Worldbuilding Respond, Answer, Ask (March Edition)



  • After the marvelous success of actually posting last month, I have high expectations for how this month will go. :)


    What is the Worldbuilding Respond, Answer, Ask?

    Are you a fantasy writer? A science fiction writer? A historical fiction writer? A fanfiction writer? Are you struggling to figure out what exactly your world is about?

    Congrats! You found a thread that will give you prompts to think about aspects of your world you may not have thought about before. How does it work?

    I'll leave a question at the end of this post. The first person to find the thread will post an answer to that question, and leave a question at the end of their post.

    Then another person will arrive. They'll read the first person's post, leave a response (maybe compliment something, or ask a question about something) to the first person's answer. Then, they'll answer the question that person left from the perspective of their world, and leave a question for the next person at the end of their post.

    Something like:

    Q: What is travel like in your world?
    P1: Easy. Portals are usually kept in temples, and getting a mage to open it to a specific location is as easy as having a couple coins.
    P1: leaves question How frivolous are the rich of your world?

    P2: responds to P1 Wow, that sounds nice! Are there any side effects to using portals?
    P2: answers P1's question
    P2: leaves their own question

    And so forth.

    Some notes!

    Your world doesn't need to be a secondary world to answer. Writing a novel set in 1735? Is your story set exactly tomorrow, but with werewolves? Though many questions here tend to apply to secondary worlds, there are plenty others that you can use to fit your modern (or other) setting. If you keep getting stuck behind either questions that can't apply to your world (maybe you don't have magic), then feel free to either pick from a previous question that does apply to your world OR ask for other participants to try posting some more world-neutral questions.
    (If you're socially awkward and don't want to do that on the thread, feel free to PM me and I'll help ya out :) )

    Sometimes posts get long. It happens. Don't flip out. If it's what you need to explain a concept fully and understandably, then do so. On that note:

    Try to write about a paragraph when you post. It's hard to respond when you write two sentences about X element of your world. On the same hand as long posts, sometimes a topic doesn't require a lot of explanation. And that's totally okay! But try not to let one-sentence-answers become a habit.

    Topics can be whatever you think of.

    Don't forget to respond! Responding to other peoples worlds is part of what makes this thread as much fun as it is! Even if all you have to say is "That sounds so awesome" or "That's so weird O.o" -- say it!

    If you have any other questions, feel free to ask!

    Question for the beginning of the month:



  • Seeing as the bit where the questions' supposed to be is blank (at least for me, so if there is actually something there this is going to be quite awkward), allow me to make up a question: Are there any made up languages in your world?

    Off the top of my head, I've got one, though I may have a second one? I don't have proper names yet, but the first one is what I've dubbed 'Tremisian Standard'. In universe it's an amalgamation of different languages native to the tremisian people, very much along the lines of Esperanto, and was invented to encourage communication with the entire species. Almost all tremisians know it, whether as a first or second language, because it's required for the vast majority of texts and manuscripts and so forth, and often gets used in conversations as well. You have quite a few tremisians who refuse to use it though, because it's argued that the language is an attempt to eradicate regional cultures.
    Out of universe, it's a vaguely-described thing I've been busting my ass trying to make into a more proper conlang, but because I overcomplicated it for myself as a first-time conlanger, it's just kind of sat there collecting dust xD I'm still working on it off and on, but it's certainly no Sindarin or Dothraki, lol

    Q: What aspect(s) of your worldbuilding are you struggling with at the moment, and what do you want to do to build on it?



  • @shy_not_fly17 said in Worldbuilding Respond, Answer, Ask (March Edition):

    Q: What aspect(s) of your worldbuilding are you struggling with at the moment, and what do you want to do to build on it?

    A: Wow. Right now I'm trying to properly describe the new planet and how things are different from Earth, but through characters who only know Earth. Also, the people in charge are using the Unrein for science experiments and slaves. One of them wasn't a 'bad' person before this and it's hard to show his belief in this being right, and still have some redeeming qualities.

    Are you leaving yourself room to expand your world with sequels or spin-offs?



