Hello. First thread on these forums, so before I start, just want to say hi. (Even though I've been a member for a while ) Anyway I'm Avyrra. Sup. I got the questions at the bottom of this big chunk of text. Anyway, I've been working on a story of mine for a while. Maybe three or four years in. I can't really remember how long. And actually, I've finished my first draft in almost exactly one year. Ya know, started in may, ended in may. And it's evolved since then... a lot. Like extremely. That if I were to go back and read my original draft, I would vomit on it in the most gruesome and vivid way you can possibly imagine. So what's holding me back now? You'd probably guess it's what's in the title. I'm not satisfied with the world that my story takes place. Which is a huge problem since the characters need to interact with it (you know how it goes.) It's not as complex as Tolkien's world though. It is Earth, but I've written my lore into the unforeseeable future, pretty much an unknown amount of time, that the landscape (mostly similar) can be the same and the technology can be very different. So here's what I've got. It takes place in what's currently the East Coast U.S. NYC has deep vastly unexplored ruins with torn buildings being vacant, visible but out past the shore. Landmarks are unrecognizable and the place is mostly unexplorable, but the knowledge that it was once an Island tells a bit about the story's lore. Most of the reachable cities that haven't been flooded have been torn down and rebuilt, yahdayadayada and it's run by a tyrannical government. Put short, I'm going for a bleak atmosphere. Dark souls style but with people. Where things can be dreadful and beautiful in the same universe (our universe.) My problem is two things, how the new world government operates, and the technology they use. In my original draft, there were trucks and fancy shmancy vehicles that were super expensive and rare, but I decided after reworking it that this was not gonna cut it. I needed something less interactive where I can place more dynamic events such as fights and dialogue. So I introduced trains. All cool, except now my characters could use something slower.... hmm... how about a cool fancy shmancy vehi- no. How about carriages with horses. Okay cool, now what exactly is my stories technological era inspired by. I've tried everything. Steampunk, cyberpunk, industrial, Victorian, Edwardian, second industrial, 50's, 2000's, 2010's, a mix that makes somewhat sense, a mix that makes no sense. I've tried distinguishing between AC and DC power, quantum power, should there be an internet, and everything else that came down to it. Trying to figure out the tiny details even if it wouldn't make it into the story itself but simply to help me build the technological level that humans have achieved in my story. My government operation problem is a little less severe as I kind of know how I want them to be, but it's simply that I don't know too much about politics and government and all. But anyway I don't want it to be the land of the free. I want it to be the land of the people who think they are free but some people see through it and start a rebellion. Yeah, big info drop right there in the previous sentence, but anyway they're sorta my bad guy here. My first draft was modeled after a republic/empire. Sorta like how Rome was. But I figured, this isn't so much tyranny as it is just a bunch of politicians being dicks. So I kicked it up a notch, now it's a monarchy with a hereditary line of leaders along side a council that manages the people into four different provinces. Cool, but where does it start getting bad enough that the police brutality kicks in everywhere? I kicked it up one more time, but maybe a little too far? Like, I roundhouse kicked it up Chuck Norris style several notches and based it off of North Korea. We've all heard the stories so I'm trying to knock it down agian. It's gotta be brutal and bleak. But it can't be such an interference with the people. Having my characters just live how they've always seen it. Extremely careful of the law, but not afraid because it's how life always was. This thread's getting pretty long so I'll wrap it up here. I feel like a went a bit overboard with my explanations and story, but it's kinda therapeutic to type it all out. Anyway, I'm not asking as much for suggestions on how my world should be build since it's a pretty broad and suggestive world and also I'm a bit rude when it comes to that sorta stuff. I'll simply ask, am I overthinking it? What are some things you do when it comes to building your world be it starting off or polishing it? What are some things that you do to get inspired when it comes to creating your story's setting? I know I didn't give too many story details, but from what you've read, what do you think of my setting ideas? Also, I guess if anyone would like to share their world building problems and/or solutions as well, I welcome it on this thread as suggestions may also help me.