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  1. #1
    Peckish hippokrene's Avatar
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    30 Days of Worldbuilding

    I came across 30 Days of Worldbuilding a few days ago, and immediately thought 'That sounds like fun!' because I'm a geek.

    Not 14 days. Not 27 days. Not 143 days. 30 whole days of worldbuilding is scientifically proven to be the optimal amount of worldbuilding. There's even a PDF, so you know this guy is an authority on the matter.

    Scanning the list, a question I've often had returned: What is it with fantasy and map fetishism?

    I even recall Sara Douglas claimed that all you needed to do to write a fantasy story was to draw a map. She touches on it here. She apparently taught a course on writing fantasy where she had everyone start by drawing a landscape on a piece of paper.

    Then again, she also states: "Neither magic nor adventuring quests can be believably set in a modern, logical and scientific world."

    Which earns a giant WTH from me.

  2. #2
    Locked in the Golden Cage HellsGuardian's Avatar
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    I'll have a look at it, might learn something.

  3. #3
    Damn fool idealist DailyRich's Avatar
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    That PDF is a formatting nightmare. It's literally a wall of words. Some space between sections would be nice.

  4. #4
    Bewildered Visitor Wojciehowicz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DailyRich View Post
    That PDF is a formatting nightmare. It's literally a wall of words. Some space between sections would be nice.
    Obviously, they have mistaken the default behavior of old typewriters for being how MS Word should be set.

  5. #5
    The Great Flying Bear choppy's Avatar
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    The National Novel Writing Month fantasy and SF folks usually begin this exercise in October. They take Halloween off, since they can begin writing at midnight.

  6. #6
    Peckish hippokrene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DailyRich View Post
    That PDF is a formatting nightmare. It's literally a wall of words. Some space between sections would be nice.
    Serious fantasy world-builders don't use white space, headers, or paragraphs.

  7. #7
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hippokrene View Post
    I came across 30 Days of Worldbuilding a few days ago, and immediately thought 'That sounds like fun!' because I'm a geek.

    Not 14 days. Not 27 days. Not 143 days. 30 whole days of worldbuilding is scientifically proven to be the optimal amount of worldbuilding. There's even a PDF, so you know this guy is an authority on the matter.

    Scanning the list, a question I've often had returned: What is it with fantasy and map fetishism?

    I even recall Sara Douglas claimed that all you needed to do to write a fantasy story was to draw a map. She touches on it here. She apparently taught a course on writing fantasy where she had everyone start by drawing a landscape on a piece of paper.

    Then again, she also states: "Neither magic nor adventuring quests can be believably set in a modern, logical and scientific world."

    Which earns a giant WTH from me.
    Oy. The map thing is actually possible. A landscape -- including a modern landscape -- can be a jumping off point. But then anything can be. And the modern, logical and scientific world is pre-industrial snobbism.

  8. #8
    Registered User EMMAXIS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hippokrene View Post
    I came across 30 Days of Worldbuilding a few days ago, and immediately thought 'That sounds like fun!' because I'm a geek.

    Not 14 days. Not 27 days. Not 143 days. 30 whole days of worldbuilding is scientifically proven to be the optimal amount of worldbuilding. There's even a PDF, so you know this guy is an authority on the matter.

    Scanning the list, a question I've often had returned: What is it with fantasy and map fetishism?

    I even recall Sara Douglas claimed that all you needed to do to write a fantasy story was to draw a map. She touches on it here. She apparently taught a course on writing fantasy where she had everyone start by drawing a landscape on a piece of paper.

    Then again, she also states: "Neither magic nor adventuring quests can be believably set in a modern, logical and scientific world."

    Which earns a giant WTH from me.


    I have no problem with maps, but why is every world a peninsula!?! IT'S ALWAYS a peninsula! Why not a landlocked continent? Or a big island like Australia? Or, you know, a giant never ending plain that creates itself as soon as you reach the edge of it . . .

  9. #9
    Bewildered Visitor Wojciehowicz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMMAXIS View Post
    I have no problem with maps, but why is every world a peninsula!?! IT'S ALWAYS a peninsula! Why not a landlocked continent? Or a big island like Australia? Or, you know, a giant never ending plain that creates itself as soon as you reach the edge of it . . .
    I'm not sure what you mean. I can't remember many peninsulas. Lord of the Rings was on a big-arse continent. My own writings are rarely anywhere near water. Have you read many?

