I have had the thought of writing about a nation with states on another planet. The planet is earth-like and the quantity of some resources is higher than on Earth.

There are some differences between this and the USA, namely, no war and the fact that the 2 nations are on different planets. Another major difference is that the cities are underground. But the humanoids do regularly go up to the surface for things like water, fishing, exploration, and knowing where they are in a given day(at least until technology of geostationary orbit is applied to all latitude and longitude ranges(so satellites at the poles would stay there while current technology of geostationary orbit travels the furthest but all obey that whatever distance is traveled, it is done so in 24 hours)).

So should I write about this lingering thought? I have been thinking about it for a year now.

  • Hello. I've put this question on hold as it's really more of a polling question with no clear way to evaluate answers. I encourage you to ask more-specific questions about how to get from ideas to written works, or whatever other writing questions you have. (For questions about developing your setting, see Worldbuilding.) – Monica Cellio Jan 2 '18 at 0:48

As a world-building exercise, not as a story.

It sounds to me like you are engaged in world-building; which means solving the problems of politics, behavior, technology levels, geography, communications, religion, etc that all go into building a coherent fictional world.

But this is just a setting and that is not enough to start a story.

The setting is preparatory work, in fiction. You need characters that have a problem to solve (which might be suggested in your preparatory work), something they desire that will cause them to venture forth and take risks to achieve it despite the perils and cost involved. Something they care about more than their own safety and comfort.

You can write a "bible" about your invented universe, the things that are true about the setting and how it all works. For a story, you need a hero with a goal, a thinking being with a goal that the reader will follow to see how the venture to reach that goal comes to some conclusion, and along the way learn about your setting.


If you want to be a writer ... you have to write. Otherwise, you're just thinking about writing. You are in the process of developing a world, also known as worldbuilding (world-building).

Once you've decided to write, you can either make up the story as you go along, using your previously mentioned ideas as a general guideline, or you can describe each of your ideas in depth using an outline format.

1) "Pantsing". I really don't like the term; idiomatically, writing by the seat of your pants. Ideas hit the page or computer screen as quickly as they come into your head. The advantage is you get to have lots of different ideas, and some of them will be brilliant. The disadvantage is you have to discard the rest. There is a great deal of editing between your great ideas. This is hard for people who can't let go of a character or scene. From experience, you CAN finish a book this way, but the editing never seems to end.

2) "Plotting" This starts by making an outline based on a worldbuilding scheme. Stack Exchange has a Worldbuilding site to help develop your ideas. Once you've built your world, you outline the characters in your world. (I wonder if one could write a successful fiction novel without any individual characters.) Use as much or little detail as you want.

3) "Hero's Journey" Now your story needs a point. There are numerous posts on this site regarding the hero's journey. Your story needs a protagonist: somebody we, the reader, care about. Your protagonist does not have to be a "good guy."

4) Editing. I would highly suggest investing in a style guide, such as The Chicago Manual of Style, and a collegiate dictionary. You can make up words, too. These are neologisms. If you ever have someone help you with your manuscript, you don't want to waste time and money on hyphenation and comma splices.

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