Okay, at the moment I'm growing a little bit bored with my main project, so I've decided to do something on the side, and, considering I'm more a world builder who sees what plots form, then a plotter who builds a world around their narrative, I've decided that's what I'm doing. So the question is, to any who read this, which of these settings do you prefer.
Setting 1: A bronze age world where the local pantheon of gods take active parts in people's lives by fighting each other with mortal champions.
Setting 2: A traditional fantasy world where the technology is equal to the nineteen twenties, but all the evil stuff has been wiped out by adventures and semi-automatic machineguns.
Setting 3: A world with a technology equivalent to the eighteen seventies where humanity lives in a single walled city that will inevitably collapse, and let in the more traditional version of elves and fairies who killed people for looking at them wrong.
A while ago I made a terrible post about world building. It was terrible, both in terms of structure and content, and didn't represent my thoughts or method of worldbuilding, hopefully, this will be better in both terms, and, if not helpful at least entertaining. Anyway, onto the show.
What is worldbuilding?
If you already know what world building is, feel free to skip this. Worldbuilding is the process by which the author creates their setting. Every genre apart from non-fiction does this in some form or another, from minor events that never happened in realistic genres, to creating monsters in paranormal, to making entire new worlds in fantasy, or entire universes in terms of sci-fi and science fantasy. As I'm having trouble defining it fully, I, being the shining beacon of articulation, scholarly research, and professionalism, will steal Wikipedia's explanation. "Worldbuilding is the process of constructing an imaginary world, sometimes associated with a whole fictional universe".
Why should I do worldbuilding?
I don't know. I don't know what you're writing, and the reasons for world building differ from person to person. For a lot of people, me included, it's for fun. Mixing cultures to create something new is something I greatly enjoy. For others it's to provide a solid catalogue of references and cultural identities for their characters and as a means of generating conflict, as well as keeping everything consistent. For other they just do it on the fly, making it up as the go along. It's something I recommend any aspiring fantasy or sci-fi author try, both to see if they enjoy it and to see if helps keep internal consistency.
How do I start worldbuilding?
Once again, I don't know how you should start. There's no defined start point for creating your own fictional reality, some people start with an overarching idea of either an event, culture, species, place or organisation to start things off with. My best recommendation is to start with an idea of what you want your world to be. High fantasy, low fantasy, gritty sci-fi or a more optimistic take, it's a good idea to understand what tone you're going for. A world full of fantastic adventure probably should probably have less moral grey than dark fantasy, though mixing and matching can create some interesting takes.
Anyway, I'll do another post either latter this week or next week
In May of 2008 Iron Man proved to be a surprise hit, and caused Marvel Studios, the film branch of the comic publisher, to attract a lot of eyes. They were more or less the underdog of the film industry, the new kid on the block who had sold the rights to some of their most popular characters a few years earlier. They couldn't really do anything serious. They'd hired Robert Downey Jr, who was washed up at the time, to play Ironman, a character who people might have recognised from the name and iconography, but the general public knew very little about.
On a budget of $140 million, the film made $585.2 million.
While we can’t tell how profitable the film is, due to marketing costs being hidden, a rule that can used is that, if a film makes twice its budget worldwide, it’s broke even, so it’s likely that Marvel doubled their money. The only film in Marvel’s first phase (Captain America, Thor, Hulk and Iron Man 1&2) that did not follow this rule is The Hulk, likely explaining why there has not been a sequel. With each of these films they proved that minor characters could be profitable, and that they could keep true to the source material. Disney also saw the talent and potential that the studio had, and purchased them in two thousand and nine. Then…
On a budget of $220 million, the Avengers earned $1.52 billion, over five times its initial budget, and becoming the third highest grossing film of all time. Since then it has slipped to position number five, showing a good sense of longevity. It is at this point, Marvel proved crossovers could be extremely profitable, and that four years spent building a narrative can make a film successful. The only other crossovers that jump to mind from before Marvel are Freddy vs Jason and Alien vs Preadator, and neither of these were particularly profitable. Marvel was successful though. Wildly successful. Not quite James Cameron successful (Avatar and Titanic being first and second on the grossing list,) but successful none the less. Marvel went from underdog to sitting upon the throne.
As a franchise, they’ve been going for eight years without a reboot, and with no major failings. Marvel made a film with a racoon and a talking tree as main characters profitable. They made film where a guy who talks to ants and rides them is profitable. They could release a Howard the Duck film and it would probably be profitable. And people have taken notice.
To finish off and provide a little more proof, here are the cinematic universes that studios have planned to put into action since the Avengers:
Universal Studios Monsters Universe, Dracula untold being the first film to be released from it, and a reboot of “The Mummy” currently being filmed. This was announced in twenty twelve.
Paramount’s Transfomers Cinematic Universe, the idea being to expand the current films from a linear story to a more branching series. Announced in twenty fifteen.
Warner’s DC Universe, created to rival Marvel from its inception. Man of Steel began filming in 2011, 3 years after the Marvel cinematic universe began, and there’s no real way of telling when they began planning, though with Batman V Superman’s date, it’s likely after The Avengers
Sony’s Spiderverse: Despite only having access to one popular character, Sony thought themselves capable of creating a cinematic universe based off Spider Man and associated characters. This has now been shelved.
Sony’s Ghostbusters Universe: While never formally announced, the Sony hack of twenty fourteen revealed a lot of information which wasn’t meant to go public, one of which was this project. It has since been shelved with the flop of the latest Ghostbusters film.
Separate names with a comma.