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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.

16
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7answers
4k views

Character is an expert on something I'm not

My OC Edward, who I thought of quite a while ago but haven't done anything with, is a professional cyber spy and hacker. He's employed by an organization (in the future, of course) that is basically ...
14
votes
7answers
3k views

Should I make up my own names for the days of the week/months

I'm writing a light fantasy book. I think it will end up falling into the YA genre. I'm considering making my own names up for the days of the week/months. The book is set in a fantasy world, so it ...
7
votes
2answers
186 views

Raising infinite questions without isolating the reader

I've been spiraling down a rabbit hole of conspiracy theory/mysterious event case study videos on Youtube lately, and have been inspired by an Internet scavenger hunt from a few years ago called ...
1
vote
2answers
81 views

What do you call a self-liberated slave?

In my story, Tsidia is a slave who managed to inspire people into making slavery illegal, thus setting her free. Is there a word I can use to describe her status in a way that highlights she was the ...
6
votes
4answers
179 views

How to write a good MacGuffin?

I backed myself into a corner and have to create a [TV TROPES WARNING] MacGuffin for a story. How can I create a good MacGuffin? How to make it interesting for the reader ? I don't know where to ...
0
votes
1answer
76 views

Is it possible to get permanently scarred by the sea? [closed]

My story takes place in an archipelagus in world X, inhabited by people X. In the shores of the capital city of that archipelagus, there is a bay of deep, dark waters. It's supposed to be dark and ...
20
votes
6answers
4k views

Explaining made up card game

In my book I've made up a card game where I've already thought out the rules. Now I want some of the characters playing this game. My questions are: Should the reader know the rules? If I want to ...
27
votes
9answers
5k views

Do readers need to identify with fictional characters?

On the modern day many people complain about how models, actors are damaging to society because people can't identify with them. Males actors or models which are ''too'' muscular are considered ''...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

Help with reasons for rebellions against my oligarchic/Philosopher kings inspired empire [closed]

The government of this (fantasy) world is made up of a small group, randomly chosen at birth and representing maybe 0.5% of the population. The group are tutored in their homes with their families for ...
-3
votes
1answer
112 views

How could a galactic plague motivate a villain to conquer an entire galaxy? [closed]

A few years before the start of my book series, a galactic plague of a disease called BigPox is going to spread through the galaxy and inflict mass casualties, in addition to setting many of the ...
7
votes
1answer
99 views

How To Beef Up The Middle

I feel that in any book I read or write, the most common problem I encounter is a drag in the middle of the book. What are some suggestions of how to stay on target and intrigue my reader in the ...
14
votes
10answers
2k views

Which should come first, building my story or building my world?

I’ve always been writing, but never wanted to write something in a world I create. I already know what direction I’ll be taking my fleshed-out characters, but I’m still wondering whether or not I ...
5
votes
5answers
285 views

What if a concept on my story differs greatly from the common trope?

I'm planning of giving a -possibly very unpopular - interpretation to a very loved concept in the genre of my story and I wonder if this could be see as shocking or plain stupid by the average reader. ...
61
votes
22answers
20k views

How do I know if a concept is sexist or not?

In my story's world, witchcraft is a respected institution, with the most powerful practitioners being at the top echelons of society. Due to this, society traces its lineage through matrilineal lines....
12
votes
10answers
342 views

Writing Unequal Societies (Without Supporting Inequality)

Historically, most occidental cultures (and many other ones) were strongly biased against women. Women were effectively barred from the vast majority of occupations - sometimes actively, and sometimes ...
17
votes
8answers
2k views

How do I know which elements I can use from the work which orginally inspired me?

I recently read the Blood on the Stars series by Jay Allan and really enjoyed the idea of a post-Golden Age human civilization that has splintered into factions and is now at war with itself. I ...
3
votes
3answers
229 views

Writing a Good Travel Narrative

I'm currently struggling to write the first portion of my science fiction story that involves two characters traveling, and I was wondering if you guys had any writing resources to recommend. My goal ...
25
votes
6answers
5k views

Is it Ok to make up places if I want the reader to think it’s set in the real world?

