Posts Tagged ‘Story World’

Welcome to this week’s Craft Post. Since last may we have been going through a long series on Worldbuilding. I am happy to say it will be coming to an end soon. When? Right now! Bye!

Okay, not now, but soon. I have three more sub-series I want to cover and when they are done this series will be over and we will move onto something else. What’s that you ask? What are the remaining three topics? Our next to topics, Daily Life and Other. The third topic is what our new sub-series we will be starting today. Magic and Technology. Like before, let me list off the working titles of all the posts in this series:

  • What’s your Rule?
  • Magic: Mystical or Knowledgable
  • How your World Affects Magic
  • Technology: Known or Unknown
  • How Technology Affects your World
  • Technology in Fantasy

Six posts in all, and I am splitting it up like I did with Military and Law Enforcement so each topic gets its due. Today’s post is simple, What’s your Rule? Those who know me know that I love my rules when it comes to magic. However, this is something completely different and applies no just to magic and technology. It can apply to everything we have done so far. Why am I just writing about it now? I should make this the last post, but it applies to this sub-series well so I will place it here instead.

Every heard of the writing trope called: The Rule of Cool?

The Rule of Cool

“The limit of the Willing Suspension of Disbelief for a given element is directly proportional to its awesomeness.Stated another way, all but the most pedantic of viewers will forgive liberties with reality as long as the result is wicked sweet or awesome. This applies to the audience in general; there will naturally be a different threshold for each individual. Also known in some circles as a “rad herring”, in which something doesn’t make sense within the guidelines of the story’s reality, but it’s too cool not to include it.” Rule of Cool – TV Tropes

The rule of cool is what a lot of authors use when creating a world, story, magic system or basically anything. Sure they will do their best to make it seem possible in within the world it takes place. Some do it better than others. I dare to say some don’t care if it truly fits in well, as the rule quote above says, it just too cool not to include it.

I use this rule when I develop my worlds. If I didn’t think it was cool, it wouldn’t be in the story. I also use project rules, meaning I have a rule for how I design my world. What my intention for the story and the world to be like. To put it another way, I have a mission statement. While that works in business, it just doesn’t sound as good for writing. So rule it is. My question and the topic of this rule is what’s your rule? Do you have a rule or a guideline of what you want to accomplish with your world or story?

To bring it to a small scale instead of a whole project, let’s talk about magic and technology. What is kind of rules could you have to guide you in developing your magic/technology? One of mine for magic is, How amazing it would look on in a movie? What a movie? This is a book, why are you talking about a movie?

Good question, it’s because I am the very visual person. I see a lot of this in my head and wonder if it would look just as good in a visual format, like a movie or tv. If my magic won’t look good on the big screen I am not interested in it. This is just me. I also how big can I go with it? Now, does it mean I need to go big with it? No. Will I, most likely because my stories are pretty big. I just like to know that if I want to I have lots of room to go with the magic.

What are some other rules that you could us:

  • My magic will be completely mystical
  • Magic can be understood, but not completely
  • It must good for fighting
  • Magic be able to do cool in huge battles
  • I want the magic to feel completely alien to everything else in the world.

Those are just a few ideas. What these rules do, is help guide you along with coming up with ideas to achieve what you want. An example: I have four ideas for magic, my rules or goals for my world are the last four ideas above. Magic can be learned, but not completely. Magic must be good in fighting, Magic must be able to do cool things in huge battles. Lastly, I want it to be alien to the rest of the world.

My ideas:

  1. Every time you use magic, the user is by affected. It can be good or bad.
  2. Spells requires very elaborate dances to do.
  3. Attacking one person directly, while magic will attack the enemies in the immediate surroundings.
  4. Magic can be used to keep a warrior going, if skilled enough take on a small army on one’s own.

Okay, not the best ideas, but it will work. Using my rules, which ideas would you not use in this world? It would be number 2. As cool a dance magic seems interesting to me, elaborate dances would take to long and not work well in huge battles, or even a one on one fight. It may fit feel alien, but that’s only one rule it meets.

When you have more ideas and they seem different or can’t work together, having rules or should I say guidelines to help you filter out ideas that may be good for a different story, but not the one you’re working on. So I ask again. What are your Rules?

That’s all for this week, check back next week. We will start on Magic, talk about if Magic should be mystical or knowledgable. Be sure to check back on Monday for my Weekly Writing Wrap-up.


