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World Building in Fantasy WritingLast year I started working on a fantasy story I wanted to write. It started off well, and then I got into world-building. Now, it's gone crazy. I have about 6000 years worth of history that is beginning to take shape, whole pantheons of gods, loads of bizarre technologies and two systems of magic. I've even worked out exactly when the people went from the Neolithic into the Chalcolithic, and who first invented farming. Building the world has suddenly become more absorbing than the story. I know most of what I've come up with will not appear in the story itself, but I find it fascinating none the less. Anyone else out there tend to get distracted by the fine details of world creation?
|Neptune|| That happens to me all the time. I haven't yet started on my fantasy novel; figuring out the historic interactions between races is more fun.|
I think eventually you just have to stop and start writing... Not that I have yet convinced myself to do that. XD
|screamingferret|| Yeah, the stopping part is giving me trouble ;)|
I've come to the conclusion that my main problem is my degree. I studied Egyptology and ancient history, so I find myself getting all academic about the foundations of civilisation and religion. I've actually worked out how prehistoric population migrations affected the spread of new technologies and ideas. I find it fascinating, but oh dear...
I have a really cool plot, too. Just can't seem to get around to writing it. Maybe I'm just procrastinating because the idea of writing one novel is terrifying, let alone the four I have planned. Yeah... maybe that's it ;)
|Neptune|| You could always try out NaNoWriMo. That way, you could compromise with yourself: do all the planning you want until November, and then just start writing. For some reason, NaNoWriMo really got me writing like a madwoman. XD|
I have no degree (not even a high school degree; I'm a Junior), but I have fun with that stuff nonetheless. Religions, especially, but I haven't dared even start on that for my novel; if I do, I don't think I'll ever escape.
|screamingferret|| I've thought about writing competitions before, but I don't think I have the guts for it...|
And religion. A really interesting subject to get to grips with. Religion is often one of the major factors behind the rise of a civilisation - a common religion goes very far towards uniting what otherwise would be a disparate collection of tribes and villages into a nation. It's a way of establishing control over the people, and giving a common code of conduct and law. A powerful religion can also have strong economic and political influence on a culture. For example, the ancient Egyptian temples weren't just places of worship, they were centres of education, of crafts and production, law, and storehouses for the nation's grain. The priests often had a great deal of power - one of the reasons the pharaohs insisted on holding the title of High Priest of the major state cults, and frequently sent younger sons into the priesthood. That's just the secular aspect, if you actually have the gods come down and walk about in your story, religion can get even more complicated.
I love reading about mythology, so I draw inspiration from a lot of sources, but mostly Mesopotamian, Egyptian and Native American religions. I'm a big fan of using non-European, non-Medieval cultures as bases for the civilisations I invent. Thus ends my essay ;)
|Freya_Crescent_II|| Elfwood has various tutorials for making worlds, I think.|
Ecology is also important.
Why does a tiger need wings?
Why are there giant slugs?
Why do one of the races have claws and fangs?
|screamingferret|| I'll have to check Elfwood out. |
Ecology is important, but I know only the basics about the subject, so I'm sticking to the standard, Earth type ecology. Anything monstrous or mythological is an intruder to the world, rather than evolving there. I am toying with the idea of coming up with a prehistoric bestiary of bizarre creatures because things with more tusks than sense can be fun, but that might just be extra added work for nothing ;)
Speaking of races, who do you guys have living in your world? My people are all human with a few magically mutated soldiers running around. I have a surprisingly gentle insect race of weapons manufacturers that I need to develop sometime, but they're from another world entirely and merely visitors to mine.
|PhantomSith|| I do more Sci-fi than myth, although I enjoy reading some mystholical fictions and such. I have a Orginal Works that has taken up most of my writing time.|
I have countless Aliens, cultures, societies,worlds, etc, in development.Luckily, I can draw the profiles of my Aliens. I have creature that are capable of living in any natural envorinment and element. Some are capable of survining in multiple extreme envorinments, while others can only stay in their own.
I also have humans, and some are mutated along with a number of my aliens. And my mutated ones have their own culture and co-exist with each other, since they are outcasts of their society.
|Freya_Crescent_II||Humanlikes, Kuja-style-made black mages, geneomes, Highwindets (Very strange people you need to see a picture of to find out what they look like. They have cat claws and eyes, a dragon tail, wolf fangs, wolf ears and are very fast moving to almost invisible point)Ronsos, Argh! All the races in FF10, otter, hare and pine marten like creatures, Burmecians and Cleyrans.....and the like of Final Fantasy 7, 9, 10, 11 and TA Charcaters.|
|screamingferret|| I have two groups of humans, (the Ael'tar and the Kal'tar) subdivided into different civilisations and tribes. The first group, the Ael'tar, got banished from the world following their defeat in a war, so the Kal'tar cultures got to spread out and settle the entire world. Now the Ael'tar are coming back, and they are less than impressed. The mutant soldiers I mentioned are remmnants of that old war, and now mostly serve the Kal'tar magic users. |
I have some demons I need to work out in the least cliche way possible, that insect race (the Murrutakek) and a race of ethereal beings called the E'an who very much like to play at being gods. The story sort of revolves around them, and the huge, intricate web of lies they have woven around the people of my world.
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