What I’m doing is making a story in the medieval times and I wanted to make up a village and have my characters be there and travel around there but do I have to make everything around there in the ...
8
votes
4answers
658 views

Cutting down story length without leaving out locations

I'd like to write a story and I have plenty of elements for it, up to and including a set of locations, characters and events, as well as some loose sequence for those. This is still a planning phase,...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

What liberties can I take with the monarchies in my own world?

Could a writer make up his own rules, for a monarchy he created, in a world of his own making? My question is whether I can completely disregard the rules and regulations of real-life monarchies, ...
2
votes
3answers
200 views

What editor can I use for world building that has a tree-like structure for my files?

I'm looking for a simple editor to start getting into world building and story writing which is working out fine in Microsoft Word. However, I'm finding it difficult to continue without any structure. ...
1
vote
7answers
206 views

Is it okay to include world-building facts by “telling” instead of “showing”?

I know we need to show and not tell, but is it still okay to sometimes tell instead of having to show it? For example, I wanna let the reader know that humans in my story are actually the same species ...
28
votes
7answers
6k views

How to tactfully inform readers of differences in the book world to the real world?

I want to write a fantasy novel, but there are a few issues that I have with the way that I should write it. One of my questions lies in the problem of how I, the narrator/book-writer, can inform my ...
4
votes
3answers
145 views

Writing a letter from the future

I'm writing a letter from the future to my dear friends, posing as the child they're about to have. The main aim of the letter is to be amusing, but also to give some perspective (you don't need to be ...
3
votes
3answers
103 views

Any software that allows me to create documents and maps with links to other documents or photos?

I have to create a small world for my WIP game so I can submit it as my thesis. While I am aware I can use simple text editors (my usual choice) I want to be able to create a tree/web of my ideas, ...
4
votes
4answers
561 views

Is it dull to have a world where all characters cannot speak properly?

I am thinking about setting my story in a postapocalyptic world where all art and literature are gone, and people are mostly illiterate. People lost the ability to formulate deep thoughts, became ...
0
votes
3answers
82 views

What are techniques to explore a world you've built?

Beside omniscient narrative that explains the world, what are other techniques to introduce the details of a world to the readers? (That is still part of the story) I've been thinking two things, but ...
39
votes
13answers
9k views

How can I explain my world if the character is technologically not yet capable of understanding it?

One feature of my world is a plant that lives in a magmaous (rather than "volcanic") cave. It photosynthesizes by absorbing infrared radiation from the magma. However, the world is roughly at a ...
18
votes
8answers
5k views

Should I be concerned with my fiction writing containing accidental prophecies of real world events?

I'm writing a book (only a hobby, but I hope I can publish it one day). I've started writing a while ago and setting was somewhat of a near-future of an alternative reality. In my book, political ...
0
votes
2answers
203 views

Would having a story set in a conworld based on the modern age alienate readers?

I know this isn't the conworlding forum, but I'm not asking for a critique on my conworld. I'm asking how people would receive such a thing as a constructed world not based off of ancient cultures, or ...
7
votes
3answers
152 views

How to balance relatability in a story with unique world building?

I believe this falls well outside the world-building acceptable topics, so I have come here looking for advice! As a world builder, I want to produce languages, settings, flora and fauna, and combine ...
1
vote
2answers
208 views

How to turn the world “alive”?

I'm writing a novel with a fictional world in it. I've already planned many events and the history of its nations, but I feel that there is missing something for it as I write the chapters. In my ...
-1
votes
1answer
851 views

I need fake country names for my story [closed]

I have a bad case of writer's block, and I need some realistic-sounding country names for my story. Nothing too "exotic" or hard to pronounce, please. Thank you!
1
vote
1answer
52 views

Alt History - how do I base an empire on Rome but demonstrate quickly the difference whilst keeping the familiarity? [closed]

Are there specific tricks, mechanisms or devices to offer a shortcut to a level of civilisation without confusing the reader? I'm using a Ancient Rome-like country but don't want to base the plot in ...
17
votes
13answers
4k views

How feasible is it to write a story without any worldbuilding?

