Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by jeffbarker, Feb 7, 2012.
What is the most difficult part of creating a fictional world for you?
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That's actually a really good question. For me, the real challenge is getting everything to fit together. I'm talking politics, the economy, the environment, the different races and species inhabiting the world, etc. I'll very often look back and see that I've contradicted myself somehow or left out an important detail that would, without it, cause the world to fall apart.
The culture for me combined with the history. What sort of clothing they wear, and how styles evolve over the years. It is a very magic dominated society, so how that plays into how the economy works. Also I am working on a magic and technology type world, so how magic and technology would evolve together and how it changes. There are a few stories that take place in my world, and with a couple hundred years between them society changes a lot. Like our own. It's difficult but fun and a nice challenge. There is just so much to take into account when creating a new world, especially when trying to not outright copy the typical fantasy medieval world.
I would have to put it at explaining the world to the reader. Especially if the world I'm creating is a very fantastical or unreal place to see. I never know how to put such powerful imagery down on paper, and most of my attempts at creating a good visualization of the world end up sounding awkward, or just not the way I want it.
The other problem I have is similar to Backbiter's: Making sure everything realistically fits together without any contradictions.
Coming up with names! Names for countries, regions, cities, rivers, streets, etc. I have been known to just call places things like Important Town and Small Town in the interim lol.
Haha, yeah. When I was younger I used to develop a fantasy world and write stories about it based on my collection of stuffed animals. They had names like Polar Bear, Wolf, Pengy, Toucan,etc.
Names are difficult for me, but most difficult part is most likely the details in general. To remember to include necessary details and fit them together into single working world is hardish. Then you must also remember them while writing so you don't first say something and then later in the story something completely contradicting. That is bad for the credibility of the world.
Ah! And this. Definitely this. I tend to sit around and ponder for hours on names. For some odd reason, I just can't write about a place if I haven't stuck a suiting name on it.
Mapping the setting is a no brainer. Finding a way to incorporate into my story is the hard part. There is so much I want to describe and tell in the story. However I often trail away from the main story or lose interest.
Yeah, I agree with all of these things. I've realized after asking this just how little I know about my own world that I'm creating. It's definitely not easy! I can think of a dozen back stories that I would want to tell, and would never be able to accomplish it all in one book.
As for coming up with names, I'm lucky that the names of my MCs just sort of came to me, but I still enjoy playing around with name generators. I've only found a couple of good ones and intend to use them. My real difficulty though is just how big the world is, and populating it. But I love the idea of having control over the history and such.
True Story! I find this to be the hardest part for sure. When I map out the world I wish to create (which I always do so I don't forget my visual) there are so many smaller stories or discriptions that I wish I could add.
I have hard time coming up with names that I like. The same could be said for creating characters as well. The names tend to get me.
I'm currently planning out the details for my story which consist of 8 different factions:
- Oa Cor'tuul
The thing is that they all have their own continents that they reside in to boot. So for me it definitely has to do with the geography, culture, history, system of government, magic system (they all have their own seperate system), economy, and military forces. At this moment I've only nearly completed everything I have to work with for the Kwit'sak. The additional difficulty around it is that I want to maintain a sense of balance among those factions, and that whatever I do decide on is what I'll have to stick with for the duration of the series to maintain that model of consistency. Some are more reliant on technology, some magic, some nature and its creatures.
Finally, when I get to it, the map building...
Oh, the map building.
Just a tip, you might want to rethink the names as well, no offense.
Which ones in particular. All of them?
I take no offense in some critical advice since it's what I joined this site for to begin with.
I like Tellan, and obviously humans is fine. With the others you just seem to be trying too hard to make them sound fantasyish with the accents, apostrophes, double i's and u's and and multiple consonants in a row. They could probably be made workable with just a bit of trimming down.
Thank you for that. I thought I got carried away myself with "Zxass'Frëën" and "Liikamroon". I'll definitely revise the names once I've settled everything else.
I like the names Kwit'sak, Ventaglunon, Oa Cor'tuul, along with Tellan and Human of course. I have some names in my own piece that contain apostrophes and hyphens, I'm finding though that I'm giving those names to certain things that are critical, and have tended to build off of them.
For example I have a fortress called Ormadamra-Enth'tin'ma. Ormadamra I've used in multiple places though, using different pieces of the word. I have servants called orma, who have special storage rooms that only they can access called ormadam. This may or may not be a good system, but for me it seems to work right now.
I guess as long as the names make sense and reflect the culture that goes by the name I'd take them at face value. Personally the only one's that I would rethink are Liikamroon, Nnamdigan, and Zxass'Frëën...
Yeah it's certainly acceptable to use apostrophes and accents and all of that, just use them sparingly when it makes sense, and above all make sure you know how they're going to affect the pronunciation of the word.
For me it's the language. That seems to be the hardest for me. Only cause it can end up being a total confusion for readers.
I have a problem with imagery. I quite literally dreamed up the world I'm writing about, and so in my head it's like a movie, but on paper it just seems like the ordinary world we all have to live in. I've tried to incorporate glimpses of my world into my story, but I'm pretty sure it comes across as infodumping and I hate that. :/
I find it really hard to create a fantasy world that isn't set in medievel times.
Yea, I recon names... I don't usually create WHOLE worlds. The worlds in my stories/ideas revolve around one person/character.
Not that this helps much with your current discussions!
I personally think that making a language is generally a bad idea. It is one thing having it in a screenplay where the actors are saying gibberish while the subtitles are rolling bellow but it's another story all together when you will be writing it on no other medium than paper because you will be writing the coherent dialogue in English anyway. You can always follow the footsteps of old mister Lucas from Star Wars, Hutt's speak random bits of Spanish half the time and his white American primary audience is none the wiser.
I personally think that the most important part of creating a deep artificial setting is filling it with history and characters that won't really mean a thing to your story but have to be compelling enough to mean something to your characters. Events in this setting's history must make sense and effect proceeding events just like in our real world. I find that difficult.
Separate names with a comma.