1. Mr magician

    Mr magician Member

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    Oh! Terrifying World Set Disease!

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Mr magician, Apr 13, 2024.

    My habit troubles me: for a fantasy/science fiction theme, my brain tends to first write a relatively complete world background, and then write about the plot itself.
    Then, when the world setting limits the space and development of the plot, the problem arises:I always hope to adapt the plot to the world setting, rather than letting the world setting adapt to the plot.This has brought the plot to a standstill, and I don't know how to solve it.
    How should everyone solve this problem?
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2024
  2. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Book Witch Contributor

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    What exactly is the problem?
    Its hard to be of assistance without information :)

    if you are asking for general advice on how to break out of writers block? I'd move on to a different scene or chapter. I'm the type of writer who tends to jump around rather than write linearly.
    I also tend to have an idea about a plot before I develop the world. that way I'm always thinking about how the character interacts in the world and how the world can either work to impede or help the characters in situations. Basically, I don't write the characters or plot outside of what the setting is because the setting, plot, and characters were developed to work with each other versus against each other.
     
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  3. Mr magician

    Mr magician Member

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    It's like this, I always have an idea about the world setting first, and then I have a plot.
    But there is always a situation where, due to the plot, the character's behavior must cause a significant and astonishing change in the world (such as establishing or destroying an important kingdom). At this point, a reaction force arises in my heart: "No way! This will destroy the world setting! It will make a once exquisite world a mess!"
    But if the world does not undergo significant changes, the plot will come to a standstill, putting me in a dilemma. Like a strange and perplexing disease.
    The plot and the world do not seem to complement each other, but rather confront each other.
     
  4. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin A tombstone hand and a graveyard mind Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Write/plan the story first. World building isn't writing. It's like drawing a picture of a house you can't build. Anyone can do that, be it with scribbles on a cocktail napkin or detailed to the last screw on graph paper. It's a nice picture but it's about as useful as a piece of toilet paper.
     
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  5. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor Blogerator

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    What we come up with in the beginning is usually a rough plan, and as the ideas grow it needs to be modified. That includes your world-building. If you left some thinngs out or some things need to change, then so be it, you need to go to work on it. Is there some reason your early ideas are set in stone and you refuse to change them?
     
  6. Mr magician

    Mr magician Member

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    This is something worth thinking about for me
     
  7. Mr magician

    Mr magician Member

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    Thinking hard about it,It should be because I invested a lot of energy into the world in the early stages, hoping that it would be as real and credible as possible, so my subconscious began to refuse to change it for the sake of the plot. A persistent obsession.
    Overcoming this problem seems to take a lot of time. :bigoops:
     
  8. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor Blogerator

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    Ultimatley though, the world is there only to support the story. If it isn't quite the right world, it needs to be modified. Or you need a different story for it.

    Actually it sounds like you do that thing some writers do where you spend a great deal of time developing a world before you have the story firmly in mind, and it isn't designed specifically to support the story. That's basically a complete hit-or-miss approach. Sort of like making a box and then going out trying to find a gift that fits in it perfectly, rather than the other way around. Ideally the world and the story sould be developed at the same time, and any changes to one require changes to the other. They're supposed to be symbiotic like that. Neither one should be set in stone before you start in on the other.
     
  9. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 10/190 Status: Confused Contributor

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    Ultimately, it comes down to what's more important for you, the story or the perfection of the world in your head?

    And that's where it all lies, in your head.

    If it makes you feel better, pretend you're writing in an alternative timeline in your world, and there exists a timeline where your world exists in its pristine form without a zombie apocalypse taking place.

    I don't want to sound callous, but it really comes down to this - just get over it. Do you want to be a writer, or do you want to create nice D&D settings?

    I had a nice, fully developed D&D world once. I still use it in my fantasy stories. I was loathe to make changes to it. Then I suffered some really quite traumatic stuff in real life, and I though - what the hell, it's a piece of pointless imagination. I took a metaphorical big black marker pen to it and started making loads of changes to it. And you know what? It didn't make a blind bit of difference. Nobody, apart from some imaginary characters got hurt or died.
     
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  10. J.T. Woody

    J.T. Woody Book Witch Contributor

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    Nao hit the nail on the head....
    if you are writing a story, you need to accept that there will be changes made through out, either to your world or to your characters. I cant think of a plot in anything that's progressed without some form of change.
    If the Kingdom is destroyed, another thread to the plot opens up: what happens to its people? what happens to the main characters? how are they all impacted? is the main character the hero or the villain now? Does the villain succeed and now the MC has to quest to avenge the kingdom? does this quest take them to another kingdom with different rules? etc.

    Worry less about maintaining the "perfect world" because it can become boring (like a Mary Sue/Marty Stu). Now that you've created your world, focus on how your characters fit in to that world and whatever will be, will be
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2024
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  11. Rath Darkblade

    Rath Darkblade Active Member

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    I think everyone has given good advice here, but I have two more things to add:

    World-building is good, but only because now you know the setting in which your story will take place.

    If the story-world doesn't change, your story will not move forward, and your main character will end up being unfulfilled and joyless.

    One last thing: when you write the story, you can use bits of your world in the story -- but only so long as they move the story forward. The story is king. Knowing your story-world is good for you, the author, but please don't share the entire thing with your readers -- especially not all at once.

    And whatever you do, don't open your story with a complete history/geography/whatever of your story-world. Nobody wants to know.

    Two or three very short paragraphs about your setting are fine, as long as they have something to do with where your story starts or where your hero/heroine is. But don't start your story with something like this:

    ===============
    Nepheralia is the kingdom where our story begins. It is roughly 500 sq miles in length and 1000 sq miles in width, making it the largest kingdom on the continent of Zepharitia. It is bordered by [ABC] on the north, [EDF] in the south, [HIJ] in the east, and [XYZ] in the west. The summers are short and wet, and the winters are long and dry...
    ===============

    Etc., etc., etc. I just made all that up as an example of what NOT to do. As you can see, this is an express ticket to Nowheresville, stopping only at Snoozeville. ;)

    Good luck! :)
     

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