  • headdesk that space wasn't intentionally left blank >.>

    @Shy_Not_Fly17
    I love all of this about the tremisians because I feel like it's too common to just make the entire species have one culture and that's less fun imo. Even though it's just more stress to actually worldbuild it. :D

    @toasha What's the Unrein?

    Aye, that's hard. Maybe focus on his good traits? He may be using terrible means to reach the ends, but maybe there are still points of morality that he refuses to cross or nice things he does for the people he cares about?

    Q: What aspect(s) of your worldbuilding are you struggling with at the moment, and what do you want to do to build on it?

    all of them.

    :)

    tbh though, the element that I need to work on the most that I'm not working on would have to be politics. That requires a much deeper level of worldbuilding than I've had the energy to work in, but I feel like that political map, on a small scale (citywide) and large scale (inter/national) will be more than necessary with explaining some relationships clearly and helping with the future of the plot.

    What do I want to do to build on it? Stop being lazy and put some effort into this world's building. Will I? Well, I'm pretty sure until I do it, the plot won't get any easier to put together. But I'm also putting a low amount of energy into this story/world bc it was created as somewhere to write and not stress about the finer details. So until they become critical, I probably won't do anything major. >.<

    Q: Are you leaving yourself room to expand your world with sequels or spin-offs?

    Technically yeah but not on purpose. It's more like... when I build a world with a decent amount of detail, stories spring up around those details. My other major fantasy world has several novel ideas and short stories because of this. In Teslal, I've played with the idea of a sequel, or I guess side novel, since it wouldn't follow any of the characters in D&D, but I'm not sure I'll ever care enough to put it into words.

    Now. The novel will probably be open-ended to the degree that I could write a sequel if I wanted to. At this point in time, I have no intentions to. shrug

    There is a very minor character for which I have an idea for a novel and one day it might come to fruition. But his story will spend very little time in Teslal's world for plot related reasons. (It's sorta a prequel I suppose. A prequel about why this random bartender you don't even care about is a cynical ass who doesn't care about everyone/thing. Not... not much else. Not even sure if it counts as a 'sequel' or 'spin-off' for the aforementioned reasons.)

    Q: What part of your world interests you the most?



  • @toasha I concur with typical, focusing on those more positive traits sounds like a good idea :)

    @typical_demigod Eh, don't worry, it happens. At least it kicked off a conversation :P
    And yeah, it is more stress, but it satisfies me to know that I'm putting more thought into it than "they all speak the same language, they all look the same, and they all wear hats."
    Half of the fun is also making a couple stereotypes about my aliens and then immediately taking the piss out of them—tremisians are 'supposed to be' Spock-ish engineers/'hard' scientists, but my main tremisian is a linguist ['soft' science]; arretians are 'peaceful tree-huggers with maternal instincts towards nature' and my main arretian is a grumpy biologist who gives less than exactly three fucks and just wants to do her job rather than deal with a bunch of strange adolescent humans running around.

    Q: What part of your world interests you the most?

    Tough question, if I'm honest. I like exploring languages and language barriers, I'm also interested in cultures and customs and how people from differing ones would interact (with hilarious/unfortunate/pleasant results), particularly the way humans and aliens would interact due to these differences. By extension, there's also politics, and how that would affect everything from both whole planets' foreign policies to the concept of personhood in law (eg. would a tremisian be allowed to get away with murder if he has not been legally defined as a person by Terran laws, and vice versa?) to economics and trade.
    I think, in general, it's the fact that there would be so many implications (big or small) on a societal, governmental and even spiritual level upon the discovery of other intelligent lifeforms in the universe, that interests me about my world. How much different would the future be if such beings came to our doorstep? Would we share technology and knowledge too? Would the religions of both species see an opportunity to spread their faiths, or exclude humans/tremisians from conversion? Would people going to either planet convert currency or would a whole new system/currency have to be devised for interplanetary transactions?

    (coughcoughwhatwouldhappenifyouinfectedanotherspecieswithoneofyourviruses?coughcough)

    Q: What is the central element to your worldbuilding? (ie. What is the majority of your worldbuilding based off/around, eg. magic; religion; the idea of a civilisation being run by a specific type of government; a philosophy; what would happen if you took [X] country and do [Y] or combine it with [Z] country?)

