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I can't see my World

Discussion in 'World Building' started by daydreamer, Mar 5, 2016.

  1. daydreamer

    daydreamer Scribe

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    my book is well underway and i'm really enjoying the story but you see i kinda went in half a**ed. i got the story first and it came so clear, i know exactly how it ends and the entire journey. somethings have changed but it stays true to the story. ok now about my problem, i want my world to be different unlike most fantasies with medieval settings or what ever. the world is not earth and i don't want to go for castles and all that regular stuff, where the story takes place is also a theocracy. i was thinking of using egypt for influences and other cultures to come up with something new, i'm still doing research and stuff but what i'm getting at is i can't see my world. i can close my eyes and see the characters clearly acting out this story but around them is emptiness or just a few shapes so i've been just using whats necessary until i finally 'see' it and omit most of the descriptions for the surrounding focusing on the story alone. do you think this is wise? should i take a hiatus from writing and try to imagine my world before continuing or carry on and when it comes i fill in?
     
  2. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

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    For me, story influences the world and world influences the story. The two elements play off each other. The reason I say this is because beware of shoehorning a world into a story where it just doesn't fit.

    Different for the sake of being different can put you into neck deep into the muck. Not all worlds need to be rich tapestries. They just have to fit the needs of your story. Sometimes that's a rich tapestry. Other times it can be a near blank slate with only spots of richness.

    You say the story came to you clearly, so that clarity didn't include an extremely rich and developed world. Again beware, the clarity of that story can be muddied up by dropping in too much world building.

    With that said, it's wise to get some distance before you start tearing into things. Maybe find some beta readers to give you their impressions. Do they notice or dislike the blank slate of a world, or could they care less because the story is engaging and the only thing they care about?
     
    Ben likes this.
  3. trentonian7

    trentonian7 Troubadour

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    I'd be more than happy to throw around ideas to help you develop an image for your world. You said a theocracy with Egyptian influences; what kind of climate and terrain do you imagine? Hot deserts? Wet woodland? Cold mountains? Etc. This affects your economy, architecture, clothing, and other important cultural aspects.

    What level of technology do you imagine? What kind of weapons and armor exist?

    Those are the biggest things you need to decide before you get into the details and cool little things in the background that give your world flavor and make it seem bigger than it is.
     
  4. daydreamer

    daydreamer Scribe

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    thank you, this makes a lot of sense. i don't really want to go way out there with the world and ruin the story but i want it to be interesting and refreshing. its weird how excited i am to read something new and different weather with the world or the story and i want my readers to have that feeling too.
     
  5. daydreamer

    daydreamer Scribe

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    thank you for the reply trentonian7, the story is based around a group of people who invaded and seized a large portion of land from another group of people. after they defeat the aboriginals with both sides using supernatural powers in the war, the aboriginals are sealed away. years later the invaders have settled and the aboriginal are returning for vengeance. sorry about being so vague but i really don't like having people see much of my work, i know its a flaw that im working on, but don't think it because i don't trust you guys. that said religion is a big thing in my world and places of worship called sepace for now, at the moment i'm reading asofi series and i fear i may have subconsciously just tweaked the word sept and want to change that, anyway i want those to be basically the castles of this world just really huge buildings. other than that i don't really have much. ughhhhhhh i know its pretty bad and for the climate its mostly dry season and wet season except in certain part where snow falls. the continent is small and was largely forested before the invasion other than that i have some large mountain ranges and valleys of course but nothing else special.
     
  6. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    You really are in it, daydreamer. You will have to come up with political systems, economics, climate, clothing, customs, all of it. At some point, you wind up using familiar conventions. Even that word "theocracy" is fundamentally European. Even your characters, whom you envision so clearly, are almost certainly exhibit behaviors that fit most into whatever is your culture (I'm assuming industrialized West).

    I agree with Penpilot. Difference for the sake of being different is rarely a good idea. Difference for the sake of story is nearly always a good idea.

    Why not stay firmly in the familiar, but add in twists and nuances where the story seems to call for it? Sometimes, the single difference standing amid familiarity can be even more striking that an entire world of differences.
     
  7. daydreamer

    daydreamer Scribe

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    it seems my replies aren't going through
     
  8. Sheilawisz

    Sheilawisz Queen of Titania Moderator

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    Hello Daydreamer, and Welcome to Mythic Scribes!

    In case your replies take some time to become visible, please wait for them to show up. The situation is that the Security Filters are catching your posts for some reason, so they have to be checked out and validated by a Moderator before being released.

    We are always happy to have new members with interesting ideas like yours, but please from now on use proper spelling and grammar according to the rules that you can find right here.

    Thanks!
     
  9. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Hm. Sheilawisz's post caused me to wonder if magic might have security or privacy aspects. No thread hijack intended.
     
  10. trentonian7

    trentonian7 Troubadour

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    Actually, thread hijack intended. This is a stickup
     
  11. daydreamer

    daydreamer Scribe

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    i want to thank you guys for your help, i have been doing some serious work and finally have a solid foundation that i am building on.
     
  12. Malik

    Malik Auror

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    When I write, I envision the world as one of the main characters.

    The world itself is a living, breathing place, with its own problems and its own issues, and even an attitude of sorts. Not that the planet itself is sentient or anything; it's just that the world impacts the story and vice versa. When you have a thoroughly developed world, you can drop a thoroughly developed character into it, put a goal in his head, and then just watch and write down what happens.
     
  13. Jim Aikin

    Jim Aikin Scribe

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    The setting will influence everything -- what people are wearing, what they eat, their status relationships, the kinds of weapons they use, everything. My advice would be, stop working on the story and build a world in which the story can take place.

    I agree that castles and Medieval stuff is way overdone! Egypt might be a good starting point. Tonight I was glancing at a book by Guy Gavriel Kay that uses China as a starting point. India could be good, as it's probably less well used in the U.S. Mesoamerica may be too weirdly bloodthirsty (the Aztec habit of human sacrifice, notably), but if you tidy it up a bit it could work. Or how about colonial North America?
     
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