This article is by Adam Bassett.
I’ve been writing stories since about the age of ten. It began with unfinished fan-fiction novels and has developed into original stories with (hopefully) intriguing settings and characters. During my time working on these projects there has always been a collaborative drive whenever I spoke with another who enjoyed telling a story. I believe it is out of this spirit that Worldbuilding Monthly was born.
I learned of the digital magazine about a week before the first issue was released – this was late in March 2017 – and I immediately fell in love with it. Worldbuilding Monthly is a platform for the greater community of worldbuilders to share their ideas, a place for artists to develop and share their work. It is a place for discussion, encouragement of crazy ideas, and perhaps most importantly it is a centralized platform for sharing quality edited content to help worldbuilders in their endeavors.
A Collaborative Process
The magazine’s team changes for every issue; it is an international team of volunteers, each of whom in some way hopes to help share and teach through the magazine. Postantera is our greatest manifestation of this. The team who has collaborated in this world have shared a few things about it in nearly every issue, as well as a short story to accompany the more technical articles. Since issue one, Postantera has grown from a world inhabited by immortals to a world with specific climates and weather patterns, with heroes and villains and a history written by it’s inhabitants.
A Learning Process
My background in worldbuilding is overall self-taught. I picked a few things up during my time in college but I got started by reading books that I enjoyed, continued through research, and continue to practice. Since joining the Worldbuilding Monthly team I’ve been surrounded by other creative people who want to share ideas and collaborate. A lot of the conversations we have among ourselves either turn into published articles or develop over the course of the writing/editing process. Here are a few things I’ve learned since joining the team, which I think are good quick tips for anybody interested in writing, editing, or just some casual worldbuilding:
- When writing a story, don’t always start with building the world. It might be exciting, but people need something they can understand and relate to. Once you have them hooked, start trickling worldbuilding into the prose and dialogue.
- You may be all-knowing. The people who inhabit your world often cannot be. For realism’s sake, take that history book in your world and remember that it is written in that universe by somebody with a bias. Then, remember that some may oppose the writer’s bias and maybe they have torn pages out or fought against the author.
- Not everything should be explained when worldbuilding in a story. Only say what is needed and move on.
- Be willing to work with others and share ideas. Many of these “rules” may be broken but this might be so vital it cannot be altered. None of the articles we publish were completed by any individual. The true test of worldbuilding is convincing somebody who knows nothing about what you’ve made that it’s a place worth spending time in. The editing process allows for several among the team to weigh in to improve both quality and content. We wouldn’t have made it this far without this crucial step.
Issue 6 and Beyond
I am enormously proud of the team which created Issue 6. It contains some of our best content, and it’s the debut of a new section which features the community’s artwork. This comes at no cost to our usual educational content or the vast array of talking points that we strive for in every issue. The best news: you can read it right now on the forums or on our website.
There is much more to do. Issue 7 and a smaller Postantera-focused mini-magazine are being developed and they are looking incredible. The November mini-magazine will allow us to focus on postantera like never before. Issue 7 will focus on gaming of all kinds. It promises more short stories and an interview I’m very excited about. Keep an eye out for that in early December!
In the spirit of Issue 6, which focused on government, what are the governmental systems of your worlds like? Are they very similar to real world governmental systems, and if not what changes have you made?
We are interested in hearing what the Mythic Scribes community thinks of the magazine. Is there something you would like to see explored more or added? Have any questions for those who made it? Go find us in the forums and let us know!
About the Author:
Adam Bassett is the author of A Package of Moods and a volunteer on the Worldbuilding Magazine writing and art teams.
You may find him at adamcbassett.com, where more information on his personal work is located.