    (EDITED: I forgot to make a response to the above posts, my sincere apologies)
    (EDITED PRT 2: Spelling errors, I'm in a grammar nazi mood today xD)



  • @Shy_Not_Fly17 I feel all of those things :D

    Also yes to everything in your post lol. Even with mostly similar cultures those are my favorite things to explore. It's also why Earthlings will probably never be finished because a large part of it is exploring these implications, although on a somewhat different level because they've been a part of human life for something like 150 years by the time the novel takes place.

    (coughcoughwhatwouldhappenifyouinfectedanotherspecieswithoneofyourviruses?coughcough)

    that's called "rude" >.>

    Q: What is the central element to your worldbuilding? (ie. What is the majority of your worldbuilding based off/around?)

    Random generators. Like, Teslal and pretty much all the characters were created because I was extremely bored one afternoon, I found a random site, and I randomly generated a world, inhabitants, and... possibly ideas for the plot? Idk I have the original document with everything I generated on my computer, but I'm too lazy to go look at it lol

    After the foundations were laid, it turned into whims and aesthetic. Like. For the most part this is a very pseudo-medieval setting, but there are some weird/random elements here and there that don't necessarily fit with what's already been established and I've put it upon myself to make it fit because if I want it there, it's going to be there. :| (coughcoughrodeo)

    Anyway. This world was crafted because I didn't want to worry super hard about consistency and whatnot, and it's mostly stayed that way. I've developed better reasons for why some things are the way they are that way it's easier to write around, but for the most part, I'm still coming at it from a "I'm going to include this thing because I want to and as long as it makes sense, nothing else matters :) "

    Q: What're your own personal tropes? (eg, you tend to write a certain type of character, your characters tend to share X trait, your stories tend to have Y theme(s), etc.)



  • @typical_demigod

    Also yes to everything in your post lol. Even with mostly similar cultures those are my favorite things to explore. It's also why Earthlings will probably never be finished because a large part of it is exploring these implications, although on a somewhat different level because they've been a part of human life for something like 150 years by the time the novel takes place.

    As we say in my Discord group, that's a 'mood'. I've basically forced myself to sit down, write those aforementioned questions, and go through each and every single one answering them in fair detail. At the moment, I'm stuck dealing with a question related to the antagonist's motivations because I haven't...actually...made the antagonist yet... .-.
    Ah well, good time to address that and fix it, at least.

    that's called "rude" >.>

    Is it apt that that reminded me of this?:

    After the foundations were laid, it turned into whims and aesthetic. Like. For the most part this is a very pseudo-medieval setting, but there are some weird/random elements here and there that don't necessarily fit with what's already been established and I've put it upon myself to make it fit because if I want it there, it's going to be there. :| (coughcoughrodeo)

    coughcough There must be some kind of bug going around...

    Q: What're your own personal tropes?

    laughs Let me see...

    • Supernatural/Paranormal Elements eg. Superpowers, Magic, Non-human races
    • Teen Protagonists though that does make sense because I'm seventeen and thus I connect a bit better when writing those types of viewpoint characters
    • Multicultural to be more specific, characters who come from or are a part of many different cultures, or settings that are as such
    • I've had a few characters (current and previous) who in some way or another fit the trope of Tall, Dark & Snarky, which has also coincided with my Bad Boy and just generally badass characters
    • Setting or Characters Are Somehow British or Brit-esque ...an example being an old WIP that I've since dropped where the protagonist had a British accent but lived in a fantasy setting where that literally makes no sense. At least the current cast are justified in that they all actually come from Britain xD (this trope may be down to the fact that I haven't read an awful lot of books set in a Modern Day UK)
    • 'Eye-catching' Colours I shit you not, all of the main six in my story have Significant-Looking Eyes (see what I did there with that bold pun? :P ). Effectively, they are Important and nothing else needs to be described. This is a trope I'm trying to steer away from, mostly because it's arguably the most cliché trope I've used, by describing their eyes in ways more than just the colour
    • Short/Bad Tempers I also have a huge tendency to make it a very bad idea to piss my characters off. You have some like Jake or Fallon who are fairly quick to anger and Don't Take Shit Kindly, or you'll have characters like Jenna who take longer, but compensate by being absolutely vicious when you press the wrong button hard enough
    • Smart Characters Exactly what it says on the tin, most of my characters are (academically, streetwise, or otherwise) intelligent/cunning/wise in some aspect, or have a particular focus that they're knowledgeable in
    • Finally, one that seems to be specific to my current story (I actually have another WIP lined up for worldbuilding, but it's not developed enough to really have its own tropes) is Characters In Poor [Mental] Health. Due to the setting and the circumstances, the main six have varying degrees of health problems already, but they've also got mental health issues; I hadn't even realised this was a trope until I made a quick list and realised 'oh shit, they all have/will have some of these problems.' Which has now reminded me to add that to the list of things to extensively research so I can get it right x3

