Worldbuilding: Part Nine (Economy)


Part One (Introduction)

Part Two (Geography & Terrain)

Part Three (Society and Culture)

Part Four (Names)

Part Five (Military / Government)

Part Six (History)

Part Seven (Magic & Mythology)

Part Eight (Religion)

Money makes the world go round, right? Right, well, so it does with your fictional world. Money, economy and jobs might not be a large part of your worldbuilding — and it doesn’t even have to be explored in any great depth; still, I think it’s something that is worth taking a look at. Even if it is only for your benefit and understanding of the world.

money animated GIF

So, here are some things to consider when building an economy:

Let’s start with money. What currency does your world live by? For example — gold, silver, bronze coins? Do they have special names? (Take Harry Potter for example: galleons, sickles, and knuts?) Does your world even need some sort of physical currency? Maybe your world trade and barter instead of coins.

Next, you should consider what your country / world / kingdom exports and imports, and what they specialize in.

For example: a heavily wooded place is going to have wood as a main export, yes? Just like a sea-side town would specialize in seafood, sea travel, and general sea-related things. A desert town isn’t going to grow crops easily, either, so most of their food is likely to be imported from other places. Just as spices or things that relate specifically to a desert is likely to be exported to other places. Consider the climate, here, too: places with certain temperaments are going to be able to grow crops where other places might not be able to.

Just . . . just don’t chop down any ents, okay? I’ve heard they don’t like that.

Consider what is going on in your world’s plot at the time and apply that to the economic status as well. For example: more swords, blades, and armor is going to be made during times of war. But . . . hang on a second, why this might be good for some aspects of your world’s industry, don’t forget to factor in what a war is likely to do crops, people’s general well-being and ability to work, and so on.

So, rounding it all up, the main things to consider when building your world’s economy are: the climate of the world, the current state your world is in (whether that be war, famine, or anything else that might apply to your novel), and what is abundant in your world / kingdom. Remember that things of excess are more likely to be exported.

water animated GIF

I hope this week’s Worldbuilding Post was helpful! Check back next week for the last and final worldbuilding posts. (Note: If you feel like I’ve missed something, whether it be a small point or a whole topic, let me know so I can add it in!)


6 thoughts on “Worldbuilding: Part Nine (Economy)

  1. These posts are so cool! I haven’t read them all yet, but all very helpful things to think about. I think in my dystopia there will be a universal currency (like univs) and a very interdepentdent economy, because the world is so globalised. Unfortunately I don’t much about ecnomics, but world building is supposed to be seamless and invisible not a textbook. So little time, so many social science =classes *sigh*

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