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A Worldbuilding Propositon!

Discussion in 'Archipelago Archive' started by JCFarnham, Mar 5, 2011.

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  1. JCFarnham

    JCFarnham Auror

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    I've been thinking it might be an interesting idea to indulge in a bit of collaborative world building. In terms of musical composition I know I work better and with so much more productivity if I have someone to work with, to bounce ideas off, and I was thinking, maybe that would work in a writing sense.

    Is there anyone out there who would be interested in trying something like this? I mean, we could work on a totally new project, and old, dust collecting project, or whatever. I'd imagine the easiest way to organise something like this would be on a website like pb works [or any other free wiki type set up].

    I'd imagine Building as a collab would certain throw up new perspectives on things, you know. Could be fun! I'd be happy to hash out some rules or, you know, how this would work.

    Thoughts?


    UPDATE:

    A number of people have shown interest in this project but unless this grows significantly in a short amount of time we won't really have need for a seperate website or subforum. So in this light the remaineder of this post will be dedicated to important information about...

    The Mythic Archipelago
    [Click the above link for a colour map of the region]
    [Claims up to date as of creation]​

    As a little note: Anyone can contribute what ever they wish to this project to what ever area they want. So as to keep consistancy the first person to "claim" an island is the so-called Editor of that island/nation.




    A more up-to-date list the main "Editors-in-chief" of the islands is below

    Island NE of Big Island - Donny Bruso
    Big Island East - JCFarnham
    Northernmost Island - myrddin173
    Island Group to the East - j.c
    Tiny Island N of Big Island - Kaelpae
    Central Island - Desertrunner
    Island NW of Central Island - Insanity
    Small group of Islands to the East - Eliazar

    This leaves

    Island SE of Big Island
    Big Island West (should be willing to work with JCFarnham)
    Island NW of Big Island
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  2. Donny Bruso

    Donny Bruso Sage

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    I would be willing to participate and add a few things here and there.
     
  3. JCFarnham

    JCFarnham Auror

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    Basically what I'm thinking of for the end product [though it would no doubt be very much an ongoing thing] is that we have a setting that those involved can freely write in, after all we would all have equal claim to the finished article why the hell not. Seeing the same world from multiple perspectives in multiple styles might be an interesting study actually.
     
  4. Ophiucha

    Ophiucha Auror

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    I doubt I'd want to write anything from the world, since I consider a world to be a reflection on the story if it is going to be effective, but as a "just for the fun of it" worldbuilding project, it could be fun. I'm good with food. :p
     
  5. JCFarnham

    JCFarnham Auror

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    Just thought I would put the offer of it out there anyway. I know I'd feel pretty jipped if I put a lot of my time into something and came away with nothing so to speak. Much fairer if everyone has the chance to write in the conworld if they wanted, even if you don't end up doing so.

    On subject, The first thing to tackle, if there are people will to try this out of course ;), would be a name for the World. [maybe that would be an extension of a bit of language work... hmmm]. I do however have an unused island chain/archipelago map I drew but don't really have a place for. A starting point perhaps?

    Where do you guys like to start when it comes to Worldbuilding?

    In that sense I personally would wait until the setting is fully formed enough to consider a story. Though I often find a bit of worldbuilding breeds all manner of plot bunnys right? ;)
     
  6. Mythos

    Mythos Troubadour

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    You mean something like a lexicon? Where we pretend to be scholars of a certain world and use a wiki to create sort of randomly. Or do you mean something where we discuss every detail? I'd be willing to join either way. In case you guys don't know what a lexicon is, here are rules that someone made for their lexicon: http://nanolexicon.pbworks.com/w/page/12314405/Rules
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2011
  7. JCFarnham

    JCFarnham Auror

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    I did get the idea from Lexicon games that some people on NaNo run every so often, but the one issue I have with those is that the way the rules are set out [only writing an article about some random reference that someone else as hinted at, etc] it might get a bit constrictive you know?

    My proposition would be something more along the lines of: maybe you add whatever you like to the world, maybe that spawns a discussion amongst the group, maybe we do set some challenges more in keeping with lexicon game tradition. But really I was thinking of something free, a place to simply, write about.

    But yes, I think the best way for this to be organised is definitely on a wiki-type thing.
     
  8. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

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    I'm willing to throw in. And, yes, it is an interesting exercise. Not sure how much I'll be contributing in the way of fiction itself (though who knows?), but I'm always happy to do background work. Basic "rules" I'd suggest include:

    (1) We all have to agree on what the basic rules are. [Without that, the rest is pretty pointless. ;) ]
    (2) You cannot kill/destroy another writer's creation without that writer's permission. ("Mysterious deaths," sans corpse, are okay, however, as long as there's a plausible way out of it to bring the character back. Plausible–this isn't a comic book. :p )
    (3) Aspects of the world will need to mesh–geography, technology, magic, religion, history, social structure, etc. Which means we will need some initial proposals for at least some of these.
    (4) For minor additions, majority vote shall rule. For major additions/changes–especially to items under (3), once those are agreed upon–unanimity will be required.
    (5) When in doubt, precedence and continuity considerations shall hold: that is, don't do anything that directly contradicts something that's already been written.

    Feel free to comment (of course–it's a collaboration, eh?); there may be others, but I think that will cover most of the "operating" rules: the rest is agreeing on specific details. Initial work, at least, could be done in a sub-forum of the Showcase (we'll need a title); this would save the trouble of setting up a separate webpage. If it really starts rolling, we can always move things then.
     
  9. Ophiucha

    Ophiucha Auror

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    I don't really start anywhere in particular - it tends to just depend on what I'm inspired to start. I get an idea for a plant, mystical creature, whatever and I work my way up from there. We can start with language, if you want, although that's probably the hardest part to do well.
     