    Those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head, but I'm sure there's more that I've missed or haven't picked up on xD

    Q: Are there characters within your story that you connect to/get into the mindset of easier than others, and if so, why do you think that's the case?



  • @shy_not_fly17

    Q: What're your own personal tropes?

    You just so happened to include all of my favorites. (When you're finished with your project do give me a 'call' as I'd like to read it.) I think its rather interesting how you've blended so many different tropes together, as some may think it wouldn't work. I disagree. I think that when you use them together, especially one character, though maybe not all at once, it greats someone with more depth much easier and a much more interesting story.

    Q: Are there characters within your story that you connect to/get into the mindset of easier than others, and if so, why do you think thats the case?

    I can typically get into the mindset of every character if it's needed, especially for different POVs, but the main character is typically the easiest. One reason I write is that I have too much in my head not to. The main reason is my maladaptive daydreaming (unlike regular daydreams, they continue in a set storyline changing as your interests do, and in some extreme cases consume all other thoughts and make it near impossible to separate reality from imagination- fun times though mine isn't that severe.)

    Anyway, when I daydream, I don't imagine myself doing anything. I never have, rather I imagine a character. I see through their eyes and do as they do to the point where I sometimes actually move as they do. Because of this, I can write exactly as they feel because it's exactly how I'm feeling when I 'play' them. One reason I struggle with keeping a story going is my point of view changes to another and it's hard to get them back once their gone.

    Q: How often do you think of new ideas for your stories and how often do they actually make it into the final draft?



  • Look at all the activity on this thread, omg. :D

    I'm gonna try and answer some questions and put my participation in this month. Because this thread needs even more love and CRAA is still being difficult for me (maybe when I finish this damn chapter -.-)

    @Sunny Wow, that's really interesting. I didn't know that was a thing. o.o

    Also, hi! It's always nice to see more people joining in on these.^.^

    Q: What aspect(s) of your worldbuilding are you struggling with at the moment, and what do you want to do to build on it?

    All of them all the time. Worldbuilding is a struggle for me. Although, my main hurdle at the moment is incorporating certain things into the actual story without going into 'explainy' mode. With certain things I can do that, but I can't have my characters stop and explain the damn calendar they've been following since birth like it's new to anyone. :|

    What we're still working on building is... Everything outside of Valcrest. Terra is going to be especially important moving forward and it's a huge empire about twice the size of Valcrest at least. That means different forms of government, different ways magic behaves, different religions, calendars, figures of speech. Pretty much everything we've spent the past seven years perfecting for Valcrest... Over and over again. So that is... Terrifying. >.>

    Are you leaving yourself room to expand your world with sequels or spin-offs?
    .....HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    We have like five spinoff ideas a day at this point. It's a fucking problem. :|

    Q: What part of your world interests you the most?

    If you mean what aspect of it, it has to be the mythology. Valcrest mythology is honestly a point of creative pride to us now.

    If you mean an actual part of the world... Blackpond. I love writing Blackpond. That city is such a beautiful mess to me and the people there are just real fighters in every sense of the world. I've gained such respect for War as well because of it. I think that of all the Twins he and Death get the worst rep. >.>

    Q: What is the central element to your worldbuilding?

