3 Must-Have Android Apps for Fantasy and Sci-fi Worldbuilding

Updated: Nov 14, 2019

One of these three worldbuilding apps should be an essential part of any fantasy/sci-fi writer's toolkit.

If you're a writer of fantasy or sci-fi or, like me, just need a world for your spoiled princes and powerful kings to fight over, you're going to need to build that sucker from scratch. It sounds daunting, and... well, it is.

There's a lot to keep track of: characters and familial structures, places and maps, histories, key objects (a.k.a. plot devices), concepts, laws and peoples--as well as some things you might not think about at first, like what the economy is like in certain parts of your world, and which unique creatures dwell there. I even like to draw floor plans for my palaces.

Which is why these apps (and the websites I'll show you later this week) should be key players in your worldbuilding toolkit, to turn a daunting task not only no-so-daunting, but actually a lot of fun.

World Scribe

World Scribe is used for just what it implies: creating worlds for your story and keeping track of its details, interconnecting those details as needed, to give you a comprehensive "3D" view of your world. Here's how it works:

1. Create your brand-new world at the initial world-creation screen. If you create multiple worlds, the app will open onto the last edited, with an option to add new or switch to others at the top.

2. Each world will have sections for People, Groups (think ethnic, religious, societal, etc.), Places, Items (think the One Ring, the Necronomicon, etc.), and Concepts. Each section will have its own items list--this is your list of characters (I've only created the one to use for this example).

3. Click on an item (or in this case, a name) to display and/or add details. Places to add specific details, such as memberships and residences, are provided, as well as a "snippets" section at the bottom where you can add whatever other details you need to.

4. This is your list of groups. Adding details to items here, as well as in any other section, is done the same way as it is for characters. (I've used different colors for each section to show you your choice of colors--the entire app will display in whichever color you choose.)

5. The detail screens for groups, as with all sections, are laid out the same as they are for characters. The photo you choose for each item will always display at the top, and each detail can be expanded and collapsed as needed. (No need to keep the photo in your phone's gallery once it is added.)

6. Screen for adding members to a particular group. This can also be done the other way around (via the memberships section in any character's detail screen, as opposed to via the members section in the group detail screen, as in this example). Once it is added via one detail screen, the link will display on both detail screens. It works the same way when any link is made between any two items in your world--no need to enter the same link between the same two items multiple times.

7. Group detail screen with the link added. (See photo 12 to see how that same link, automatically added when the link is created the first time, displays in the character details.)

8. This is your list of places. Navgate it, add to it and create links within it as you would any other.

9. Place detail screen; 10. Screen for adding connections between a place and a group, linking them in both sections; and 11. Place detail screen with the link added.

12. Character detail screen with link from photo 7 added; and 13. & 14. Two color choices not used in above examples. Add and link items and concepts as you would any other item in your world.

Character Story Planner

Character Story Planner is used primarily as just that: a character creator and story planner. But it can also be used in a similar way as World Scribe to create entire worlds, keeping track of its details and connections.

1. A slide-in side menu can be used to add items, or the horizontal menu near the top can used for the same. There are sections on both for Characters, Worlds, Stories, Scenes, Locations and Items.

2. Add character details, including a photo, via the character section. Each character's details are divided into Basic, Appearance, Life, Attitude (personality), Past, Story and Relation subsections. Also, secondary details can be added to each detail and shown or hidden as needed.