Questions tagged [world-building]

This tag should be used for questions about the act of creating elements for your own fictional world that you will use in your creative writing. If you are considering asking a question about world-building, please consider asking it on StackExchange's launched site dedicated to this specific topic, worldbuilding.stackexchange.com.

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4 answers
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Can you put your readers right in the middle of things without assuming they know anything?

Can you put your readers right in the middle of things without assuming they know anything? Let's take a very strange world with very unique world building like Made by Abyss or The Elder's Scrolls: ...
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Information dumping in the first few chapters?

Is it a good idea to do this? I just started writing and I dislike dialogue heavy texts so I have grown to write moderately descriptive stories instead; people have, however, told me that I should not ...
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Is a constantly changing world bad?

I'm making a story about a guy who travels through many worlds. There's also a world that he stays in for a larger period than others, with changing hierarchy, powers, laws, and so on. I know that ...
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4 answers
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Is it ok to explain magic in a very abstract way in a fantasy setting?

I bound the spell to a different domain of existence, which allowed me to change the secondary effect of gravity well, which make me immune to any gravitational effect created by the spell. This ...
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2 votes
5 answers
177 views

Can you write a short story that's only an exposition for worldbuilding?

Can you write a short story that's only an exposition for worldbuilding? Let's say that you have a collection of science fiction short stories. In order to have strong worldbuilding, is it possible to ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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Is there a method to determining how many books long your series needs to be?

I set out to write a trilogy, and feel my characters, world, and story are complex enough to warrant it. However, the more I dig into it, I’m sensing three books isn’t enough. But it will be a huge ...
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2 answers
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How should you refer to modern words and concepts like DNA and neutrons in a fantasy book?

How should you refer to modern words and concepts like DNA and neutrons in a fantasy book? I see people use DNA and neutrons in TV shows where the setting doesn't allow for it for simplicity sake, but ...
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1 answer
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How should you tell reader in what world your story takes place if you are writing a collection of short novels taking place in different world?

How should you tell reader in what world your story takes place if you are writing a collection of short novels taking place in different world? Is it a problem if in some situations it's almost ...
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2 answers
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Is there a good way to store worldbuilding information so that I can get a quick reference and overview without having to go through an entire doc?

Is there a good way to store worldbuilding information so that I can get a quick reference and overview without having to go through an entire doc? I don't need to store it, I can store it in a word ...
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Is it okay if my theme in the plot differs from the geographic or landscape of my world?

I've always wanted to make an Ace Combat like story but have a difficult time translating aerial combat or aviation in general in writing. I asked in WorldbuildingSE what type of world would aerial ...
5 votes
5 answers
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How could I show good worldbuilding without ending up with info-dumps?

A horror story I am writing involves the protagonist in another world. It is like an isekai, but it is horror and the protagonist is trying to survive as long as possible. The main story surrounds the ...
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3 answers
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Would it be wrong to base a fictional country on multiple real-world countries?

I was trying to work on the worldbuilding of my story. The concept of fictional nations being based on real ones is nothing new, but it is fun to do. Usually, when there's a nation based on actual ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Is there a good reason to use a fictional country in a world with an alternate earth?

Is there a good reason to use a fictional country in a world with an alternate earth? I see a lot of TV show where we have an alternate history on earth and where we see Russian, American people ...
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3 answers
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I want to name a fantasy species something, but it's the name of a similar species in WoW. Is that okay?

I came up with a name for a species in my fantasy world, and looked it up to see if it had been used already. Turns out it's the name of a species in WoW. They are both big cats. Am I infringing on ...
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1 answer
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How to coherently include medieval elements in a sci-fi story?

I'm trying to write a novel that's sci-fi but with medieval elements (something similar to the He-Man, She-Ra world). I'm thinking of having ships that travel through space and people living in ...
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2 answers
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How seriously can the wild wild west nature of pro wrestling be taken in a story or fictional world that takes place in a modern setting?

I wanted to take a realistic approach to pro wrestling when it came to world-building. If you are not a fan of pro wrestling, I would tell you that pro wrestling is an insane concept when taken ...
0 votes
2 answers
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In a story where magic exists, does magic leave a lot of room for hope and spiritual beliefs?

