Hey! So, I actually joined a couple weeks ago (or one? i dunno, something) because I seriously needed something with which I could outline my '16 Nano! I'm from South Carolina, USA, and basically been writing forever. My current major WIP (that '16 Nano) is a SF following about 5 major characters after the official declaration of war between major nations of earth and major nations of and alien planet. I'm thinking it might be two parts, but right now I just have to work it out to the 16 month mark ;)
My favorite genres to write are probably SF/F, mostly because worldbuilding is the absolute best thing ever <3<3<3 I also love everything to do with history. If you link me to the random wikipedia page of a random culture, past or present, or other type of historical event, I will at least skim that page. In fact, I'm in the process of coding a civilization after a pre-Inca culture that I accidentally came across and became interested in, the Chimu. (Unfortunately, there isn't actually a lot dedicated specifically to the Chimu that I've found :'( )
So, not really sure what else I should say about myself except that I'm random. Here's to figuring out how to make a timeline that will help me stay at least somewhat on track :D (Ooh, and to finish off that random point, does anybody else have playlists for their stories? I'm down with trading them if so!)
Hey @typical_demigod! Welcome to Plotist! Hope we can help you with NaNo, it's a really intense month so I can only wish you good luck and admire you for your resolution :D
I love sci-fi for the same reason, it allows you to build a whole universe you can use to explore ideas. That's why I love Ursula K. Leguin, she mixes anthropology and sci-fi and creates worlds to explore things like environmentalism or gender, from a cultural point of view. Her sci-fi books are more about the cultures in her worlds than about the characters or the plot, but characters and plots are also amazing.
About the Chimú, have you tried some academic books or articles? People usually get scared of academic content but I found that anthropology articles, especially ethnographies (studies of cultures) are highly readable.
We were exchanging playlists on the NaNo16 thread but I think it would make sense to have a proper thread for it so I'll be setting one up :)
@jaycano Thanks! I've never actually written 50k in November, but I've been doing it so long that it would feel weird not to participate, and I know that one of these years I'm going to make it! (Last year was my closest year yet!)
Yeah, I've heard a lot of good things about Ursula K. Leguin (even though I haven't gotten my hands on anything by her yet :P). Exploring those themes are especially why I like worldbuilding. Plus, culture is soooooo dynamic. In one of my stories, which is a fairly small world, all the countries have the same religion, with the exact same pantheons, and generally the same mythology, and one of my favorite parts has been exploring all the little differences in culture from country to country, and even from region to region within a country, and how that has influenced the characters' worldviews and how they interact with each other.
As for the Chimu, I can find a ton on the Inca (who adopted a lot of Chimu organizational structures after conquering them) but the Chimu are a little less studied. Granted, I've been a little busy and they're not my main focus, so I haven't been doing as much research lately as I ought to be, but I have found one amazing site with great resources, and I may have found a source at my college library (which I haven't looked at too thoroughly yet). So, I haven't dug too deep into academic stuff yet, but I plan on it when I get more time ;) (There's one particular codex that I really want to find a translation of; apparently, it has a LOT of info about Chimu culture FROM Chimu people, albeit recorded by a Spaniard (as they had only been conquered by the Inca some 50 years before the Spanish arrived, so there were people who remembered the before times).) Also on the plus side, even if I never find a lot of academic stuff on the Chimu, they adopted a lot of culture from the Moche before them, and the Inca adopted a lot of culture from the Chimu, and a lot of Andean cultures share similarities, so I do have a lot to work with!
Yay! The best part of building a soundtrack is when you can find a song that matches the story perfectly.
Welcome to Plotist @typical_demigod :)
You sound like me. I love learning about the past, and world building is something that makes my toes curl in joy. I do little dances when I start a character in a new world. I start with what types of species I want, what influences them, and I rarely stop. I have worlds that I built back in the day still alive and kicking in my mind.
As a side note, I do hope you're okay with the hurricane that passed through. Having lived everywhere on the east coast of the US before moving to the UK, I know the effects of a hurricane spread beyond the path of the storm.
@typical_demigod Good luck with NaNo this year! I will be doing something like "Code NaNoWrimo" this year, where instead of a novel I'll be working on the next set of features, but I'll be there in spirit with everyone else.
Ursula is an anthropologist by education so her books are more like anthropology-fiction. She has sci-fi and fantasy series. The sci-fi ones are more culture-oriented, while the fantasy ones (Earthsea) have a different perspective, focusing more on philosophy and the life of the mind. And the writing is beautiful. In case you hadn't noticed, she's one of my favourite authors.
Yesterday I was doing some research on the Chimú, trying to find anything about them and most of what I found was about pottery. They sound like an interesting culture and I know very little about Andean cultures so if you put something together about them, let me know!
Welcome @typical_demigod ! I love a bit of SF/F too and I think looking at lost cultures for inspiration is a great idea! I have a really great resource to this end - it's a book called 'The Dictionary of Creation Myths' and recites mythology for a huge host of people and cultures (although I did a quick look up of the Chimu and found nothing in there, though it has pages and pages dedicated to the Incas and Peru!). If I do come across something I'll be sure to let you know!
@Josey Ahhhhhh YESSSS I have so many stories where I may not be working as actively as I like, but I still remember the worlds!
I live near Columbia (so near the center of the state), so I personally wasn't very much affected except for a couple of hours of power outage in the morning (which was lucky, because some people were out for a lot longer). The same can't be said about the coasts, but I'm mostly just happy that the hurricane didn't hit as hard as everyone was expecting.
@jaycano I need to remember to look her up at the library sometime.
It's a project I'm honestly pretty excited about because Andean cultures are really interesting. I think I might start serious worldbuilding next year, so I'll definitely bring it back up and share any interesting bits I know! (Which i'm actually refraining from right now. For example, pretty much all the other Andean cultures worshiped the sun god (the Inca called him Inti), but the Chimu worshiped the moon god (and if I remember, they called him Si), but when you think about how much they relied on the sea to bring them food, it makes a lot of sense. Plus, I bet it was cooler at night. Ahem.) Anyway! I will definitely share when I start working on the story! There's going to be at least two stories focusing in this particular part of the world, one on a village and the other on the larger world, so it's going to be fun!
@Sian Ooooh that sounds really interesting. Thank you for looking them up in there for me! The Chimu are like the forgotten middle sibling of Peruvian/Andean cultures, from what I can tell, lol. Part of it has to do with the fact that they never invented writing (unless you believe the quipus were a form of writing....) and the other part is that the Spanish freaked out and destroyed a lot of general Andean culture because it didn't line up with their beliefs.
@typical_demigod I'm glad you're okay. :) One of the things I love about this community is the amount of creativity to be found in those with stories, writers, authors, game masters even. There is only so much time, and I love hearing about what people create! You have seriously intrigued me about the Chimu. :D
@typical_demigod If I had to worship something, I would definitely go with the moon. It has a weird attraction to me, I never get bored of just staring at it. Every time I'm out at night, I get distracted watching it. (And I've been refraining myself from using "she" instead of "it").
It might just be the werewolf in me, though :P
@Josey Yay! I love getting people interested in new things, especially if I'm already interested in it, cause then I don't feel so bad when I go on long rambles about it xD
@jaycano I always thought the moon was really pretty, so I can understand that ;)