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Anyone developing worlds for their story?


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#1 e.korley

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Posted 18 February 2017 - 10:35 PM

I'm still working on my first novel of my series. It's been a long process with building a world. I'm almost finished but still feel like I need to add a lot more. I have just done the outline of my novel and I feel like the world building part needs more.

How are you all doing with your world building? And is it difficult for you guys to start with writing the story instead of world building?

#2 Michael Steven

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 02:01 PM

Maybe I'm an oddball, but since I got into fantasy role-playing games in my younger years, most of it as the Dungeon Master, I developed a playing world even though it was aimed at the gaming aspect.  There were nations and each had a different character to them.  When I decided to write a story, fantasy of course, I used the lands and nation I had developed all those years ago.  The writing actually made me delve deeper into the societies.

 

One thing I did to ensure I wouldn't be tempted to draw upon the gaming as a source, I put my novel 600 years past those adventures although I did use some of that as part of the history.  Just like your characters, you need to develop your nations and the lands as if they are characters.  As you proceed with your story, listen to your inner voice about those places and jot down notes when you come up with things that are different or interesting.


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Let there be travellers who venture ... Far from the beaten path
And let one of them be me - Jefferson Starship - Champion (unused lyrics)

#3 e.korley

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Posted 19 February 2017 - 02:37 PM

Not at all. I love your idea of developing locations like characters. I realized I had to be tedious about them too.

#4 clpolk

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 02:51 PM

I really don't do much advanced worldbuilding when I write a fantasy novel. I think about it, and I might write down 3 pages worth of notes at most before I start writing. and then when I need a relevant detail, I figure it out then. 



#5 e.korley

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 02:58 PM

That's great actually. I try not to go overboard with the world building so I'm teaching myself to calm down

#6 DebsBlueRoses

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 11:24 AM

I don't do advanced world building, either. I know what the world looks like and how it operates. I'm currently trying to figure out if there's an appropriate place to stick any information about it in my current MS. It's been a question from beta readers and CPs.


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#7 e.korley

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 11:41 AM

Yeah that's the tricky part too. You get the information but how to display it is an issue. I was 40 pages in my MS because I wanted to try writing without an outline. But I constantly got stuck and since I've been focusing on world building and characters, I definitely am not using my old MS anymore.

#8 Blueberry Tide

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 02:26 PM

Every writer builds world a bit different. I typically think a lot about whatever world I'm building, before, during, and after I draft the story part. I'm a fantasy writer, so I feel like I need to really know the world before I start writing. It helps me get into the world myself. 

 

I've heard both sides of the world-building process. Some writers, like myself, advise other writers to really flesh out the world before you call the story finished. Make a 'story bible,' where everything about your world goes. Lore, legends, religion, history - everything. Now, not everything about your world will go into the story itself, but you know it just in case it comes up at some point. They say this will give you a better idea of the world, and help you to better envision it. On the other side of the writer spectrum, some say that you don't have to do this. You can make it up as you go, however, it's easy to let consistency get away from you. Once you're done with the story part, the world builds itself around it. 

 

Personally, I'm a 'story bible' type of writer. I like having everything about my world sort of planned out, like geography, tribes, weather patterns, or whatever else. I like having story fodder at my fingertips. Now, most of my story bible is in my head. Like I said, I think about my worlds a lot. 

 

Whatever way you feel more comfortably going, above all, consistency is the most important thing. 



#9 e.korley

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 02:39 PM

That makes alot of sense. I think it's also about following your instincts too. I realize that I rely on that often but the one thing I can say is that I have a better grasp of my world now than before

#10 Thrash

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 11:29 AM

In terms of world-building, there's a big difference between what you write for yourself and what you include in the narrative. I don't write fantasy, but all novels need some world building in terms of who and where , and I have lots of sketched notes about everyone's past, relationships, and locations. My one sci-fi novel isn't complete, but I have about 20 pages that I know will not end up in the book because it's history and explanations of the science for myself and my own reference so I can keep it consistent as the characters move through the world.



#11 Zaarin

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 06:22 PM

When it comes to world building, I have Tolkien Syndrome: I'm a confirmed Niggler. My primary fantasy setting I've been working on for probably ten years; I may yet be working on it for another ten before I'm ready to actually write anything set in it. Building languages, writing history and myths and ethnographies, even working out the laws of physics since this world is Ptolemaic/Aristotelian in its design. Fortunately, I have other projects: an alternate history where the world building is much smaller in scale since real history did most of the world building for me (albeit it still requires research) and a sci-fi project where I'm much more happy with what one might consider a "typical" space opera setting--the world doesn't always have to shine as its own character the way it does in, say, Tolkien's writings or Mass Effect or Numenera. In this particular case, I actually want to keep the setting backgrounded to keep the focus on the characters.



#12 e.korley

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 06:31 PM

Nice

#13 DebsBlueRoses

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 01:15 PM

When it comes to world building, I have Tolkien Syndrome: I'm a confirmed Niggler. My primary fantasy setting I've been working on for probably ten years; I may yet be working on it for another ten before I'm ready to actually write anything set in it. Building languages, writing history and myths and ethnographies, even working out the laws of physics since this world is Ptolemaic/Aristotelian in its design. Fortunately, I have other projects: an alternate history where the world building is much smaller in scale since real history did most of the world building for me (albeit it still requires research) and a sci-fi project where I'm much more happy with what one might consider a "typical" space opera setting--the world doesn't always have to shine as its own character the way it does in, say, Tolkien's writings or Mass Effect or Numenera. In this particular case, I actually want to keep the setting backgrounded to keep the focus on the characters.

That last statement is exactly how I feel about mine. For the manuscript I'm currently shopping, I want to focus on the characters. For the sequel, I want to involve a little more of the world around.


@}-'-- Pen: Debra Renée Byrd

"Art doesn't come from the mind. Art comes from the place where you dream. So in a sense, I am welcoming you into my dream."

--Robert Olen Butler

http://thewritemage.com


#14 Zaarin

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 09:08 PM

That last statement is exactly how I feel about mine. For the manuscript I'm currently shopping, I want to focus on the characters. For the sequel, I want to involve a little more of the world around.

I think that's a great strategy. The first book gives your readers the emotional hook to draw them in and gives them something to connect with; once they're invested, the sequel gives an opportunity to build on that emotional investment and build something bigger.



#15 CallowCure

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 10:35 PM

It may be because I never had much teaching in writing, but I create my characters first. At least in a conceptual fashion, and build a world, and history around each character. I use their traits, and ideologies to create their community. Things like politics, and religions. Whether as how they are, or what they're rebelling against. I then take those histories, and try to place them on the same planet, and timeline. I then set up the connections with my characters and fashion how their histories interact. I've found things to happen more naturally this way, and characters, and settings aren't created to just fit the plot. Which makes the world feel more lived in. I think you'd find that after the characters are full crafted. It will become allot easier to see the world, and their ambitions kind create the plot on their own. I hope that makes any sense. I know i'm no teacher, but I hope that helped.


Callow Swain





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