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Why do you want to build a world?

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Silvahkir, Aug 25, 2020.

  1. Silvahkir

    Silvahkir Dreamer

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    My understanding of Tolkien is that his original impetus for writing his stories was to that he wanted a people who spoke the language he had devised. He had many other reasons for writing and his relationship with his stories was complex. It is in light of this that I ask this question. What meaning or relation does the world you create have to you? Can you state the inner logic or impulse the drives you to imagine such a complete thing as a world, full of endless stories and philosophical intricacies that you could never master but perhaps merely hint at?
     
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  2. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Auror

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    I got stories that I feel strongly about. But our world is so lame that it doesn’t have magic and dragons and stuff so I need to make a fake world so the stories can happen in it.

    That’s about the long and short of it.
     
  3. I get paid to build new worlds every day by a crazy gnome with a bazooka and a magic flower wand
     
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  4. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Auror

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    I suppose it's either build the world and the stories within them or my head explodes. That, and as WooHoo has said, there is an intolerable lack of dragons on this world. And even less magic. Or FTL spaceships. Or whatever hundreds of other things too. And sometimes it's just fun to world build. You get to make up new cheeses.
     
  5. Saigonnus

    Saigonnus Auror

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    I build because I like imagining the possibilities of what a world might be like if you design it the way you want with elements that are interesting, fantastic or as dystopic as I want. :p
     
  6. Silvahkir

    Silvahkir Dreamer

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    When I hike in the foothills I like to anticipate the feeling of wonder and fear at seeing a dragon fly over head; or suddenly running into a elf in the woods.
     
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  7. Aldarion

    Aldarion Sage

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    1) I like history
    2) I like mythology
    3) I like fantasy
    4) I like reading
    5) I like writing
    6) I like overthinking things

    Solution? Worldbuilding!
     
  8. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    I wasn't motivated to create a wolrd, I was motivated to modify one. I'm a medieval historian. Once I hit on the notion of taking all the history I know, introducing magic and monsters into it early on, then seeing what transpired, I knew I had something that would keep me occupied for a very long time. My goal with each story, beyond telling a good story, is to retain as much real history as I can while also including fantasy elements in a convincing way.

    So, for me, it's sort of a puzzle or a challenge, upon which I try to build good tales.
     
  9. I'm always drawn in by a question. "What if. . ."

    This can be big plot moving ideas or a small, geographical/natural oddity. Usually one thing leads to another and the world grows out of a simpler idea.

    This may seem silly but one world I am writing in began with the what if of having large, skunk cabbage sized plants that are bioluminescent when they bloom and that only grow along the banks of rivers. That led to night river travel by punt/skiff, which led to the villages that would be found along the river and who occupies them on and on and on. To see/read that world now, in its present state, no one would guess it started with that one simple idea.
     
  10. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

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    I plead insanity. Probably induced by playing with plastic knights and watching the Ranking/Bass Hobbit movie as a kid. The combination of toy dinosaurs and knights pretty much demanded the creation of fantasy worlds... it’s been a psychological downward spiral since, it just got way more complicated ;)

    The world I write in has been developing since i was 12, and there are character names that go back to when I was probably 8.
     
  11. Dutchcourage

    Dutchcourage Acolyte

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    Since my mind is constantly overflowing with fantastical ideas of worlds much cooler than our own, I figured I'd try my hand at writing some of those ideas down. Once I got started it became increasingly difficult to stop.
    So I suppose it's an addiction of sorts ;)
     
  12. ChasingSuns

    ChasingSuns Sage

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    This entire comment pretty much sounds like my childhood as well haha. I was choreographing epic battles and sieges when I was a kid, and some of the events in those have actually made it into my story. Same with characters and plot points. Come to think of it, I think I was 12 as well when I started developing the world I've been working on.
     
  13. Miles Lacey

    Miles Lacey Inkling

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    I've always liked drawing maps of imaginary places. Then I began to create imaginary cultures, faiths and societies to base around the maps.
     
  14. Insolent Lad

    Insolent Lad Inkling

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    Mine is about as old. Well, older, 'cause I'm older! My first world building was definitely an outgrowth of the 'lost worlds' in the novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs.

    As the saying goes, write what you know. And how can you know anything about a fantasy world unless you build it first? :)
     
  15. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

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    Oh yeah, I forgot about the map drawing addiction I once suffered, which culminated in 3 years going beteen Fractal Terrains and Phtoshop to create a semi-satellite style world map, LOL. I never focused on parts of worlds either, the real mapping was always of an entire planet.

    One character name I can trace back the farthest was inspired by watching the Star Trek episode with Gorns. I loved the Gorn, so I combined that with “knight” for Gorknight. The spelling changed, and it didn’t take long to humanize him as I took the name while killing weeds with a wooden sword.

     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2020
  16. Don't we all?
     
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  17. Saigonnus

    Saigonnus Auror

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    My world building goes back to when I was a young teenager (like 12 or 13) after I had a series of recurring lucid dreams; each building off the one before. The foundation of my main world project stems from those dreams. My first homebrew gaming world (D&D 2nd edition) was based on this world and its cultures. It has altered quite a bit over time, mostly in regards to the cultures and countries, but the fundamentals are still the same in regards of what was shown to me in those dreams.
     
  18. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    >6) I like overthinking things

    Now I have to think over what overthinking means. As distinct from just enough thinking.
     
  19. Morgoth_69

    Morgoth_69 Dreamer

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    In my case, it has to do with the high level of imagination that I have. I often find myself imagining how certain situations that occurred in a certain way, would be quite different if one added a pinch of magic.

    Having Tolkien's stories entered my life very early on, the fantasy worlds always had a special space in my mind. As soon as I became interested in writing, the desire to create something of my own was impossible to contain.
     
  20. Saigonnus

    Saigonnus Auror

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    I haven't done that level of world-building, to be honest. I prefer the big picture method; leave the little stuff for the stories so I don't paint myself into a corner. I do know that fantasy/medieval systems were very fragile in general. It didn't take much to upset the local balance, just by changing one thing, or introducing one seemingly tiny thing and everything could change forever.

    Aern, my principal story world does have portals, though perhaps not in the way they exist in most stories. There is a stable magnetic/magic field that surrounds both the planet, and the nearest moon Lant; which is also capable of supporting life (like the forest moon of Endor). Twice a year, for 118 hours (almost 3 days), the fields "rub" and that interaction creates randomly generated portals. They appear on the ground below the contact zone and serve as a two-way door. Over the millennia, people from Aern have encountered these portals and found themselves on the moon when they passed through. These portals are the only reason sentient life exists on Lant at all.
     
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