1. ArtisanalDeviant
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    ArtisanalDeviant New Member

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    Worlds

    Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by ArtisanalDeviant, Jun 17, 2016.

    How do you create the world in which your piece of writing takes place? Do you look around for inspiration? Do you create a map? What process do you go through to create the world in which your writing takes place?
     
  2. Kerilum
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    Kerilum Member

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    Well, this may seem cheesy at first, but I let the world create itself. Using my thoughts and dreams, I create many scenes that I try to incorporate into a large adventurous plot. With that, I shape the world to fit the plot and events within. I've been using that method for each idea that I've come up with along the years and it's fun... writing down my dreams and thoughts and being creative with them.
     
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  3. halisme
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    halisme Contributing Member Contributor

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    I let my mind wander, wait till it finds something cool, see if it works. If it does, keep going to see where it goes. If it doesn't, restart. I've currently got a pre-renaissance world where, around eight hundred years ago, anyone with magic was mutated into a mindless fish monster. The dominant empire was a magitocracy so things went down the crapper.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2016
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  4. Moth
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    Moth Active Member

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    Oh boy, now this is a big ol' question.

    When I'm coming up with a story, the world and the events of the story develop together. First I start off with an initial idea/concept, for the sake of example we'll say that I have an idea set during the time of a collapsing empire - that the main character's arc is all about establishing himself as a rebel/freedom fighter. Then I roll with that idea/concept until I have a basic beginning to the story,

    This is where real-world knowledge comes in handy. Knowing about the collapse of the Roman Empire, the implosion of the British Empire, the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire. Note right there that all are European-centered, and how that can effect the world that you want to build. If I want my story to be set in a world less stereotypical European, this is where more research happens.

    Knowing a little more about how empires die, I'm better armed to start imagining how to make this as-of-yet unnamed empire's collapse. Is it stretched too thin? Corrupt? About to be invaded by an outside force? Are the people of the empire content or rebellious? Asking these questions will help develop the idea, make it more real. Lets say I go with a mix of malcontent in the empire paired with the empire fighting another nation far from where the main character lives.

    And there sparks another idea - the ending of the story involves the imperial army fighting the main character's for control of the territory. An attempt to end the rebellion once their other war is ended.

    So you start having these domino effects, one idea leading to another, all building up this world that you want.

    And now that I have a few basic ideas down - big empire that owns a lot of recently-conquered land, war on one boarder and the main character's home on another boarder - we have a rough idea of where things will go on a map. So here's where we decide what the landscape of this empire will look like. Mountains and forests and rivers a la Medieval Europe, something more Mediterranean with a central sea, an empire made up of many islands, a desert or steppe empire, how about something more fantastical and making it so that the empire is stretched over many worlds - all inter-connected with magic?

    Once you know what you want, draw it down and you'll have a good reference for later.

    And now that you know about the landscape and climate of this empire and the part of it where your main character is, you can easily work on the buildings and aesthetics of it. Wood houses or stone, or houses underground, or entire cities of boats? Once you have that down, you can start making more cultural things. Do these sea-dwellers worship a water god? If they live under the earth what do they eat for food? Are these cultural and religious things contrasting with the empire at large, could that be a reason they don't want the be in the empire?

    And on it goes, one idea to the next until you have a decent setup. The more your story develops, the more the world develops around it. The more your world develops, the richer your story gets.

    Just remember, not everything you know and create for this world will reach the reader. You might come up with a list of the last fifty emperors and empresses and all their accomplishments, but the reader probably doesn't want an in-depth history lesson for this make-believe world. And, of course, don't spend all of your time building and none of it writing.
     
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  5. Seraph751
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    Seraph751 If I fell down the rabbit hole...

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    I had a vague idea about my Burning Forest so I went on pinterest and typed 'red forest' in as the description the idea. This fit the image I had in my head to a 'T' so when ever I have an idea now, that I may be struggling with or I need some references pinterest is one of my favorite go to's.


    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Nidhogg
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    Nidhogg Member

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    I tend to do a bit of everything, but one thing that I find very useful is creating causation and connection between ideas for my worlds. I tend to do this through either mind maps, or through using a "If X is true, then Y must also be true" system. It helps keep the world rounded and complete within itself, whilst also allowing me to explore aspects of the setting that I may not have initially considered when planning out my story.

    The second most useful thing for me is that I have an image gallery of artwork that I find inspiring, taken from multiple artists and genres. When I need some ideas, I put the gallery on a slideshow and stop the gallery when an image inspires me with something, regardless as to if it's related to the specific issue I'm dealing with or just that setting in general. It helps get ideas flowing and helps me to get in the mindset of the setting that I'm working with.
     
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