Monday, December 6, 2010

World Building

There are many questionnaires for world building on the web. The ones where they ask all kinds of questions about your world and as you answer the questions, it's supposed to help you discover more about your fictional world than you ever wanted to know.

I've never completed one. They're always way too exhausting, and for good reason. Describing an entire world is not a small feat. I feel like Atrus from the book Myst. He discovered that it took an entirely new language just to make up a world. The English language just didn't contain enough descriptive words to do the proper job. It seems sometimes as if I need an entirely better language just to describe every little thing that's needed in a fictional world.

To hone my world building skills, I'm going to try an experiment. There's a few questionnaires that I like, and a few I've made up of my own. I'm going to attempt to answer all of them as if I'm building my own world, Earth.
Have you ever learned about something amazing that blew your mind about our planet? Sometimes Earth seems like enough of a magical world without me going off and creating new ones. If you've never experienced this, just use your favorite search engine to search for imagines of strange plants. Some of those things are weird, and look alien.

I'm hoping this will open my eyes to aspects about world building that will help me in my noveling.

1 comment:

  1. I think the biggest problem with questionnaires is the format. I don't know about you, but I get exhausted; I can't wait for it to be over. That's not good. The point is to motivate you to learn and explore your own world. It should be exciting, not torturous. So how can we fix this? I don't know if this is overly ambitious, silly, or a good idea, but I think it might be better to provide a series of semi-vague prompts. Something like, "describe 3 flowering plants in your world". If you love botany, you'll probably go farther. If you don't, well you're free to stop.