1. Gammer
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    Gammer Active Member

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    How More Do I Need Before I'm ready to Write?

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Gammer, Apr 24, 2012.

    I've been working, at least as much as I can, with this fantasy story. I have the characters and plot figured out for the most part. I've developed the setting to a point. I have the backdrop of the main continent (it's based off of The Warring States of Era of Japan), have the major deities and major plot related historic events and some landmarks. But when I look at some of the word building tips online, there's SO much more and a lot of it at least in my view is arbitrary and stuff that won't even be brought up in the main plotline.

    So I guess my question can I start writing with the setting stuff I have so far or do I need to put more into the setting before I start?
     
  2. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd say start writing. You can always develop the setting more as you go along, when needed. Or the characters too, for that matter.
     
  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Tesoro is right. Just start writing. If you need online world-building tips, you either aren't exercising your imagination enough or you're doing way too much world-building. Your world will be built as you write.
     
  4. Pink-Angel-1992
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    Pink-Angel-1992 Active Member

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    It's all up to you! Ask your self if you feel you have developed the story enough, the world; the characters; the storyline? If you feel you have, start writing.

    I don't have that much expirence in writing, but I do know that everyone has their OWN way of doing things, and that is true for everything! Some may feel the need to develop the whole world in detail, or briefly summaries other areas, where as others may just jot down some important notes of the setting and character before starting. It's up to you; those tips you mentioned will only be as a guildline, options or for those that need some help.

    You can always go back and do some extra development if you feel you need too.
     
  5. Cristian
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    Cristian Member

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    Go ahead and let imagination do its course. If you need inspiration, don't hesitate to drop a PM or something, I'd gladly help.
     
  6. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    I start writing as soon as the characters start talking whether I have things figured out or not, so you miles ahead of me when I start a novel.
     
  7. bibliolept
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    bibliolept Member

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    I would say start writing when you feel like it. Since you're creating your own world, you can't really go wrong with writing it as you go. Of course, a little research never hurt anybody, but you can do that as you go. Just be careful to take note of things about your world as you go. Be careful of inconsistencies. You can fix that, anyway, after the first draft, which is bound to be poop. It's a rule, I think, that all first drafts should be poop. So just poop. :D
     
  8. Kesteven
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    Kesteven Member

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    Ditto on the pooping. I happen to enjoy world building as much as (if not more than) actual writing, and I'm writing for my own amusement (no deadlines), so I tend to overdo it, and I'm sure the same goes for many others.

    The only danger I can see of writing prematurely is if an improvised feature of the world ends up having large-scale implications for the plot. This has happened to me before; I start writing, then after a few chapters come up with a great idea for the setting, except I realise that if I just dump it in it leaves gaping plotholes, possibly to the extent of completely undermining the entire point of the story. At that point the only option is to ditch the idea or rewrite large stretches. But if I'm seriously trying to make something good I'm going to be doing a lot of rewriting anyway so it's not too big a deal, and I find that I can usually recycle the majority of my ideas even after radical changes.

    It sounds like you've had a think about how the setting relates to the plot though, that's probably all that matters. The only exercise I use that I'd definitely recommend is, whenever your characters enter a new landscape or city, go into a daydream and mentally explore it yourself. If you can vividly imagine walking from place to place, viewing maps, talking to the locals, dealing with the law, and whatever else might be relevant to what your characters will be doing (not just what things look like but how they sound, smell, feel etc), then that should be enough detail to get started with. If things seem flat or you find yourself facing 'blanks' that your existing conception of the world doesn't cover, that's a sign you need to go into more detail in that area.
     
  9. Ettina
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    Ettina Active Member

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    I actually find too much work on the setting can stop me from writing the story, because I get so bogged down in having everything right.
     
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  10. aimeekath
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    aimeekath Senior Member

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    Yeah, just starting when you feel like it. I don't know if it's a bad habit or anything not to plan, or to plan very little, but I normally just think of a basic plot and some characters and then go to work.
     
  11. Fivvle
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    Fivvle Contributing Member

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    I find that if I start working like aimeekath, I do much better in my writing. Big gaps in the logic of the world and its cultures and lots of plot elements present themselves when you actually write a story about it. My best ideas and writing have come from just going with it and trying it out.
     
  12. YugiohPro01
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    YugiohPro01 Member

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    Actually, I can't really say just start writing or research more because it isn't about that at all. You need to ask yourself whether you can visualize the world you want to create. In Science Fiction Writing this is rather easy because you design your own world and don't have to concentrate too much on the present world problems or designs. You just let your imagination run free. However since in your case we are dealing with either present/past you need to do at least a little bit of research and then start writing. If you still can't visualize your desired world, do some more research and repeat until you reach your desired level. I have always found this to be the most efficient way to create your world, whether it be based of reality or just pure fantasy.
     
  13. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    From your description, I'd say you're more than ready to start writing. Those world-building things (I've looked at a bunch myself) are fine if you're just starting, but much of what they dwell on isn't really important for all stories. As others have said, start writing and if you come to a sticky point, stop, think, do your research, and then move on. Nothing is written in stone.
     
  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Got paper? Got pen? Or do you have the digital equivalent?

    Then you're ready to start writing.

    Don't expect a masterpiece to flow onto the paper, but you can certainly start writing. When you hit a point that requires you to make decisions, then pause to consider the options.

    Then resume writing.

    Remember, you will have revision passes to get everything sorted. You don't need to have all the answers from the git go. In fact, if you do, you're probably overthinking it, and you'll undoubtedly make course corrections anyway.

    Don't make procrastination your default. Get started, write now.
     
  15. Ubrechor
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    Ubrechor Active Member

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    It depends on your style and tastes. Some writers meticulously plan out every inch of detail, even for aspects of the world that are never included in the story. Others prefer to start writing, and see which way the pen takes them. Most, I think, are somewhere in between these two. I would say that if you have enough background knowledge to be comfortable with beginning your story, then begin. If not, then don't. But don't be influenced by the fact that you haven't covered every aspect of your world that is mentioned in all the world-building tips out there, because it isn't necessary to know everything first. It is the writer as much as the reader who finds out more about the story as they progress.
     
  16. Fivvle
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    Fivvle Contributing Member

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    I might be repeating myself, here, but oh well. The world that I've been creating has become so much better because I have just started to write stories in it. The elements and characters and places just pop up as they're needed when I do this. More than half of the stuff I wrote about my world has been scrapped or will never make an appearance in anything else I write. Actually writing stories inside your world will reveal all the things you need and don't need.
     
  17. The Crazy Kakoos
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    The Crazy Kakoos Member

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    I'm not saying that this is the right way to do it but just a method that I utilize.

    If you are writing one book then I'd make it up as I go along.

    If you plan on writing more than one book set within that world then I usually create a world encyclopedia. First I create as much of the world as I can. This process also can give me ideas for potential scenes or knew plot ideas. It's like surveying the land before I start the actual building. I may create a history time line section, then faction listing and discription of each faction, then a description of each realm, region, or planet, and move on to a description of each race, and maybe a description of each character. After that I begin to write and ammend as I go. I also may label the encyclopedia "[Novel] Databank as far as book 1"

    I do this for a few reasons 1. A precaution to help keep track of details because I am one to notice inconsistencies in a story series and they bug me.
    and 2. the most important reason is that I enjoy that process. If I didn't I probably wouldn't bother at all.

    I'd leave it up to you to decide if you want to try that. I have no idea whether or not it is a good method but as I said it's enjoyable to me. :)
     
  18. s33point1
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    s33point1 Member

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    I vote for start writing. I think you just need to know the basics and develop it along the way.
     
  19. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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