 stripes, 12 different roars, or can only be silent for 24 days of the year when it raises offspring?
OK that's enough brainstorming for now, time to get worldbuilding! I'll update this post when I've submitted my entry :D