Is it possible to make a story (with a plot and characters) that has no worldbuilding or explanations for events? Like whenever anything happened in the story there was no background or explanation ...
4
votes
5answers
326 views

How to keep the protagonist from being the only interesting person in the world?

I've really enjoyed the CW's show The Flash ever since it came out, but they recently did something that kind of feels like a mistake on the writers' part. For those unfamiliar with the show, Barry ...
9
votes
7answers
2k views

Is it bad not to explain things?

Background So I see a lot of questions on the site like this. They're all about deeply explaining worldbuilding and stuff, doing all of that explaining type of thing. Normally, I just skip that. For ...
48
votes
5answers
7k views

“The flux capacitor--it's what makes time travel possible.” When to keep world-building explanations short

Gosh, I really think I'm quite clever sometimes. But what about those situations where the readers (audience) can be told, and they feel completely satiated and entertained by not going into the nuts ...
2
votes
2answers
146 views

Are there any problems using the real-life address of a building if the building is still standing?

I'm writing a story that takes place in the future, sometime around the 2200s, give or take a few decades. The main characters live in San Francisco, in a repair shop that's been built right on top of ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

What's the benefit of inventing a fictional region, if it's based on a real one?

Sometimes authors invent regions, which are very similar to real ones, e. g. Gabriel García Márquez's Macondo (which is similar to real city of Aracataca) or William Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County (...
0
votes
2answers
94 views

The Search for Good Places to Discuss Science for Worldbuilding

One of the major oversights of the worldbuilding process is that worldbuilders tunneled their focus on the story at hand, which usually means making things up as they go. I can't afford that. How ...
2
votes
4answers
349 views

Writer's Block: How to Stop World-building and Start Writing?

This is a question that doesn't directly apply to me, though I can easily see myself having this problem. I thought I'd run writer's block for a loop and find the answer before the problem arose. :) ...
5
votes
2answers
150 views

A protagonist who knows little about the world he born and grew up in until majority (present)?

This protagonist born and lives in a peasant village in a medieval-like age, where education and science aren't known much. But a certain awful event occurs in this village that leads this character ...
1
vote
2answers
95 views

How do I write an original work using a familiar concept? [closed]

I'm writing a story where the protagonist lives in a town that is thought to be abandoned, even though there is secretly an entire city beneath the radar. How do I write this? The last thing I want is ...
2
votes
3answers
230 views

My premise suggests a LOT more history than I want in my book

I'm writing a fantasy story in which there is a contemporary earth (our earth) and a secondary world. Due to certain reasons all earthlings who are able to reach the second world have great magical ...
1
vote
2answers
215 views

How to create an “otherworldy” feel in a fantasy novel?

I am currently writing a high fantasy novel. Writing this novel, which is set in a different world, I am having some trouble giving the Tolkien feel of a multi-cultured world. I have tried to use, by ...
1
vote
1answer
62 views

Help in deciding setting [closed]

I'm writing a fantasy story, I'm still planning the plot and characters, I have an idea about the setting, but I'm divided about the technological level of the setting. It is more of an adventure ...
2
votes
3answers
103 views

Showing cultural assimilation

So I have a group of characters who go to a new land. They're stuck on this land, and eventually encounter the culture. How can I show their gradual assimilation/adaption of traits/characteristics ...
4
votes
3answers
283 views

How to avoid plotholes when writing stories with dense mythologies?

I've been brainstorming and working on worldbuilding, structure, characters and overall story development stuff for about 4 years now. Basically spending alot of time brainstorming strong, well ...
3
votes
4answers
559 views

Research overgrown main novel plan and writing

i want your opinion on this: For about half a year now i make research for my novel. Because of situating story to the part of an original Earth's history, i made my research about history, ...