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How many MPG do you get for your fantasy worlds?

Discussion in 'World Building' started by A Pineapple, Feb 19, 2021.

When creating a new world, how many works do you plan to put into it?

  1. One book

    6 vote(s)
    35.3%
  2. Short series (trilogy)

    1 vote(s)
    5.9%
  3. Long series/Saga

    3 vote(s)
    17.6%
  4. Long series + Novellas

    7 vote(s)
    41.2%
  1. A Pineapple

    A Pineapple Dreamer

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    Many people on here seem to put vast amounts of effort into creating/building fantasy worlds. So my question is how many works do you normally get out of your newly created worlds? Does the amount of works/books you intend to write from a fantasy world impact how detailed you get when designing it?
     
  2. I write however many books I feel like the world needs. I usually don't know how much that is until after it's all done. Also, my WB process is much more about the impact the world-building elements have on the work. I have a tiered system that determines the detail I will provide depending on the impact the world-building element has on the story. However many books that takes has at most an indirect impact on the level of detail for the world-building.
     
    DVAus and StrawhatOverlord like this.
  3. Chasejxyz

    Chasejxyz Troubadour

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    When I wrote my short story Aphelion, a lot of the world-building happened as I wrote it, knocking around in the back of my head but not really compiled anywhere. WHY are all the characters anthropomorphic? What made everything all cyberpunk? That's not really important to the story so it never came up, and I don't really know, either. If I revisit the story or write more in that setting, then I'd build more. I tend to be pretty high wordcount wise so by limiting the worldbuilding I do, the easier it is to write the story.

    I have ADHD so I was always very "yeah, but WHY" when I was little/learning, because there's always a layer beneath things, and that's generally how my worldbuilding goes, too, and a lot of that gets triggered by the things I'm writing. A character is going to do some restoration work at the temple, okay, why is it there? Who built it? Because its a temple for birds and birds really can't build stone buildings. Which means they need people to build other types of buildings, there's a clear class stratification here, there's going to be uneven distribution of money/resources, how would people feel about that...? Sometimes I gotta stop myself, because I will get lost in wordbuilding, and knowing what chemical inclusins in crystals make them better suited for different types of magic isn't anything that's going to ever be used so I have force myself to stop. With a shorter story I stop myself way, way, way before that.
     
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  4. Aldarion

    Aldarion Inkling

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    When I finish creating my world, all my books and works will be set in it.
     
  5. Mad Swede

    Mad Swede Troubadour

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    I don't think in those terms at all. When I started writing my focus was on the characters and the story to be told, creating the world simply followed on form this. By that I mean that I built the world to the degree needed to tell the stories. That meant the world had to be consistent, it had to have some sort of history, some sort of economy and geography etc. What has since happened is that the books and short stories I've written are set in the same world, and they're all linked, but that wasn't intentional from the start. I sometimes think people get too focussed on creating their world (or specific aspects of it) and forget that as authors we're supposed to be telling a story.
     
    DVAus likes this.
  6. TJPoldervaart

    TJPoldervaart Scribe

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    During one of his lectures on YouTube, Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn, Stormlight Archive) advised aspiring authors to write novels as standalones with the potential to become series. Maybe it doesn't work for everyone, but I liked the advice and took it to heart. As such, I create an entirely new world for every new project I start. I suppose you could make different stories in the same world, but I like to fit my world to the characters and story I want to write, so this works for me.

    Having said that, creating a new world doesn't mean I go crazy on worldbuilding. Not sure if this is normal for someone writing fantasy, but I become bored with worldbuilding if I create too much stuff I'm never going to use. I like to come up with a vague idea of the world first, then expand it in the areas my story and characters would interact with. I'll add a few more details to bring the world to live while writing and revising. And if I ever get the opportunity to write a second book in a series, I'll expand on the world where that story needs it again.
     
  7. StrawhatOverlord

    StrawhatOverlord Minstrel

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    Well I had several more ideas for both protagonists and antagonists than the ones I settled on, so I could probably make more stories than my current WIP in the same world, but I don't know how many exactly.

    My supernatural horror/mystery setting is pretty loosely defined so I just write short stories in it whenever I get an idea for one. It has no theoretical "end" to speak of.

    I had a "manga" idea in highschool, which I suppose could be a webcomic or something, but I can't draw very well and haven't touched it in forever.
     
  8. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    So far I've got three novels, two novelettes, and three short stories out of Altearth, with more under development.

    I want to add a codicil, though. While Altearth is one world, every time I've gone down into the depths of a specific story, I wind up having to do a ton of worldbuilding. It's one thing to say where the seas and mountains lie, and quite another to decide what is around the corner just outside the town square. Those specifics take a good deal of time and imagination, and are often far more intimately connected to the story than is general history or geography. I sometimes think it's not the world that plays out, it's the characters and particular settings that run out of gas.
     
  9. Snowpoint

    Snowpoint Sage

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    If I could write one book in a setting, I'll call that a win.
    I like imagining interesting places. Ideally, that unique place would create unique challenges to write about.
     
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  10. Gurkhal

    Gurkhal Auror

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    Since I love deep and messy fantasy worlds I try to get as many stories in as I can.
     