  10. #10
    @PeteMC666 PeteMC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMMAXIS View Post
    I have no problem with maps, but why is every world a peninsula!?! IT'S ALWAYS a peninsula!
    No it isn't, but when it is I suspect it's often because of the following thought progression:

    peninsula -> sea -> ships -> pirates -> Piratz is teh kewl!

    That and it makes drawing the map more fun.

  11. #11
    I've done some worldbuilding, and I find that getting a map going first has really helped me develop my story. I've always loved maps and been fascinated by how places can affect our circumstances and even our choices.

    Though, I've spent far more than 30 days on building my world...

  12. #12
    Magical Ninja TheIELighten's Avatar
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    I must be in the minority but I never draw maps. I don't know how, cannot draw, and seriously have no interest in them. I don't even look at the maps in the books I read. I'm glad they exist though since a lot of people seem to enjoy them.

  13. #13
    Registered User EMMAXIS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wojciehowicz View Post
    I'm not sure what you mean. I can't remember many peninsulas. Lord of the Rings was on a big-arse continent. My own writings are rarely anywhere near water. Have you read many?

    I am looking at my copy of LOTR now. The map on the inside sure looks like a peninsula to me (it's surrounded on 3 sides by water). And if it's a continent, it's a pretty damn small one; how many cities does it have?

  14. #14
    Peckish hippokrene's Avatar
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    I started the 30 days... program and found it boring. I feel bad linking something so unfun. I don't get it; I like worldbuilding but when I try worldbuilding programs, I hate it.

    Here's another, well-known one: Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions.

    Or maybe you want something more sciencey? On Creating an Earthlike Planet. It has such useful suggestions as:

    ...if you want to randomly generate an interesting night sky resembling the Earth's, you could do worse than the following equation, which I empirically found to be useful:

    magi = 2 * log10i + B - R * rand(100) / i

    where magi is the magnitude of the i'th brightest star, R is a randomizing factor (the larger it is, the greater the deviation from a true logarithmic scale), and B is the magnitude of the brightest star in the sky. For Earth, R = 1 and B = -1.4.

    This should give you a naturalistic distribution of the stars by brightness
    He also gives tips on how to calculate the distance of a life-bearing world for suns of different spectral classes. I.e.: If I have a red dwarf, how far away can my world be if I don't want it an ice ball or a burning, hellish wasteland? And how long will a year be orbiting at that distance?
    Last edited by hippokrene; July 14th, 2011 at 06:13 AM.

  15. #15
    There is no tomorrow RedMage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMMAXIS View Post
    I am looking at my copy of LOTR now. The map on the inside sure looks like a peninsula to me (it's surrounded on 3 sides by water). And if it's a continent, it's a pretty damn small one; how many cities does it have?
    The first 2 definitions for "Peninsula", according to Dictionary.com:
    • an area of land almost completely surrounded by water except for an isthmus connecting it with the mainland.
    • a narrow strip of land projecting into a sea or lake from the mainland


    Ok, so there is a third, middle one in there. But it defines what people might mean when they say "THE Peninsula" and does not pertain to peninsulas in general.

    EMMAXIS, if we go with how you are viewing peninsulas, then any land mass could be called a peninsula, really. North America is a peninsula of South America and vice versa. Africa is a peninsula of the Eurasian land mass via the strip of land that has now been cut through by the Suez Canal for over a century. I could go on, but I won't.

    As for how many cities does a continent have to have before it can no longer be considered a peninsula? Well, peninsulas are land formations. They have absolutely nothing to do with cities as cities (and settlements of any kind) are a human, societal thing. They are not related in the way you seem to be trying to connect them by. I take a peninsula as a small jut of land into an area of water that surrounds the land on 3 sides. But if it has multiple nations on it, each of which may take days to cross from one border to another (any border) then that is not a peninsula.

    As for world building, I love it. Maps are a must. They help bring my worlds to life as I can then actually see where I'm putting my characters, geographically speaking. I looked the initial worldbuilding link from Hippokrene, it was a bit interesting. Not as all thought consuming as I had expected. But, eh. The climate exercise got me thinking about one of my stories. Not as much for the weather patterns featured in the one story I tried it with but, more for the emotions I wanted to evoke with the tale. I knew them, but it made me think of them again and I had to consider whether I was truly evoking them like I wanted to or not.

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