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world building tips ?


An interesting thing about worldbuilding is that people often point to Tolkien as being the gold standard. However, what most people forget is that he did most of his worldbuilding not in the form of encyclopedia like entries. Rather, he just wrote stories where he explored his world. The reason he knew who Hurin was, was not that he'd sat down to write a timeline and figure out the important export of Beleriand. He just wrote the story of Hurin.

That doesn't mean that you shouldn't do any note taking or making lists or drawing up genealogies or whatever. You can and in some cases you should (and Tolkien also did). However, it's just as important I think to put story first.
That is actually wrong to an extent. Tolkien was absolutely anal about things such as geneaology and dates, and he would always sit down and calculate things while writing stories - that is why he said that worldbuilding always began with a map. You are however correct that he did not limit himself to just that: most of his worldbuilding was indeed in terms of stories, and fact that he had stories of the First Age set down (to an extent) was important in writing Lord of the Rings as it allowed him to give his world a sense of history.


Myth Weaver
Looking at the many posts I have seen you put up, the questions you are asking are not the types of things that a writer should be stopped on. All the advice on how to world build and how to make names, and how to write a slave market.... These are things you just got to stop thinking so much on, and go. There's no magic. You write it, you see where it leads, you get better, maybe you write again, maybe you approach the next one with more skill. The questions asked do not convince me world building is the problem. You are asking how to write. Nothing beats that then writing. If you do that, and get questions, they might be more along the lines of helping you with something more specific.