Welcome to this weeks, Craft Post continuing our series on World Building. Since the end of April, we have been talking about Worldbuilding, and we have already covered Cosmology you can find the links to those posts under the Worldbuilding link in the toolbar under Cosmology. Last week we started a new sub-series called Storyworld. You can find last weeks post Storyworld. This was going to be a three-part series, but since my week has been busy as hell and my head is in a fog of how I was going to separate this post from next week’s post on The Look of your World. Today, I am going to merge those together. Don’t worry, I am going still have three posts, next weeks is just going to be about map making. Yes, I love making maps of my worlds. It will be a tutorial on how to make cool maps in Adobe Photoshop. Let’s get started.


What does your Storyworld planet look like? For those who are writing Science Fiction, which involves multiple worlds what do your Storyworlds look like? Wondering why this matters or don’t think it matters? I am going to tell you it does. If you are only going to develop a small part of you storyworld based on what is in your novel or the entire cosmos what the planet(s) you story takes place on effects everything about the development of your world from this point on.

How? Good question. Depending on what time period in your storyworld when the story takes place. Where the story on the planet takes place, is important as when as the area around where your characters live will influence them greatly. Is it just past caveman period or on the break of medieval or at the end? I bring this up as if this is early in the development of your characters culture then travel will be different, customs will be less developed than if it was two thousand years later. The surroundings will cause a huge influence on myths and legends of the people. Let’s look at part of Japan’s creation myth.

“This they did with the use of a precious stone-covered

spear named Ame-no-nuboko (天沼矛”heavenly jeweled

spear”), given to them by the elders. Standing over

the Ame-no-ukihashi (天浮橋, “floating bridge of heaven”),

they churned the chaotic mass with the spear. When drops

of salty water fell from the tip, they formed

into the first island, Onogoroshima.”  Kuniumi Wikipedia.

Part of their creation myth is formations of islands. Not a whole world, just Japan. Depending what time and where depends on such things for the people on your planet. Do they still believe this old legend or is punishable by death to even question belief? That is only the start, what is around where the people live will determine what their buildings are made of, and what they eat. Weapons will differ from weapons from people on a different continent or island.

That was more planet small, but let’s go back to grand scale for a second. Most your worlds will probably be similar to earth, and I mean that by being completely habitable. What this means your storyworld is located in the habitable zone around the star(s). Or, the planet was terraformed or is a moon of a planet that was terraformed. Let me give you a few ideas on changing this up. What if your planet was Tidal Locked?

What does Tidal Lock mean? Very interesting concept, our moon (Earth’s moon) is tidal locked, kinda. Tidal locked means one side of the planet or moon is always facing one the star or the planet. Our moon actually does spin, but it does it at the same speed as earth so it looks like we are always seeing the same side. For a planet that is tidally locked to its star means one side is going to be a barren wasteland the other side is going to a frozen tundra. However, right around the rim of the planet where cold and fire meet would be a possible place where life could exist. Imagine if that was the only place your world took place? You could have two different people on opp

Imagine if that was the only place your world took place? You could have two different people on opposite sides of the planet that can only get to each other by going up or down around the poles of the planet. If one was advanced enough, they could possibly move through one inhabitable part. Just some ideas. This is why looking different kinds of planets that we have discovered could help bring new life to your world.


Now that we have discussed why it is important to know about your planet and look like let’s discuss the features we need to keep in mind.

  • Planet size
  • Oceans to Landmass Ratio
  • Number of Oceans
  • Number of Continents
  • Mountian Ranges
  • Forests
  • Deserts
  • City locations

Let’s look at a few of these in more context.

Planet Size

How big is your planet? Is it earth size? Smaller or larger? If it is a moon of a larger planet like a gas giant, size could be limited based on the size of the planet it orbits. I bring this up, as the larger or smaller the planet the gravity is going to be greater or lesser. If you have two planets interacting you may need to keep this in mind. Beings that develop on a planet that has ten to twenty times earth gravity are going to be super strong on any planet that has less than their planet. For those coming to the planet with that much lower gravity will be crushed upon arrival. Unless they have an ability or technology to reduce the forces on their bodies.

Ocean to Landmass Ratio

Earth is 71% water. What about your storyworld? Is there more land than large waters pockets? Is it equal? Depending on the size of your planet that could make thing tricky or easy. Is it 98% water and only islands?

