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21

Having more details than you need, is not a bad thing per se. Many writers do that, and it often leads to an authentic world, even if the reader isn't aware of all these details. It is especially helpful, if you plan a long series of books for the same world. But you are describing procrastination. You do not want to start, so you do other things, which ...


16

My advice? Skip the world building. Focus instead on your characters. Tell the story as it happens to them. Invent the world around them as you need to in order to tell their story. If you introduce inconsistencies, clean them up in a later draft. Focusing on the axial tilt of the planet your characters live on rather than who your characters are and ...


13

Tools like Scrivener help me out a lot. It lets you build one workspace that contains character profiles, scene descriptions, notes (and of course, your story).


12

I promise you, if you do it without permission and get published nonetheless, they will sue the shit out of you. You have to ask for permission, there will be legal contracts, because the world's "owner" wants money, your story must really fit and must not disrupt anything the owner wants to do in the future. So, if you have a name and are already ...


10

If you are writing it to make money: don't. If the world created gives you inspiration and makes you sit down and write for hours, then go ahead and do it. It's your mind, and you can write whatever you want as long as it's not published. Let people/editors/whoever read it, and if the feedback tells you it is really, really good, the you can contact the ...


10

It isn't a "bad idea" per say, as long as there are in-world reasons for what you have contained in it. It's very common to have fantasy stories based in other cultures. Eon, for example, is based in large part in Chinese mythology. Codex Alera by Jim Butcher is based in Roman culture, even though it is not based explicitly in Rome. World building isn't ...


10

Novice: Master, if I understand correctly, it looks to me like if we do [insert loop hole] that we could eventually gain unlimited power. Master: Yes, that would be the case and in the early times of magical exploration many magic users tried this. All of them disintegrated. You see, because of the [insert closure of loophole] that means that beings in ...


9

You're looking for balance, so the answer is double edged: Stay compelling by avoiding drifting off on tangents; don't explain about your world where it isn't relevant to the story at hand and to the readers' interest. Convey your world by choosing a structure and a plot where the elements you want to convey feature heavily. If your setting elements are ...


9

Reuse the worlds! Force yourself to write novels within the worlds you have created until the number of background pages is eclipsed by the number of story pages. Surely that much detail will give you more than one story. Let the stories be unrelated, you don't have to write a series, just stay on the same planet/in the same universe. This has the ...


9

If you're still getting novels written, and don't have a pressing need to write them faster, I'd just go with what you're doing. Make the world real to you, and it'll show up in the story. Have maps (just don't be afraid to mess with them as needed) and backstory. One of the things that stands out in Tolkien's work is the feel that Middle-Earth is a real ...


9

Just from the information you've provided, it seems you're creating a convoluted and potentially confusing situation for no good reason. If, however, this is important to the story, you can always refer to "Earth" (formerly "New Earth") and to "Old Earth". Using a slightly different version of the word would work, but I believe that's already been done: ...


9

Don't worry about "it's been done before." Your goal is to do it your way, and never mind what anyone else has done. Your theme (Lack of purpose => Apathy => Failure to adapt => Vicious cycle) is interesting, but I'm having some trouble connecting it to your précis. How does "too much freedom" equate to "lack of purpose"? I think linking it to ...


9

If space travel is as common and casual as current methods, then treat it the way you would treat current methods. That is: Take it for granted. Ignore the physics and ignore how it is operated. When you get in a car to drive, you barely even think about how you operate it, much less the physics of internal combustion engines, or the mechanics of universal ...


8

SimEarth might work well for you. As I remember, in addition to the Earth simulation, there was Martian terraforming as well. It is an old DOS game; I wish Maxis had updated it for modern computers. Something that might also be interesting is EdGCM, the only global climate model I know of that will run on a PC. Changing the forcings in model can provide ...


7

If you can do it in the story, and the story will not lose on it, do it. If this would hurt the story, do it in prologue. There are a few reasonable tipping points: BORING. If the elements of the world would not add to the story. It would be lengthy and tedious. Do a quick info dump and be done with it as painlessly as possible. No room for good ...