  11. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Auror

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    I have written one standalone, but for my current series:
    Crax War Chronicles: 2 Published novels, 2 more planned (series will end). One of those is 30,000 words written thus. Could write a prequel novella or novelette, if it seems right.
    First Civilization's Legacy Series: 3 Published novels, two more to be written to finish the series.
    Monsters, Maces and Magic Series: 3 Published Novels, 2 novellas and one novelette. I have two novels planned (one of those has 20,000 words written so far), but anticipate at least 6 more to finish the series.
     
  12. Insolent Lad

    Insolent Lad Maester

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    All my fantasy novels so far (but not the short stories) are set in the same world but there are several series, set in different times and places. I pretty much always figure a novel in a new time and place will become another series. How long the series might prove to be is an unknown. My longest is the Mora series--I'm working on the eighth of a projected nine. Essentially, a trilogy of trilogies. So far, 18 novels have been published in what I refer to as the 'D-World' (after Donzalo, the protagonist of the first of them).

    I admit to doing some preliminary developmental work on a novel set in a completely different fantasy world. I would not be surprised to see it become a series, if and when I write it.
     
  13. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Just to be clear, MPG does or does not stand for Mages per Goblin?
    <g>
     
  14. Malik

    Malik Auror

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    I have 15 more novels currently plotted using the worldbuilding I've put together over the past ~20 years, in three different genres. (I just finished a contemporary military SF novel set in the same world as my last two epic fantasy novels.) At 2 years per book, I will very likely die before I get this whole series out, so yeah, I'm done worldbuilding. I hope that, in 15-20 years or so, I can find an apprentice with a great head for voice to whom I can bequeath the series and all my worldbuilding bibles.
     
  15. Prince of Spires

    Prince of Spires Inkling

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    It does. It's a common way of measure for the magical strength of an army or city. Though the most common measure is mMPG, or milliMages per Gobling, as in number of mages per 1.000 goblins. Of course, it varies as the number of goblins varies. But it is a common observation about your chances of survival: "We have 1mMPG, we should be safe" or "we only have 0.01 mMPG, we're in deep trouble and help should arrive soon".

    As for the actual question of the topic, for me it's a "How long is a piece of string" kind of question. I have a standalone novella (which is only standalone because I'm not motivated yet to write a sequel). I have a novel in another world, which started life as a short story and kind of grew in the telling, and I have plans for a sequel. I have a novel set in a different world again, which feels like other adventures could be told in the same world (though not a direct sequel), and then I'm also building a bigger world which feels like there's lots of stories to be told in there, from a fantasy version of Star Wars episode 4 to something resembling the first crusade to other, completely different stories.

    All in all, it varies greatly. I think it differs a bit on how I came up with the world. The novella for instance started with a specific story I wanted to tell. I've now told that and it's part of the reason I don't really feel a need to go back there. The whole multi-story world on the other hand started with two story idea's colliding and growing into a setting which is much bigger than either of those two stories. And the world is growing independent of those stories, which makes me want to explore it more.

    There's two sides to this advice. From a commercial perspective it makes sense, since it's easier to sell a single standalone than to sell a complete serries for a new author. But the it's easier to sell the sequel to a book someone liked than to sell a completely new world to them.

    But the other side, which is often overlooked, is that beginning authors are just not very good (I definitely hope my first novel is not my best...). And if all your works are in the same universe and people have to read nr1 for the rest to make sense, then you might never get people to actually read the later books, since nr 1 will be the worst. For instance, if I want someone to get into the Discworld novels, I will not give them the first (since it's the worst), but I will give them one from the middle.
     
  16. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    I realized a long time ago that worlds are big - big enough to hold all kinds of races and peoples and nations with stories set among each. I took to combining my worlds, different areas for different types of projects. The maps of most fantasy worlds I've seen are actually just *parts* of worlds, and frequently rather small parts.

    That said, not counting Earth, I have four distinct planetary settings: Char (the primary world, where most of the stories are set), Aquas (secondary world, where the current WIP takes place along with a couple older tales on the 'to be finished list'), Dagon's World (which was part of the setting for 'Empire: Spiral' and probably a few short stories when I get the time), and the Lovecraftian 'Eldritch World,' which will be the setting for a pile of shorter works.
     
  17. I'm pretty new to world building and serious writing, but here's what I've planned and begun. I created a new world, an earth like planet I haven't named, and created a country. That country is Clayce, "the country of mages." Clayce is a country where my characters are born with an incomplete harmony with magick and they must individually bond with a fey to complete their "magicka core" and thus receive magick potency. This country will have a trilogy written about it. Next I have a country of mages that are born with magic. These people are a part of a war torn country where magic was weeded out and largely killed off making magic rare but also now it's very desirable. In another country there will be a country of elves. I plan to write single books revolving around these other countries and then one final whole world book where I take the protagonists from each the trilogy and the individual countries and put them into one grand adventure. Or at least that's the plan currently. I'm still working on the trilogy but this plan didn't necessarily fit into any one option for the poll so I figured I'd add more detail. I haven't decided officially how many different countries there will be, but I do know that I plan to expand upon the world beyond the original trilogy because I like the rules of the world. I know many probably won't agree with my plan or like what I'm doing, but it's something that resonates with me as a sound plan.
     
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