This is a question I’ve long asked myself, should we use World-building or Worldbuilding?
Over the past few years the worldbuilding community has begun to mature online and I’ve settled on my preferred version. When relating to the art, science and hobby of creating fictional worlds I use the term “worldbuilding” and have been doing so for the past couple of years.
To understand my reason we need to go back to the beginning of the Worldbuilding School, it’s a simple reason but one I hope you’ll agree makes sense.
Worldbuilding in 2010
Back in late 2009 early 2010 the search landscape was much different than it is now. If you searched for World Building then Google would return lots of architecture related web pages, images and results.
Prime among them were the world buildings directory, a database listing all of the past and present entries into the world architecture festival, and Wikipedia’s own articles on great architecture.
The Worldbuilding School was a new website on the scene and one of the first to focus purely on building fictional worlds. Due to its infancy and Google’s focus on architecture the WBSchool didn’t rank high in the search results.
At the start I used the keyword world building, which is why you’ll still see it used in some places on the website, but eventually I changed to worldbuilding as a way to make it obvious that I’m talking about building worlds.
Then there was a shift
It was around 2011 – 2012 that the search landscape began to shift. More websites dedicated to the art were created, many came and went, but a few have lasted which I’m really thankful about.
The increase in websites focused on worldbuilding is good for our community because as more web pages focused on the keyword Google has shifted it’s focus in line with us. If you now search for either ‘world-building’ or ‘worldbuilding’ you’ll see that Google returns many results related to building fictional worlds.
Worldbuilding not World-building
So this is my main reason for choosing worldbuilding over world-building – because it’s a thing in and of itself. When you add a hyphen it means the process of creating fictional worlds is a cross of two things, but as we all know worldbuilding is far more than two things (I’ve written about 7 key skills for worldbuilders).
Ultimately the community will decide for itself which term it uses. I know there are a few out there who prefer to use other terms but for me, I’ll be using worldbuilding, will you?
Over to you
Which way do you prefer to spell worldbuilding or do you prefer to use another term? Let me know in the comments.