    For Valcrest, everything revolves around religion and enlightenment. This is a world were randomly gaining power when you turn twelve is a normal aspect of existence for some people. It's mundane to them. And in those circumstances, even if Gods aren't proven real... Your neighbor's kid can move things with his mind, why wouldn't Gods be real?

    Q: What're your own personal tropes?

    What isn't a trope at this point? :P

    I'm not going to TV Tropes for this because ha, no, I've lost enough of my life. But there are things that I eventually always end up writing:

    • Family relationships: character has no family? Not a problem. That's what friends are for!
    • Emotional flashbacking: I've done this one in Shadows Rise already with Sebastian. Although, this one is definitely not as prominent now as it used to be.
    • Characters repeating lines other characters have told them: That's a thing I've only recently realized that I do. But apparently, I've done that a lot.
    • The 'something' with a heart of gold: Literally all of my characters who aren't straight up villains. :P

    Q: Are there characters within your story that you connect to/get into the mindset of easier than others, and if so, why do you think that's the case?

    Not really. I tend to slip into my characters' heads really easy when I write them, which... Sometimes bothers me if said character is straight up a horrible inhuman piece of crap. Because I don't enjoy relating to them as much as I do. I try not to think about it. >.>

    Q: How often do you think of new ideas for your stories and how often do they actually make it into the final draft?

    Pretty often and if I don't, my co-writer will. And most of them do. Although final drafts are difficult to speak for at this point. A lot of our random ideas end up being more world related than anything and there's always something that needs tweaking with that. Because of course there is. =.=

    Q: Is there anything major you've had to cut from your story altogether because you couldn't make it work?



  • @Sunny To be perfectly honest, I hadn't even realised I'd blended so many tropes, as you put it, but now you've mentioned it I can see it. Must be because I love going on TV Tropes so much xD

    I've heard of maladaptive daydreaming, and I've looked it up before; while I'm not a believer in self-diagnosis, I have wondered if I also have some form of this myself. Regardless, I do find daydreaming through another character to be interesting. When your POV changes to another character, how long does it usually take for that character's viewpoint to return, if at all?

    Q: How often do you think of new ideas for your stories and how often do they actually make it into the final draft?
    Before I hit a stage of consistently feeling pretty low, I had a tendency to have a quite a few ideas which I'd always write down in my notebook or in a word doc so it's all in one place. They didn't always get implemented or carried into later drafts, but eh, that happens.
    Nowadays, that stream's dried up a little, but I think I compensate by implementing more of the ideas I think of :)

    @Blackbird Ikr? Nice to finally see WRAA getting a bit more love (also helps that I'm shifting my focus more to my worldbuilding ^_^)

    What we're still working on building is... Everything outside of Valcrest. Terra is going to be especially important moving forward and it's a huge empire about twice the size of Valcrest at least. That means different forms of government, different ways magic behaves, different religions, calendars, figures of speech. Pretty much everything we've spent the past seven years perfecting for Valcrest... Over and over again. So that is... Terrifying. >.>

    I can't wait to hear more about this (provided it's not because it's driving you insane, of course) :P

    .....HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    We have like five spinoff ideas a day at this point. It's a fucking problem. :|

    Could I...maybe borrow whatever magic writing mojo juice you're drinking? xD

    I'm not going to TV Tropes for this because ha, no, I've lost enough of my life.

    Me too, my dude...stares off into the distant horizon Me too.

    Q: Is there anything major you've had to cut from your story altogether because you couldn't make it work?
    Well, at the very beginning, all the way back in Draft One up to...Draft Twelve? Draft Thirteen? I can't remember. Aaaaaanyway, the initial story never had aliens; it was a story about runaway teens kidnapped by a shady organisation headed by a megalomaniac middle-aged woman who found a meteor that somehow gave people superpowers, and to keep them under her thumb she used some vague form of 'Amnesia Serum' (or was it a machine?...I'm not too sure, doesn't matter anyways) so she could get on with World Domination. Basically, the idea was that runaways + superpowers - memories + possibly mind control, it was a long time ago = Angst.
    And apparently, of all the things I throw into my story, an amnesia plot is the one I struggled with shrugs and smiles
    In my defence, I was twelve xD

    Q: What would you say is the biggest difference, if any, between the original story/world and its current draft?