I'm kind of asking two questions here. One question is about hope and the other is about spiritual beliefs. I like to keep my world grounded in reality. For some reason, I feel like this is super easy ...
-1 votes
2 answers
119 views

Is it acceptable to put 'music' into a book?

I am writing a story about an ancient race of creatures whose culture revolves around music. Each being in the society will have a unique tune or musical motive that represents them (i.e., character X'...
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3 answers
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In a superhuman society, would certain threats be underestimated by society?

Batman has an extremely dangerous supervillain gallery. One of those dangerous villains is Victor Zsasz. He is a very dangerous serial killer. Put him in the real world, and Victor Zsasz would be the ...
2 votes
3 answers
136 views

Tips for brainstorming solutions to plot holes & worldbuilding

Coming up with ideas for where I want a plot to go & what I want to happen to my characters is easy, but then I find myself asking all kinds of things, like ‘Why’ or ‘How;’ and as a result, I get ...
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1 answer
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What are some things to consider when it comes to superpowers and criminal organizations coexisting in the same Superhero world?

Fictional works about criminal organizations, like Scarface, God Father, and Sons of Anarchy. These works are where I get my notes from. I would like to see how superpowers would look in the criminal ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Is it odd to overestimate the danger of peak human characters or characters without powers?

What does peak human mean in my world? There are two types of peak humans in my world: physical types and mental types. Physical types are the top tier in skills that involve hand-to-hand combat or ...
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3 votes
4 answers
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When it comes to superhero stories, would an audience be accepting of a weak character that is superhuman?

I find myself limited or stuck between writing two types of characters. One character type is the Batman type. The type where the hero can be vulnerable to any form of damage and can be taken out ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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When it comes to superhero stories, particularly the X-Men. Would it be too much to focus on other types of superhumans in the setting?

In most kitchen sink or sandbox worlds like Marvel and DC, the superhumans who got their powers from genetics (i.e. the X gene or DC's Meta gene) seem to be the ones that get the most attention from ...
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Is it odd to have a bunch of characters with unique personalities and gimmicks in one place?

I'm writing a fighting/combat type of story like Bloodsport. In Pro Wrestling companies like the WWE and TNA and also fighting games like Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, and Tekken it's very common for ...
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2 answers
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Can I make a complicated power system?

I was trying to come up with a power system. I didn't manage to but I decided to just learn first about power systems from other authors and other series. I was searching anime, TV shows, and manga. I ...
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7 votes
5 answers
2k views

How do you respectfully portray a character that cannot walk when they have the power to visit an alternate dimension where they can walk?

Context In my fantasy world, there are two realities that people travel back and forth between constantly. There is the "real world" where everyone travels when they are awake, and then ...
11 votes
6 answers
6k views

Is it okay if my fictional country is like a real country?

I fear that my fictional nation may be too similar. It is based on Great Britain, and is in high fantasy, but this is the description: Similarities: It is an archipelago. It is somewhere similar ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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Where do you organize ideas you have for a series that are not related to the plot?

I started writing beat sheets, but I noticed it doesn't include details about history, society, lore, natural laws, etc. The issue with that is when you want to write a long story, the beat sheet won'...
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1 vote
2 answers
60 views

Using indirect references in a justified manner

Let's say, I am writing a dark fantasy book, and there's something called the Three Fingers. The Three Fingers represent a god-like entity that has power over life. Would it make sense to refer to it ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Explaining technologies by showing and not telling

When you introduce a made-up technology in a story, should you explain (tell) how it works, or only show what it does? In Ghost of the Shell, some characters use the term "offensive firewall"...
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4 votes
6 answers
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How can I make my story's worldbuilding magical but not too far from realistic?

I was trying to do the world building first since I have lots of decisions that I can't make when I'm creating a character. I'm not sure whether to make it all magical or realistic. I want both. ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Is using Swahili inspired vocabulary and words similar to Japanese slang in my custom language cultural appropriation?

