1. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    A Setting Too Bizarre?

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Killer300, Jan 24, 2012.

    Specifically, have I bitten off more than I can chew with this setting? Its a world with no names(well, technically none, Crimes of Destiny has a segment you can read), is still in the process of being created by artists, has a religion that involves a Goddess that is multiple ages at once, and has some weird geographic things, like a desert without any sand.

    Now, I ask this partially because I haven't done world building of this type before, so maybe I'm running into problems just because I'm inexperienced. With that in mind, is this a sign of a setting that's trying too hard to be different, or just a sign that I need to spend more time world building to make the world internally consistent, among other things?

    Now, if this comes off as nothing more than a concept judging plea... sorry, than I'm phrasing badly.
     
  2. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I know what you mean. I'm writing an urban fantasy that involves dimension travel, and I had to shelve my original manuscript after about 60,000 words in and completely rework it. I'd hit some brick walls because my world (and antagonists) weren't developed enough, and I realized I had neglected a ton of important specific/technical/tactical info about how things work in the world.

    It's totally normal, esp. for the kind of stories we're writing. It doesn't mean you're trying too hard to be different, just that you need to spend more time fleshing things out.

    Have you tried drawing a map? That can help you spark your creativity.
     
  3. Kesteven
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    Kesteven Member

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    I think if you want to make your world particularly bizarre it might be better NOT to worry about internal consistency and just let it be slightly surreal, and leave the inconsistencies as a mystery for the reader to think about or overlook. But whether the world is consistent or not it's important to make it rich, and considering the implications of the fantastic elements can help achieve that.
     
  4. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    Hey, thanks, glad to know I'm not the only one. Well, I can't draw worth anything.:p However, I may try my hand at drawing maps, and see if I can't work to get something that can help me figure out my world layout.

    But besides that, interesting. I ran into a brick wall within the first 1,000 words, from what I thought was traditional writer's block, but now is perhaps a lack of setting development. I mean, an entire city within a single building will require a lot of explanation, even in a fantasy world, to say the least, and I have to figure out how to work it in there without info dumping.

    Well, it looks like I really do just have to develop the setting more in world building, thanks.:)
     
  5. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    this sound like the weird and wonderful but yeah what a concept you got here.
    I am not sure this concept is religion though.
    if it is then you will need to call it something else, desert is name that refers to a place with sand.
     
  6. kablooblab
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    kablooblab Member

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    No it doesn't. The ocean could be a desert. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/desert
     
  7. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I partially agree and disagree with this. You've got a great point that leaving the world slighty surreal does a lot of good. Even if you do have every detail fleshed out --and if you do, you only need IMPORTANT details, not things like "who was the mayor 1,000 years ago,' as that's just like those character profiles with "what's your MC's zodiac sign/favorite food/etc" -- you don't need to share every detail. Leaving things a mystery will make the world far more interesting for the reader, who will get to learn more about it gradually.

    The part I disagree with is the consistency. While richness is important, as you said, consistency is just as important. If you establish a fantasy rule -- like that a certain plant will kill someone no matter what, or that someone who apparates too much will fade away after too many abuses of their magic -- then stick to it. Otherwise, you have Gary Stus running rampant, because they can too-conveniently use loopholes in the magic system to get away from any problem they might be in.
     
  8. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think you have to experiment and see how you go. It may well work, with some thought and planning.

    The world with no names bit - how are you going to do that, and have it be clear who you're referring to?
     
  9. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    The name part I figured out, which is either a person's role(say a Blacksmith will be called Blacksmith) or a person's relation to another(like lover, or friend). Now, the reason why for it... I sort of know. Basically, they think it would be deeply offensive to their Goddess. Now, they actually do use traditional names sometimes BUT, only mothers can use them, and it's only to differentiate between children. Additionally, they only do it for a set number of years(I'm thinking until the child would be mentally developed enough to understand the no name rule fully, or at least the culture's perception of that.)
     
  10. LaurenM
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    LaurenM Member

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    I pretty much agree with what else said, but I would like to second consistency. Readers always seem to notice if something doesn't stay constant. (Just look up all the lists of famous books' mistakes and whoopses.) If your going to get something right, let it be that.

    Oh, and also, it's normal for a desert to have no sand. I live in a desert (southern Nevada) and we have no sand here. We have a lot of mountains, valleys, and dirt, but pretty much no sand. Everything's just a shade of brown. Brown mountains, brown ground, brown homes, even the plants and trees are dull green instead of bright and vivid like many other parts of the U.S. :)
     
  11. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    In terms of consistency, with world building you need to understand how a lot of your world works so it flows naturally into other parts. You said you have several weird geographical features, but they have to work together. If you have a desert, then if the landscape around it is not deserty, then why not? For example, does a mountain range block it from the weather fronts? Where does the water come from otherwise in this land? Rivers won't come out of the desert, but they can flow through it, Nile-style, for example. The landscape for about 1000 miles in every direction is going to be affected by the desert. The only way around geography is to blame it on magic. I had a small desert of burning hot sand in the middle of a reasonably temperate landscape in one of my novels, because a dragon made it (the heat rising from it pushed away clouds as well, causing the lack of rain). I'd have had no way to justify a naturally-occurring one.
     
  12. Killer300
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    Killer300 Active Member

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    Thanks guys. This has helped me a lot in understanding how this world works, and actually how my magic system ties in with the geography. Does show me though I have some world building left, to say the least, but that's fine.
     

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