1. unearthly
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    unearthly New Member

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    Developing a world

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by unearthly, Sep 5, 2012.

    I'm writing a story about a girl who is from our world here and thrown into a different world. I don't want to expand on my idea to much yet, but I have some questions.
    How do I explain this world to the readers, and it's creation without it sounding forced? I can't just have one character give a really long speech about the history and creation of this world without it dragging on and on until I'm even losing interest. It's not like my main character is from this world so she can't really explain it in her head like, "She knows to stay away from the northern mountains because.."
    There's got to be a way to make it.. Flow? It's hard to come up with a whole new world where everything is different without spending a lot of time explaining why and how..
     
  2. B93
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    B93 Active Member

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    The reader can discover it along with the main character. The reader identification with the character can be increased by putting them in her shoes as she makes mistakes and picks up knowledge about the world.
     
  3. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    It depends on which point of view style you choose. If it is in first person, show how the girl feels with her own words as she explodes the world. If it is in third person, use your words to show what the girl sees.
     
  4. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why do you want to explain the world? I'm not asking that as a rhetorical question--really, why can't the reader discover the world along with the character?
     
  5. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    It probably also depends if the story is more character driven. It it is action driven, then the reader will have to understand the world on his or her on, which will suck.
     
  6. Mr.Fizzlepop
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    Mr.Fizzlepop New Member

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    Wizard of Oz sounds like a good read to get some ideas.
     
  7. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Put yourself in the girls shoes ( whether it's going to be taken from her point of view or
    not )- that's the easiest way and you won't feel you're getting ahead of yourself and
    divulging information the heroine hasn't learned firsthand. - I remember this happening in a dreadful movie called Mac and
    Me - this little alien was shown to have been sucked up by a space probe. Unharmed. But it was something the
    hero didn't see or learn about. Later on, he and his little girl friend deliberately hunt the alien with a vacum
    to suck it up. Which has an alert viewer going what would make them thing they could suck up this alien without hurting it?

    Imagine yourself being dropped on earth - take note of what you'd first see,and learn, the creatures you'd meet. The mistakes
    and assumptions you'd have.
     
  8. unearthly
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    unearthly New Member

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    Well there is need for explanation of the world as I have it. I guess I need to add a little more detail.

    In my story this girl is from our world and is fed up with the world and people (like any teenager). One day two little woman (about the size of a hand) visit her and leave a basket. When she opens the basket there is a blinding white light. She freaks out and covers the basket with a blanket and puts it in her closet. In that basket was a new god and the blinding white light was the first time he opened his eyes. She wakes up in a new world the next day. Now this world is created by the god she was delivered and everything in the world was built around what he saw for the first time, which was basically her and everything in her bedroom. Then one of the little woman comes to talk to her as she is panicking, and explains what the world was, how it got created and scolds her a bit for just shoving the baby god in the closet. Due to that this world is a pretty dark and creepy place. She has to try to escape this world and get back to her old one, however the god sees her as his mother and does everything he can to stop her from leaving.

    The way I have it written now, the little woman is talking for a LONG time about the world. Obviously the heroin discovers the world on her own and we get to go into detail about how it looks and all of the creatures in it, but I need that creation story in there.. I just need to make it.. not so boring and long.
     
  9. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think that you need the creation story, and in fact I think that it would harm your story. Would The Wizard of Oz have been better if Baum had decided that he needed to explain, "Now, see, the people in this world think that they have a great wizard ruling them, but it's really just a Kansas carnival showman..." Would Dorothy's adventures have been more interesting if we knew that the wizard didn't have the power to reward her after all? I'd say definitely not.
     
  10. Jesstro
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    Jesstro Member

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    When I read the Hunger Games series, I felt that the world building was done at an easy pace. The author added bits and pieces of history and details of the setting to help the reader imagine the world. The author never forced the reader with the details and background, she just focused on the MC's view on the world she existed in. It's something I've learned much from. And I also agree very much with what Chicken said, don't want to give up all the marbles at one time. Sometimes you have to let the readers create the world in their mind, you just have to guide them through it, well that's the way I feel about it. Good luck!
     
  11. Tolsof
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    Tolsof Member

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    Show don't tell. You shouldn't give a seminar on how this world works as its a rather boring read.
    A interesting book that you could look at is called "Remnent Population"... Not the most well written story but a interesting read. The thing I liked most about it was how you learn very little (almost nothing besides what is fairly necessary) which was a good lesson, at least I thought, on how much of an alien planet you actually need to describe versus how the character is feeling/thinking and such. Not the best of wording but hopefully you understand the point I'm trying to make
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Don't do it.

    The readers will see the world through her eyes. Any details the readers need will come out in time, in connection with the story. Any details that do not come out in this way are irrelevant to the story anyway.
     
  13. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have a short story where I suddenly break into the narrative and introduce a fictional future history of the human race that explains what my MC is doing on that planet. I don't have the MC think it, I break in a bit like a Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy entry and just write from an omnipotent POV. It is my humble opinion that my story needs that block, or it simply doesn't work. and there's nothing in the rest of the story that would allow this history to just come out. Though, mine is a short story, not a novel.
     

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