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Leicester - World Building

 
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Malop



Joined: 14 Aug 2005
Posts: 204
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 10:08 am    Post subject: Leicester - World Building Reply with quote

James gave five areas to think about before designing a fantasy world.

Before covering the five area he explained two important things.

First, credibility, the world must be believable across all five areas. If a desert is next to a rainforest there must a magical explanation as the weather wouldn't cause this.

Second, time, it's very easy to spend all your time worldbuilding and no time writing your story. Although your world has to be well developed, it only has to be developed enough for the story. Don't spend days working on a political system in a country that is only mentioned once. This second thing seemed to come from his personal experience.

The five areas to cover are:
Map
Economy
Politics
Culture
Religion
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Malop



Joined: 14 Aug 2005
Posts: 204
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2007 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the subject of maps James made a good comment about maps in books.

While you're writing your book the map can change as must as you want, but once the map is published in a book you're stuck with it.
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Drizzt



Joined: 07 Mar 2005
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Location: Easington, UK

PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There were those five items originally, but you can add to them and sub-divide them all day. Things like technology can be brought into it, magic (as discussed in the magic systems thread) would play a part... both in culture and in religion. Maybe even politics and economy...

Something else which was good was James pointing out little things to remember about maps, and havong your characters travel around it. Little geographical items which, though they sound obvious, you may forget when yo're in full writing flow and your characters need to get from A to B:

Rivers only flow downhill
Rainforests and deserts cannot, in a world based on ours, exists next to one another without a good reason from the writer
Rainfall only occurs over or near bodies of water. Torrential downpour in a desert, hurricanes forming over land...

You get the idea. Know the geography of your world and how it works. Know the places and the cycle of seasons and how the geography and maps etc messes with everything else like economy (industries etc), religion (do they worship mountains?).
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Malop



Joined: 14 Aug 2005
Posts: 204
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

from my roleplaying days of yore I can remember hours spent arguing over how far a horse can travel in a day, how much food you needed to take to feed the horse etc.

Sometimes I think people forget it was just a bit of fun, a bit like reading a book. At some points you have to just trust the author, but if the characters have just travelled 200 miles in one day that trust begins to fail.
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Drizzt



Joined: 07 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

True enough. It's not like your book has to read like a manual on survival and travel in your own fantasy world, and I tend to happily take what the author says at face value. But, like you say, if someone's travelled hundreds of miles in a day without sufficient reason, it just gets silly.

Oh, and something else James said which I liked was that the writer should (and inevitably will) know more about their world than anyone reading the book ever will. Very Happy
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Loony BoB



Joined: 23 Aug 2007
Posts: 8
Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Man, this takes me back to a world I created over the course of a few years when I was younger. I have multiple maps, hundreds of locations, politics, history, notable historic people, timelines, family trees, magic systems, the works. I should look into that again someday.
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James
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Joined: 26 Aug 2004
Posts: 479
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes do. And write a few stories in it too. For Gawd's sake don't let it go to waste.

Welcome to the forums by the way.
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Al. I. Cuza



Joined: 28 Jun 2008
Posts: 56
Location: Vienna

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Loony BoB wrote:
Man, this takes me back to a world I created over the course of a few years when I was younger. I have multiple maps, hundreds of locations, politics, history, notable historic people, timelines, family trees, magic systems, the works. I should look into that again someday.


And this is exactly the thing I want to spend my vacation with. And the vacation next year, and the year after that...

Allready bought (and read half of) a book on the different religious systems of the world, I'm making progress on the map (little progress, but an island is better then nothing), and I read a book on heraldry (to know the basics of making a "Coat of Arms") and began to think about each point of the world, from fauna&flora to politics&clture.
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Drizzt



Joined: 07 Mar 2005
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Location: Easington, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't forget the economy; I covered the different sectors of the economy during a course recently and thinking about it in terms of world-building could be important. Razz
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Al. I. Cuza



Joined: 28 Jun 2008
Posts: 56
Location: Vienna

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Drizzt wrote:
Don't forget the economy; I covered the different sectors of the economy during a course recently and thinking about it in terms of world-building could be important. Razz


I'm not in a rush. The economy will follow, but it's more at the end of the program. Can't think of any economic structures without any nations or cultures Wink

PS: This forum may become one of my very favourites Very Happy
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Drizzt



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hehe... I'd go the other way; the economy and the history of it will be directly linked to the development of the country in question.

Generally there are three sectors to the economy: the Primary, the Secondary and the Tertiary. The Primary is, as you might guess, the first step and is where most 'developng' countries are; it consists primarily of industries dealing with raw materials such as mining, fishing and farming. After developing further, the Secondry comes into play which involves industries which take raw materials from the Primary and use them so manufacturing industries would be an obvious one. And, finally, in what is considered a 'developed' economy the Tertiary comes into play which is ultimately made of of the 'service' industries which in mdoern terms would be banks and insurance and so on - the guys who make use of what comes out of the Secondary. In older terms the military would be, to a degree anyway, a good example....

So, depending on what background you have for your country and how you've seen it develop over time (hundreds of years in normal time, or in the case of modern China inward investment will fast-track it...) will correlate with how and where your country stands at the time of your story. The majority of this would probably never be in the book but would be part of the world building so you understand your own 'world' better than anyone.

I'll be quiet now Razz
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Al. I. Cuza



Joined: 28 Jun 2008
Posts: 56
Location: Vienna

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry I made you think I didn't know anything about economy. But I did need the rough structures of my world to be able to implement economy. As you said, the primary sector consists from raw material output, but one can't mine where there's no mountains or fish where there's no water. It's clear, that when making the timeline of my world, I will implicitly combine history, culture, economy and all the other fields together, linking them together and createing something coherent and credible.

But I do have a problem: my weakest ecenomic knowledge is about trade. Never really understood how trade affects the wealth of a whole community, well, didn't read much on this one though.
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Drizzt



Joined: 07 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm... depends on how your country operates and the political system in place (capitalism VS communism etc).

I have a model at home (currently at work) which shows the flow of income in and out of households which would be a good place to start. I really should remember it! Razz If I don't remember it beforehand I'll get it posted tonight.
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Al. I. Cuza



Joined: 28 Jun 2008
Posts: 56
Location: Vienna

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm... Maybe Capitalism&Communism isn't the best place to start. But if you have something about the trade in the ancient world (about Phoenicia, Carthage or Greece) and how it affected the different communities and the wealth of the people, I would be very greatful to you. How taxes&tariffs worked, protectionism, trade rights, etc... maybe some of these informations on medieval Europe would be good aswell.

Last edited by Al. I. Cuza on Wed Jul 02, 2008 3:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Al. I. Cuza



Joined: 28 Jun 2008
Posts: 56
Location: Vienna

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anybody know these books: Holly Lisle's Create A Language Clinic or Holly Lisle's Create A Culture Clinic ? Are they any good?
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