A Love Letter to Worldbuilding

“oh well, there she goes again” yeah. yeah, I’ve been writing since I was nine years old and am STILL on the obsession.

I recently had the opportunity to apply for a narrative design internship, and to be completely honest I have gotten my hopes up. Normally I try not to- I’ve been disappointed enough, particularly during this hellscape of a year- but sometimes it takes the thought of actually doing what you love to remind you it is possible. Yes, I could be happy being an archivist or a professor or a freelance writer but how often do you get to consider the possibility of a pipe dream?

As you might know, I’ve been studying creative writing and medieval studies for the past few years. I spend hours working on my FamilyEcho project- a universal family tree source combining mythological and historical genealogies for future research- but also fabricating hundreds of years’ worth of fictional dynasties and histories and painting maps of worlds that exist only in my head.

When I first applied to colleges, I considered building my own major. Worldbuilding, I decided to creatively call it. I’d study history and politics, writing and perhaps even basic botany. Folklore, anthropology, food– I wanted to sort out a plan of study conducive to creating fictional landscapes.

As the years have passed I’ve had to take more practical classes than 18-year-old Katie would have liked but I’ve made room for the dreams. I’ve delved deep into the worlds of Thedas, Tamriel, the continent of The Witcher, among others. I’ve considered my worlds- Iona, the Under, alternate histories of our own world characterized by any number of changes.

I know this is a very Tangled post-


-but it’s been bouncing around in my head for a few days now, and the only cure for that is to write it out. Why not post it? I just got back from my sister’s high school graduation (WILD) so the inspiring speeches and ideas may have gotten to me- that said, the thought of actually fulfilling a dream after so much 2020-1 crap is mind-blowing.

Anyway I’ve word-vomited enough for one afternoon. TL;DR wow, I’ve gotten attached to an internship I am in no way guaranteed to get but would probably keel over if it did happen. Worldbuilding is a hobby that has in more than one instance saved my life. I make far too little sense at the dinner table trying to explain to my 88-year-old grandmother what I actually want to do with my life.

Hope your afternoon is making more sense than (but is as much fun as) mine!

Katie Thies

thanks for sticking with me through this disorganized mess of a blog post! I didn’t edit it so I’m frankly quite impressed you made it to the end. Much of the reason Bookwise still exists is to let me shout into a void so if anyone actually reads this I’ll be surprised. 🙂 that said, if you are a human being and you did read it, thank you. you mean more to me than I can say.


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