  10. JCFarnham

    JCFarnham Auror

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    A Showcase subforum would work nicely too. Must I'd be kind of proud to be a part of a world built by a community like you guys. could definitely be a thing right =)

    The rules you noted sound pretty solid in terms of common-sense rules. I'd hope no one would intentionally write others into a corner so to speak..

    Well like I said, I have a island chain mapped out in one of my notebooks. If I can get my scanner working I would be happy to consider clearing the map up and posting it [sans random names I added when I thought I would be using it myself hehe]
     
  11. Mythos

    Mythos Troubadour

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    We can have the discussion on the forums and organize it in the wiki. Pbworks would be the wiki I would choose to work with. @JCFarnham did you have an idea for the world in mind?
     
  12. JCFarnham

    JCFarnham Auror

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    Pbworks would be my initial choice as well, unless "something better" came up. As for an idea... not really. I think it would be fun to see what we as a forum with our wide collective influences can make from scratch.

    Though, maybe we could use this project as a way of testing out ideas that never really get played out in Fantasy [although obviously good ideas, Some ideas are never heard of for good reasons!]?
     
  13. Mythos

    Mythos Troubadour

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    Do you want us to start posting ideas we might have, and then we could choose the best one?
     
  14. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    I'll add something too. I've been itching to fully develop my knights who wield rubber chickens. ;)
     
  15. JCFarnham

    JCFarnham Auror

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    Yeah sure! I'm game.

    Lets start at the top though, shall we? A name for the world. Do people want to create an entire world, or more like a continent? Either way a name/title for the project would be the obvious place to start, then we can set up a pbworks site, for organisation and so on!

    aha Phil, where do you get these ideas man?
     
  16. Mythos

    Mythos Troubadour

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    If we start with a continent it will probably evolve into a whole world.

    We might want to post ideas for a single civilization, pick the best three, and then work on making them fit in this one world. We could probably name the world using the "language" of the most dominant civilization. If we name the world before working on it the name will probably influence our creation of it, and I think the name should come second. This would require a lot of work on the forums before the wiki. Just a thought.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2011
  17. JCFarnham

    JCFarnham Auror

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    This is true!

    Just preliminary ideas at this point.

    Right well, I'm thinking a jumping off point in civilisation creation might be coming up with a societal trait we take for granted and turning it on its head. I've done that a number of times in my own setting [well, once or twice... ish!]. Differing Gender Roles are kind of over done in speculative fiction, but its a classic right. I often find once you have something down for a civilisation other ideas start to flow, often as new questions arise [why? how? that kind of thing]

    Since conflict and difference is always a good thing to explore. I say we should at least like have a sort of Renaissance nation, and then the complete opposite if there is such a thing. Maybe all the wealth and raw materials in this world are controlled by a relatively small, centralised, organisation of people/nation-state/whatever, and anyone not born into this elite is say... sidelined? Something to think about.

    Once we've hashed out a kind of loose aim or rather feel of the world, I guess we could then delve in to the more lexicon-based area of articles about various things and peoples. Having an overarching feel in mind when worldbuilding is always a must in my mind.
     
  18. Mythos

    Mythos Troubadour

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    So something like the Roman Empire against the Gauls?
     
  19. JCFarnham

    JCFarnham Auror

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    I'm not too hot on my history, but yeah. If the Roman Empire represents the "enlightend master race" and the Gauls represent all the normal average joes of the era who are given a hard time simply because they weren't born in the right geographical location. this gives us to opposing "nations", though they could in fact be one and the same people in terms of beliefs.

    When ever you try and go for unique civs "writing gurus" always seem to cite that there are plenty of interesting cultures in the world if you're looking for inspiration [while grounding it in what could happened, etc.].Whats the most different way of living people can think of from the real world?
     
  20. Chilari

    Chilari Staff Moderator

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    The dichotomy between the Greeks and the eastern nations in the sixth to fourth centuries BC always interested me. The Greek considered themselves civilised and enlightened, and saw the easterners - Persians, Medians, Assyrians, etc - as effeminate, gaudy and uncivilised. Yet the Greeks were always fighting amongst themselves, Athens against Sparta against Argos against Corinth. Each Greek city was different, ruled by different people and in different ways, from oligarchy to dictatorship to democracy. By contrast, the Persian Empire was vast and united; kings ruled their own people independantly, but sent tribute and soldiers to the King of Kings. Within the Persian Empire there was generally unity and peace, and they built incredible architecture and had their own script. When Darius and later Xerxes invaded Greece, they expected to easily defeat the divided Greeks, and didn't expect the Greeks to unite, for once, against a "barbarian" aggressor. They also didn't anticipate the sheer skill of the Greek sailors, who after all had plenty of opportunity to practise, or the advanced tactical stuff the Greeks had learned through all that fighting with each other - Persia relied heavily on strength of numbers, and learned to their detriment time and again, first at Marathon where over 5000 Persian soldiers died compared to 192 Greeks due to the superior formation of the phalanx, and then ten years later at Thermopylae when a force of a few thousand Greeks (including 300 Spartans, but not completely consisting of them) held back a force of Persians considerably larger than themselves by virtue of holding a narrow pass and keeping formation.

    Anyway, sorry for going off on one a bit there. I study this stuff. I deleted a lot of what I just wrote before posting though, cause it was getting too long and too off topic.

    My point is, you could have two major groups that act in similar ways - one group considers themselves enlightened and the other group barbarians, but they're not exactly flawless; the other group is very wealthy, has different gods and different moral codes, and considers the first group to be weak and divided.
     
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