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What kills believability in a constructed world?

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Teramis, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. Nbafan

    Nbafan Dreamer

    For me, a writer must be consistent. If not, it makes the novel or series extremely unbelievable because they are just able to shift things to suit their plot. Tying in with this is the hero getting by and reaching his goals unscathed. No one goes through life without some struggles and pains and when the hero just kicks ass the entire way without any competition, it destroys the realism that I often like.
  2. mpkirby

    mpkirby Scribe

    I look for three attributes:

    1) The world should be internally consistent. If you make flying rocks, there should be a reason for it (or for the rocks flying and nothing else).

    2) The characters in the world should behave consistently as compared to the rules of their world. For example RR Martin's world is unbelievably brutal. And his characters (good and bad alike) behave consistently with that world. Sometimes good characters doing bad things relative to what the reader's world would do.

    3) The world must be relatable to the reader. Creating a world with arbitrary and capricious rules that make no sense to a modern reader is a problem. For example in "The Hunger games" I have several issues. What kind of wacko world treats its children the way that world does. Even in roman times or the middle ages, children were considered a maleable asset even by those who would brutalize the parents. And the disconnect in wealth seems also inconsistent. For a world that can create matter out of thin air how is it that coal is the one thing that the society needs. It's a stretch. And finally why use children as a way to control the adults. Just round up 200 people in a village and kill them all if they get out of line. If a society isn't afraid of brutality, then there are easier ways to control a society.

    Nihilium 7th likes this.
  3. arroncook

    arroncook Dreamer

    It might sound strange, but I think sometimes, a world written in too much detail. If you write every single detail in such descriptive length that there's nothing left for me to create in my mind, it feels too "wooden" and too difficult to picture consistently in my mind whilst I read.
  4. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

    I agree, over-thinking is a major problem. I think that's one of the things that points out a new writer, someone who spent way too much time planning their novel, and not enough time writing it. While I appreciate imagination and creativity, there's a place where it crosses the line for me, and treads into the realm of indulgence and then written masterb**ion.
  5. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

    Like that one guy who wrote the entire book in Elvish? :D
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