1. Simon Price

    Simon Price Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2017
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    58

    How do you think through things that will have global impact?

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Simon Price, Jul 1, 2019.

    So, I have something of a problem. I have a story concept that takes place more or less in the real world, except that humanity has been given access to a whole bunch of magical abilities by an unknown entity that by all appearances seems to have no motivation for it beyond hiding behind a rock and watching the fireworks. So now humanity is adjusting to living in a world where humans can teleport, turn invisible, wall cling, summon spirit animals, ditch the human race entirely and become members of entirely new humanoid species, and much more. In addition, every once in a while, society has to deal with week-long events where the unknown entity basically challenges the whole human race to various deadly challenges, like a week where humans fall west while everything else still falls down.

    You may have noticed a recurring theme with all of these: they're all global events. And that, naturally, means they affect every aspect of daily life for every town, every city, every country on Earth, meaning that in some shape or form all of these implications will impact the lives of my main characters since they don't live under a rock. Which means I have a huge responsibility to catch as many of these less-obvious, but very big implications for my world's setting as I can, and a lot of the time this is a very intimidating and difficult task.

    So I was wondering if anyone had any experience they could share for how they make this more manageable, or if anyone has any strategies for making it easier to think about and catch big worldbuilding implications. Because as it stands I'm worried I'm going to not only get something horribly wrong, but that the thing I got wrong will stress suspension of disbelief or, even worse, might have been a way more interesting angle to approach the event from than the more small-minded, obvious concept I had to begin with.
     
  2. AndieBoDandy

    AndieBoDandy Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2019
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    123
    Location:
    Canada
    LOL A.K.A. GOD... but seriously....

    "How do you think through things that will have global impact?"
    I don't think of it too much. I write fiction, so I design my story's world however it needs to be for the purpose of telling the tale. It's your world, so you get to do whatever you want with it.
    Until you write these big implications you can't catch them. I think you are putting the cart before the horse. By crafting the story, many of this will probably become clear to you. It's then your job to work through them. It's hard to speculate on something that's only been supposed.

    You are envisioning a story where teleportation, clinging to walls and turning invisible become everyday events; so I don't understand worrying about a suspension of disbelief... And as you write your story, you may indeed see a more interesting way on writing the piece; and that is what happens with the creative process.

    If you were writing a piece based on scientific fact; then my answer would be to do your research and run in by professionals in the field. Since this is not the case, you can't get things "horribly wrong" because this is your story. It is your universe. You are the almighty creator... If you so decided that on every second Tuesday it will rain frogs; then perhaps your characters will have an newly unlimited food supply in which your MC can open up a froglegs stand/food truck and sell bbq legs on skewers to the peasants in the next town over where it only rains eggplant on Tuesday.

    For your example of "falling west" instead of down, I imagine you would have to set some parameters. We fall down until our progress is stopped by something. The floor, bottom of a hill or cliff... If characters fall west, I suppose they would stop when they slammed into a wall or some other object large enough to stop them from their westerly movement. Your characters could adapt by wearing sport equipment. I envision hockey helmets and chest pads. Thankfully it's only a weekly event...

    Until you fully flesh out your world and story, you won't be able to address most of these issues. But perhaps others will see things differently. At any rate, it's a enjoyable read, tends to make my mind wander more than it should... Seems like it will be a lot of fun to write and hopefully even more to read. I do hope you post more.
     
  3. Maverick_nc

    Maverick_nc Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2019
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    675
    I don't have much to add to what Andy just said but the sentence above stuck with me. Human nature suggests we would rebel/wage war against anything or anyone who attempted to control us in this way, however improbable. Does that happen in your story? I'd struggle to believe we'd sit idly by, even if the challenge against an almighty being seemed impossible.
     
  4. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    10,960
    Likes Received:
    11,833
    My new theory is that almost every question that comes up on this site comes down to a POV issue. In this case...

    You don't NEED to show the world-wide impacts of all this, not unless your characters are DEALING with the world-wide impacts. Your characters may not live under rocks, but they DO live in their own little worlds, just like we all do. If your story has your characters working for the UN to head off international chaos, fine, you need to figure it all out in pretty explicit detail, but if they're doing their own thing, you can have one of them glance at a TV screen and see the usual chaos and turn the TV off, without getting into what the exact nature of the chaos is.

    This gets more complicated if you're using omniscient narration, but even then... just because your narrator KNOWS everything, that doesn't mean your narrator has to SHARE everything.

    What POV are you using? How wide-angle is your characters' interest?
     
    AndieBoDandy likes this.
  5. Maverick_nc

    Maverick_nc Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2019
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    675
    I think you're onto something!
     
    BayView likes this.
  6. Simon Price

    Simon Price Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2017
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    58
    The main characters are (or at least start as, that will change later down the line) a bunch of highschoolers in a quiet (at first) suburban New Jersey town, trying to deal with the their rapidly changing world while one of them keeps getting hunted down by people trying to kill him because he's one of 24 "chosen ones" with unique personal powers. And unfortunately a lot of those powers went to people with serious issues.

    The thing is, like I said, by all appearances there's literally nothing to fight against. They don't make themselves known, they don't even give any explanation or message whatsoever. They just give people powers and then watch the chaos from who knows where. When I say "challenge", that was more to simplify it. There's no interaction between the entity and humanity involved in this "challenge". Basically every week everyone on earth gets a new ability, and they can keep 7 at a time, getting to control which one gets replaced by next week's one. But every once in a while the "power" is something intentionally inconvenient, like the gravity-warping example I mentioned in the OP, and humans have to last a week with it before it goes away. People are doing what they can do adapt, but there's not even the first tenth of a clue of what "fighting back" would even look like.
     
    Maverick_nc likes this.
  7. Maverick_nc

    Maverick_nc Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2019
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    675
    Ok gotcha, when you said the entity challenges them sometimes I imagined some form of communication.
    I’m intrigued! Is any of the story in the workshop?
     
  8. Simon Price

    Simon Price Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2017
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    58
    Thanks, but not yet. I'll be sure to post something there eventually though!
     
    AndieBoDandy and Maverick_nc like this.

Share This Page