Number of Oceans and Continents

I am going to group the next two together since they go hand and hand. Based on how much water and land you need to think about is it once massive ocean with one or two landmasses next to each other? If so, what about continents? Is it only two, for the landmass or are there many continents that are like Europe and Asia? If that is the case, mountains are going to be needed around the tectonics plates and where they meet. Where these plates meet there will be earthquakes.

I am not going to go into the rest of the features since they will come more in handy with the map post next week and the posts that follow. I hope understanding the look of your planet is important. Even for only a small part of your storyworld? Large effects the small and vice versa. Check back on Monday for my disappointing Writing Wrap-up post. Check back next week for the next post in our series. For those who don’t care about maps, you can skip it. I am not going to be posting anything other a tutorial on map making. I may discuss the other features some, but they will come up in later posts, so you won’t miss out on that information. That’s all.


Welcome to another post in our ongoing series on World Building. Today, we will focus one again on the topic of Cosmology, and otherworldly realms. I was going to go into rules, but I decided to do realms instead. Next week. I think you will be surprised on what I mean by rules. Let’s jump right in, but before I do, if you haven’t read the first two posts in this series, you can find them here (intro to series) and here (1st post on Cosmology).

What do I mean when I say “Other Realms”? It is a good question as I could mean many different things, but there is only one that it could be. Since Cosmology is a top-down approach to building your storyworld, I taking realms in a broad scope. You have your main world or planet, then there are the other places. For example, Heaven and Hell. These are two other realms that exist according to the Bible. One is the place you go if you are a sinner the other if you aren’t. The more religious take is sinners who are forgiven under Christ Jesus death on the cross get into heaven, those who aren’t burning in hell. I don’t care where you stand on this issue it is just an example I choose this for two reasons.

In your storyworld is there an afterlife? If so, what is it? It doesn’t have to be two different locations. There can be many. Also, how do they get there, is there a trial one must take on to get into the best one and if so is it before death or after? Are there differences in beliefs among those who believe in the afterlife? Just like my example, some people today do believe in heaven and hell and but that all the murderers, sex offenders, and rapists will go there while those who did mostly good get into heaven. This differs from those who believe what the bible says.

These realms don’t have to be just the afterlife, but it can be a home to the gods or just another planet on a different plane of existence. Some can be realms that are inhabitable because it is where magic located or time or elements. Thinking through your story having different realms maybe something that can add to it or not. Hell, just knowing they exist even though they don’t impact your story, can be fun. If your main character enters a public drinking establishment he can overhear a debate between some drunks on their take on the afterlife. You can really play with how wrong both sides are or how each side has a piece of the truth and the rest wrong.

That take on realms is just ideas flowing from something different from the world your story takes place on. You could also have realms or planes on that planet. What do I mean about that? Well, you could have five, ten or even a hundred realms on the planet each one a high plane. This means that while the land on each plane is the same how it looks would be different. You could have a hundred different countries right on top of each other and no one knows it unless you move through the planes.

Just imagine having your character go from their plan to eight planes higher or lower than their own and describe how her surroundings change as she passes through the planes. Their plane kingdom could be a cottage there, where the next has a looming tower with a high tower surrounding it. The one after that just thick dark wood, and after that a massive palace. You get my point. There is so much you can do in this part. Have you an idea for another story but you know it can’t take place in this storyworld, how about a multiverse where this universe cosmos and that other storyworld cosmos are parallel universes. Maybe you can cross between them, maybe not. Is it possible one side can cross over by once of you’re stuck?

There is so much you can do in this part, even if it doesn’t effect your story. Now, this of course is for those who want to know their storyworld completely. For those who only care about what is in the idea for the book, they are going to write. You only need to do this part if there is something like another world or dimension in the story. If not, maybe you should think about adding one and see how it changes and mix things up in the plot.

Well, that’s all I got for this topic. There is so much you can do in this section as I mentioned before. All the ideas I mention above are on the spot, I didn’t think of these for an hour before writing this. That would mean these posts take more far more time than they already do. I could come up with probably more original ideas if I kept going. See what you can come up with. Next week will be the last post in the Cosmology section of the Worldbuilding series. It will be on rules, and like I said at the beginning, I think you might be surprised on my take. Until then, check back on Monday and see how my writing week has gone.