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Worldbuilding - The Wordsmith's Forge — LiveJournal
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
How to do worldbuilding wrong

I often avoid the monolithic mistakes by mixing two or more source materials, or by building from loose parts.

Some awesome worldbuilding.

I find that careful worldbuilding spawns good stories.  When I get into a setting that is VERY different from how our world works, then I like to look closely at its foundations, because inevitably there are things that will work strangely.  

I've published bits of the six races from A Conflagration of Dragons, a description of Terramagne from Polychrome Heroics, and the classical elements of nether-Earth from The Steamsmith.

Science and art mix well.

I've never really understood people who think they don't.  I often start with a scientific or historic article as inspiration.

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Current Mood: busy busy

9 comments or Leave a comment
lb_lee From: lb_lee Date: October 20th, 2013 04:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was recently talking to someone about her storyverse, where folks live on floating garbage islands in the ocean. It all sounded like a neat idea, except I asked her, "Where do they get their drinking water?" She had no idea.

I'll be the first to admit my world-building isn't that great. But at least I know how they get their water.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 20th, 2013 06:53 pm (UTC) (Link)


In that situation, I'd look for a solar still.
fayanora From: fayanora Date: October 21st, 2013 02:09 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Well...

Easy enough to build a solar still on a garbage island; just dig a pit and cover it with an empty garbage bag. Or is that "fill it" with a garbage bag? Or both? Saw it on a TV show once, some survival thing on like Discovery or whatever.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 21st, 2013 02:27 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Well...

Solar still: put the bag over the hole. Stills can be made with plastic, glass, or other things and work by evaporation and condensation. Good in the ocean.

Dewcatcher: line the hole with the bag. This works by condensation. Not good in the ocean.
From: technoshaman Date: October 20th, 2013 05:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Remember that conversation about how hard-science types and fluffy-bunny woo-woo types both look askance at people like you and me? Same stuff. The fine arts majors think the scientists are all a bunch of lab-coat-wearing nerds, and the grunts slaving in the labs think no more of the hippie artsy types...

But we both know that they're two sides of the same moebius strip... you can't have paint without the chemistry and physics of colour, and you can't have a good engineering design without drawing the picture... the latter of which was drilled into my head by my old adviser as a frosh.

Speaking of science and art mixing well... I posted this elsebook, but for the benefit of LJ-onlys or those who might not have seen otherwise... today's FoxTrot is a mashup of art and science... :)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 20th, 2013 06:52 pm (UTC) (Link)


I went to high school with people like that.
fayanora From: fayanora Date: October 21st, 2013 02:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Hadn't considered #2. So I guess I should include, somewhere in my Lyriaverse story, that the reason stuff is coming to a head is that the enemy's spell to do what she's doing has taken thousands of years to get to full power, and it's almost fully powered.

As to #3, I can't get characters to do anything at all if they aren't well rounded and multi-dimensional. 1-D and even 2-D characters... trying to animate them is like trying to animate stone without magic.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 21st, 2013 02:28 am (UTC) (Link)


I hear you on character complexity. I can get by with thumbnails for bit characters, but that's about it -- and in crowdfunding, even those have the potential to grow if people like them.
fayanora From: fayanora Date: October 21st, 2013 02:38 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes...

Oh yeah, bit players aren't difficult I suppose.

Hey, I thought you might be interested in this: http://fayanora.livejournal.com/1282829.html
9 comments or Leave a comment