For context the species using my language are non-human with mostly human characteristics. This extraterrestrial race is called the Ilya and they differ from humans in the way that they evolved to be ...
-2 votes
1 answer
449 views

Is there a map generator for space?

https://azgaar.github.io/Fantasy-Map-Generator/ I found this fantasy map generator that's very cool and useful, but I want one that allows you to generate a map for the universe. I am not sure if ...
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4 votes
2 answers
143 views

How do I motivate myself to write when I have been focusing on worldbuilding first?

I had been planning a story/novel for a short while and started by focusing on worldbuilding. After I got the basics down, created a character (with flaws, motivations and hooks into the world I build ...
1 vote
4 answers
168 views

What are the most important parts of worldbuilding that may have a big impact on the story or narration?

What are the most important parts of worldbuilding that may have a big impact on the story or narration? I want to focus on the part that would have the biggest impact on the story or narration so I ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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How do you write a worldbuilding manuscript?

How do you write a worldbuilding manuscript? I am wondering what a worldbuilding manuscript should look like. I am planning on writing a novel with a really detailed world, so I was wondering what I ...
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Is adding too many people/characters to a story bad? [duplicate]

im building a world for a screenplay and i would like to have some main characters I have already made some character profiles for some of them but i was wondering whether or not if adding too many ...
2 votes
1 answer
135 views

How can I have readers empathize with two protagonists, when one of them is quick to kill?

I'm writing this fantasy novel in a setting during the beginnings of an industrial revolution. The main protagonist is your typical good-hearted guy who wants to be a soldier to save and protect ...
2 votes
1 answer
118 views

Should I use real world names for specific objects in my fantasy world based on history? [duplicate]

I'm in planning stages of a war fantasy story that is based on specific historical events in Asia, and I've kind of hit a wall when thinking about how close to make the fantasy world to the real world,...
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1 vote
3 answers
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Any programs useful for writing?

I was wondering, which programs would you recommend for writing. Whatever they possess general functions to correct your texts and grammar, and/or functions specific for storytelling/worldbuilding (...
1 vote
1 answer
149 views

McDowell's World Building Mandala

Does anyone have an outline or template for McDowell's World Building Mandala? I came across it in an article about Scifi writers being paid as futurologists, but this is all they said, "The ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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Writing confusion in a character who transports to a new world without sounding annoying

I'm writing a fantasy story in which a character accidentally travels into an unfamiliar fantasy coded world. However, I'm finding it difficult to find the voice for this character during this ...
0 votes
3 answers
84 views

How do you format a chapter intended just for exposition?

How do you format a chapter intended just for exposition? Let's say your worldbuilding is really hard to digest for most readers so you create one chapters just for that, what are the various way to ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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When is it better to use a generic term rather than a specific title when referring to fantasy elements in worldbuilding?

Something I've noticed when worldbuilding fictional setting is that there are generally two distinct ways of referring to fantastical elements in a story. Using a general descriptor with broadly-...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Are there any graphical diagrams like the Freytag's Pyramid that help you keep track of different timelines, universe and dimensions?

Are there any graphical diagrams like Freytag's Pyramid that help you keep track of different timelines, universe and dimensions? Sometimes a franchise has a timeline like Zelda, but what if you add ...
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2 votes
3 answers
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When should you put information that makes a dialogue understandable?

When should you put information that makes a dialogue understandable? Sometimes, the characters may use an idiom or expression that only makes sense if you know some world-building element of the ...
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10 votes
6 answers
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How and where should you explain how the physical laws of your sci-fi universe significantly differ from the real world?

How and where should you explain how the laws of your sci-fi universe significantly differ from the real world? Let's say that the laws are so different from the what be construed from the theories of ...
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3 votes
2 answers
475 views

How do you prevent a plot hole when coming up with a hard magic system?

How do you prevent a plot hole when coming up with a hard magic system? Creating a hard magic system means that magic must follow the rules that you set, but when you have a complex hard magic system, ...
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1 vote
5 answers
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When writing about a fictional city, what's important to know?

I want to describe my fictional cities' conditions, so I wrote these attributes for each of them: What is the city administration? Number of employed people Number of homes Number of crimes committed ...
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