  • @Shy_Not_Fly17

    I've heard of maladaptive daydreaming, and I've looked it up before; while I'm not a believer in self-diagnosis, I have wondered if I also have some form of this myself. Regardless, I do find daydreaming through another character to be interesting. When your POV changes to another character, how long does it usually take for that character's viewpoint to return, if at all?

    If they do return they typically don't do it on their own unless I have completely immersed myself once more in whatever interest brought them on. I have once or twice been able to force them back but it took a couple of days to fully get them back and even then it wasn't the same. Each character has a 'shelf life' of about 3-4 months max. and at least a day or two. Getting one back from those month-long periods is much easier compared to the day long ones. Mostly due to remembering how they feel more completely.



  • @shy_not_fly17

    Could I...maybe borrow whatever magic writing mojo juice you're drinking? xD

    Today:

    0_1521164655598_spinoffs.jpg



  • @Shy_Not_Fly17

    At the moment, I'm stuck dealing with a question related to the antagonist's motivations because I haven't...actually...made the antagonist yet... .-.

    Fun times :|

    I agree with Sunny, the tropes are very well blended. But then, everyone is running off of multiple tropes and not made of just one trope and not much else :D

    Setting or Characters Are Somehow British or Brit-esque ...an example being an old WIP that I've since dropped where the protagonist had a British accent but lived in a fantasy setting where that literally makes no sense.

    lol... that's me half the time too tbh

    I mean, it seems like about half your plot is still the same, so you're not doing too bad, I'd say :D

    @Sunny I know I'm like very late, but it's great to see you here!

    That sounds tough/a bit frustrating.

    @Blackbird

    Look at all the activity on this thread, omg. :D

    It's lovely :D

    What we're still working on building is... Everything outside of Valcrest.

    tiny potato meme

    I still say that I'd buy a book of Valcrest mythology >.>

    Q: Are there characters within your story that you connect to/get into the mindset of easier than others, and if so, why do you think that's the case?

    Arial's probably the easiest to write tbh. But I have her character really well figured out. Like I've written thousands of words of fluff figured out. >.>

    Either way, I don't need to know a ton about a character to be able to write them, so long as I know their basic motivation and personality. It takes me an equal amount of time to write a chapter from all of my characters, really. :P

    Q: How often do you think of new ideas for your stories and how often do they actually make it into the final draft?

    Most of the new ideas I have relating to this story are more likely to relate to a character than the plot. I already know now that not all those ideas will be worked into the story, but those that do will mostly be added indirectly. coughcougharial

    For the plot... it's still pretty early to say bc at this point in the writing process, a new idea is actually the solution I've been searching for for ages to resolve a given point in the plot. Thus, most of them will be worked in directly and what does/doesn't make it to the final draft; well, I'll let you know in a while.

    Q: Is there anything major you've had to cut from your story altogether because you couldn't make it work?

    atm... not that I can think of? Unless you count that in the original story Id'en was apparently supposed to go to the capital of Teslal, which is probably a significantly safer option than what she's got going on now.

    There's probably several more examples of something like this happening bc I never actually reread everything that I'd written. Even now I avoid going back to the original. It's.... very poorly written. >.>

    Also, George the Beetle was supposed to be a spider thing. As I was writing, it started to sound more like a giant beetle. This doesn't mean that spider things no longer exist, just that they probably won't make an appearance in story.

    Q: What would you say is the biggest difference, if any, between the original story/world and its current draft?

    Biggest difference is probably the POV? The original draft was in an omniscient 3rd, whereas this one is limited 3rd. The background details of some characters are also revealed later on than the original, mostly because of this.

    There's also the fact that I know more about these people's backgrounds in general than with the original. That's a big difference. >.>

    Q: Is there something in your world/story that makes you proud to think about?


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