Hey all, entirely new here. I hope this is the right forum. There's a plot-building forum and a character-building forum, but no world-building forum. Well, really long story short, I plan on eventually writing a fantasy novel, or more likely an entire series of stories, based on a world I've literally been developing since I was old enough to have imaginary friends. Obviously as I've grown up the world has gone through a lot of development to become more realistic and believable. Stuff like developing the world map, the ecology, the creatures and their inner social workings, and so on. Then I wasn't content to blame any inconsistencies on "magic", so I essentially developed an entire theology for not only the world in question, but "our" world as well, since it does come into play during the story's progression. Just a ton of weird complex stuff. And it keeps growing. I keep thinking of more things to add to the world, more things to explain why things are how they are and what makes the world turn. I also keep coming up with more ideas for the characters/tribes that are involved, their histories and so on. Now I'm even working on writing a language and alphabet for the world's inhabitants. The thing is, I haven't even written a single word of the story. The plot keeps changing as I change different elements of the world. I have countless pages of notes and ideas which I am slowly trying to categorize and reorganize, but even that is difficult because things change so much. It's becoming more and more clear that I'm going to have a very hard time actually writing this thing until I have at least a relatively solid world to write it in. But when is that going to happen? It's not that I don't feel like the world is complete, it's that I keep thinking of ways to make it better. I could, technically, decide today to not develop the world any further and start outlining the plot. But that wouldn't stop ideas from still coming to me, and I worry I would end up with a story I feel could have been a lot better. At the same time, I don't want to end up with a more detailed world than our own, and never write the story about it. I suppose there is also a perfectionist side of me that will not be happy unless I write this to the very best of my creative ability, which also makes me very reluctant to just stop worldbuilding. I would feel like I'm rushing it. But will I eventually hit a place where the worldbuilding ideas slow down and I can actually work out the plot details? It feels like every time I am satisfied I suddenly feel the need to dig and develop even deeper. It's like I'm writing an encyclopedia of the world rather than a novel. Don't get me wrong; I do love the development process.. it's a lot of fun and I certainly don't -want- to stop; But I know it will have to eventually come to a halt if I'm actually ever going to write the stories. So how will I know when to stop? Any help and feedback would be greatly appreciated. :redface: Even if you're having the same problems it would be nice to know I'm not alone.