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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Building a Fantasy World
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ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 10th, 2010 12:54 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: You're welcome!

>> I have a number of problems with the world of Seera Kai as-is, but my main ones are:<<

Okay, your best bet here is probably to derive from what you know. That is, you already have some awesome stuff going on, so figure out what will "serve the setting" as defined in those particulars.

>> 1) how many different races of daemons there are <<

Do you want to tell a story about chaos or order, diversity or unity? The more types of daemons there are, the more flexibility you have, the more diverse your setting will be ... wilder, weirder, more alien. But it will be harder to keep a handle on and hold your focus. The fewer there are, the more cohesion; but they'll be more predictable, more inclined to form a hierarchy, and more familiar to readers. If you want a compromise, pick a small handful of famous common daemon types and a larger scattering of obscure ones.

>> 2) where they settled on Seera Kai and why <<

What is your core theme here? What kind of story are you telling, issues are you exploring, messages sending to readers? Is this world about love, honor, chaos and order, salvation and destruction, freedom ...? Pick your most important theme and make that part of the reason where and why the daemons came to Seera Kai.

>> 3) what happened to the original daemons <<

See above re: themes. Pick a different core theme, preferably one that is in conflict with what you used for the settlement issue, and use that to bump off most or all of the originals. Is this world about absolutes? Kill or banish them all and don't let them come back. Is it about gray areas? Kill or banish most, which come back. Is it about mystery? They're all off the board, for now, but theories conflict and people are uneasily suspecting they might come back. Truth behind that is, multiple causes removed them, so some may return while others could not. You get the idea. Use your setting's background to leverage its message. Think of this as stringing a compound bow: kind of a pain to rig up, but once that's done it takes up a lot of the weight for you.

>> I guess I could handwave some of the history as people still not being able to separate out facts from fiction, but it'd be nice if I-as-the-author knew, y'know? <<

Yes. The more you know, the more you can use in the stories. If you're fumbling around blind, the readers will sense that and be unsatisfied. Clarify what you can from where you are, then circle out from there. It often helps to write a few short pieces -- once you're writing, details often refine themselves. Sometimes characters won't tell you stuff until you ask, or ask the right way.

>> I'll leave the comment here for now since I don't want to overly spam the comment space here unless you're interested. <<

I'm rather fascinated, actually. Feel free to continue, and I'll keep up if I can.
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