7

Consequences. That something is possible within a system doesn't mean it's a good idea. You can drive your car 180MPH on public roads (if the speedometer labeling is accurate), but if you do you'll soon be getting used to a bicycle. You can subsist on nothing but Big Macs and Coke for a year, but you may face medical problems. You can make a deal with ...


7

One of the big mistakes I've seen in some people's writing is that they focus on wanting to show the reader that "Hey, I've thought about these things and they are really important!" when they aren't. If you're story is going to be about physicists or chemists or other scientists dealing with the particular periodic table elements, then I can understand ...


7

There is one fault with the previous answers by Dale Emery and Henry Taylor, and that is that the basic principles of sailing and combustion engines are a part of every school kid's education. And if something new is invented, as for example solar cells, it is extensively described and explained in popular media from newspapers to television. Any educated ...


6

This passage reads like an info dump—a lecture from the author to the reader, with no strong purpose in the story. If you could name the planet something else with no loss to the story, that tells me that the name isn't important to the story. If I'm right about that, then call it something else, and delete this passage. If the name is important to the ...


5

This can really change very drastically from author to author and from story to story. There's no doubt that developing characters and then building a plot around them is a great way to come up with a story. Characters are compelling; interactions between them are interesting; put the characters as the center of your plot, and they may drive the whole thing ...


5

Although it's been answered already (and it's a good answer), I'd recommend you reconsider your chosen course of action and think about the implications. First of all, it would be highly unlikely for people who were originally from "our" Earth to only mention "Earth" using the Latin phrase. All their history books and reference materials - anything to do ...


5

"the world is quite rich with events"-->Are these events related to one another? If you have an enormous series of unrelated events, you need to work on stringing them together. Find ways to make them relate, or change them entirely until they do. Possibly George Lucas started off with something like-- "A spaceship the size of a moon vs. a fleet of little ...


5

It is not really software, but a good guide. If you want something to do a lot of it for you, this open source project is a good place to start.


5

Regarding climate: I struggled with climate on a fictional world for a long time. What I eventually realized is that all the climate models we have are generated in reference to a single example. In other words: things like albedo effect, cloud cover, precipitation and seasonal weather patterns are entirely dependent on the specific shape and configuration ...


5

The first step is to hold back your urge to write. First do your homework, thoroughly. Learn. Learn a whole lot about the place. Start with Google StreetView and Panoramio. Proceed through Wikipedia to learn not just about the place but about landmarks, anything in the area. Find movies, amateur videos, anything to take place around there. Read blogs of ...


5

I agree totally with Dale Emery, but would perhaps use a long train/boat ride as the metaphor. Not only should the average passenger (a.k.a. the reader's point of view) be uninformed of how the vehicles operate, or the physical principles behind their locomotion, such passengers should not even recognize that their ignorance is unusual. Their attention ...


4

I have used a Wiki to help me organize my thoughts for a novel I was writing in the past. It is actually in quite a helpful format, because you can so easily link from one concept to another. Having pages for separate characters, groups, locales, etc. is extremely helpful. When writing chapter outlines on the wiki, you can easily link to all settings and ...


4

Given your paragraph description, I have to admit to being somewhat unconvinced along a few points. You set up a direct connection between the regime's oppressive control of its citizens and a lack of purpose, but I think you need to nuance that connection more closely. The currently much-analyzed phenomenon of the quarterlife crisis among middle and ...


4

I think it might be confusing if the original Earth ever appears in the story. If the citizens of the new Earth never have any contact with the old earth, it should be OK.


4

Some software for making a story bible: Tiddlywiki - a free, personal wiki - mentioned above. It's a single html file, so it's very lightweight. I used this for a while and it worked well. It's very easy to tag things and link items together. Evernote - also good for tagging, not so good for linking. Scrivener - mentioned above, included here because it's ...



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