Novel Writing Help - Setting Questionnaires

Looking for novel writing help? Here are some questionnaires you can use to develop the world of your story.

Setting Questionnaire - General

(Note: you don't have to answer all of the questions, and you don't have to use all of the answers if you do. These questions are only intended to help you develop your characters and their environment in your own mind. You can also find basic character-building questionnaires here)

Where does your character live?

What are the climate and weather like there?

What does your character's home look like on the outside?

Who else lives with your character?

Any pets?

Who made the decorating decisions regarding your character's home?

What does your character's home look like on the inside?

Who does the housework and/or yardwork? What is the visible result (e.g., messy, compulsively neat, neat on the surface but messy in certain places, etc.)

What does your character's home smell like?

What kind of artwork does your character have? Books? Music? Collections of any kind?

What kind of clothes does your character wear?

What is your character's neighborhood like?

What are typical sounds inside and outside of your character's home?

What are your character's cultural roots?

What subcultures does your character live and move in?

What is your character's workplace like?

What are your character's favorite hangouts?

Where does your character go to relax or to escape?

Where does your character go when he or she feels lonely?

World-Building Questionnaire for Speculative Fiction/Fantasy

Here are some topics to think about when developing your story's world.

What year is it when your story takes place?



Plants and animals:

Magical creatures?:




Languages spoken:

Religious beliefs:

Other customs (and the reasons for them):



Technological development:

State of science:

Is there magic in this world? If so, what are its rules?

castle on hilltop representing story setting

More Story-Planning Questionnaires

Writing historical fiction? You'll find a setting questionnaire here.

Here's a questionnaire for developing characters.

Here's a questionnaire for planning your story plot.

Novel Writing Help - Next Steps

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