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8

Complete originality is a bit of a wild goose chase. Neither Lord of the Rings, nor Game of Thrones nor Star Wars takes place in a completely original setting. They've all borrowed extensively from various sources. LOTR is based in large part on old myths, GOT is a fairly typical medieval-themed fantasy world and Star Wars is quite consciously a fairy ...


7

You are overthinking this. There is Fantasy. Magic, fairies, dragons and such do not exist, yet the suspension of disbelief works without a special effort on the author's part. There are alternate histories. Utopias. Children's books about impossible creatures and events. Crime stories about crimes that never happened. Fiction with characters that do not ...


6

In many (maybe most) cases over-research is a distraction our minds create to make us believe we are working on a project that we really don't want to write for some reason. It could be that we are afraid to write it because we have this beautiful idea of what we want and we are unsure if we could ever write it that well. The Best Advice The best thing ...


6

It's vanishingly rare to need a constructed language in written fiction. Orson Scott Card sums this up in How To Write Science Fiction And Fantasy: Invented languages are a lot more fun to make up than they are to wade through in a story. Here's the thing: very few readers will have the patience for more then brief, occasional snippets of languages ...


4

All fiction is about the suspension of disbelief. Decades ago I read a statement that sticks in my mind to this day. A writer discussing science fiction said that he had an easier time believing that it is possible to travel faster than light than he did believing that Perry Mason only gets big murder cases with innocent clients and always wins. A good ...


4

Answering more from a reader's perspective than a writer's, I'd prefer the version without the "cool for cool" powers --whenever I read something like that, it just seems like the writer being self-indulgent. You also run the risk of introducing plotholes. For instance, in the Harry Potter series, there are a number of over-powered magical devices (the ...


4

If you write a history, it will likely be of interest only to yourself (or as preparation for your book). That's not necessarily a reason not to write it. JRR Tolkien put years of effort into world-building for his books, which is likely a key reason for their continued popularity. If you do go ahead and write your narrative now, don't make the mistake of ...


3

To build on Chris Sunami's answer, you don't want a universe or setting that is entirely foreign, lest your potential readers not find a way to identify with it even subconsciously. But given your examples, I definitely understand. I would say the most important aspect of a new setting is immersion; the more you can develop the world and characters, the ...


3

I'm sure that unusually-spelt variations on words like "vampire" and "fairy" would be comprehensible to most readers, but, unfortunately that is partly because "vampyre" and "faerie" are a bit of a cliché themselves. "Faerie" has more than 15 million hits on Google. Evolving yourself some names from Latin source words seems a more promising strategy. ...


3

In the strongest writing, everything that's been included by the author has a reason to be there -- adds something relevant to the theme, moves the plot forward, develops a character, etc. If you're already suspecting that an item is superficial, then you should probably remove it. You wouldn't want an unnecessary element to accidentally remove the reader ...


2

Think up an alternate history and develop it logically - or parodically. Take for example a more serious approach - Steampunk: Electricity never passed beyond "mad inventor" sphere, and world developed finding new miraculous fuels to power increasingly advanced steam engines; external combustion engines got more popular than internal combustion ones, ...


2

Ensuring relevance/believability are key to stories/characters and magic/superpowers. When reading, I become fully immersed in the fictional world that if a power/ability appears 'just for show', the book's credibility weakens to me and I am cautious/fearful any new aspect that is introduced will also end up being a pointless trait. Though, I do enjoy when ...


2

To my mind, creating an original world that still makes sense to the reader is best done by coming up with one central idea about this world and then deriving most of the other details from this idea. In Science Fiction this is often a technological development that may or may not be already starting in our days. For example in Altered Carbon one such idea ...


2

I'm going to take my own advice, and answer your question from a writing perspective, which (I think) boils down to: How original must my setting be, in order for my story to be worthy of readers' time? To start, try looking at this question and answers. One of the drawbacks of an original setting is that you've got a lot of explaining to do. Next, ...


2

First of all, I think you have to give your readers enough credit to understand what you are talking about when you use the term "fayree" instead of "fairy". As long as your spelling of the word doesn't get so obscure as to be unrecognizable, then you shouldn't have anything to worry about. Secondly, the burden of responsibility falls on you to write a ...


2

In Tolkien-influenced high fantasy, realm is generally used in place of country, and means the same thing. A kingdom is a country which is specifically ruled by a monarchy. An empire can be one country or a collection of countries and territories, ruled by an emperor/empress. You can have one king or queen (or prince/princess) who rules a group of ...


2

What are your goals? Are you writing for entertainment, for yourself? If so, write what you want. Write the history, write a series of vignettes from the perspective of a prehistoric ghost of your world, write a new alphabet and language for each creature - write whatever makes you happy. If your goal is publication, ask yourself what kind of publication ...


1

This happens all the time in the real world. Immigrant populations are constantly having to assimilate with new groups of people. Most families have stories about odd things their grandparents or great grandparents did or words they used that were from the old country. It's likely that you won't have to work too hard to find someone close to you that is ...


1

I'd say you just describe the details of the transition. It might help to look at how "going native" is handled by other authors. For example, James Clavell's Shogun (sailor becomes samurai), or Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land (human raised by aliens adjusts to Earth), or Kipling's Jungle Book (boy raised by wolves and animals (eventually) encounters ...


1

I believe you answered your own question: Consider dumping artifacts onto both "continents" in earlier chapters from your time machine. Your third act can pull these artifacts together into some meaningful ... talisman. You will need a singular protagonist in this sort of complex world. There are numerous references on this site to the Hero's Journey to help ...


1

I have the same problem and still do. Readers are normally drawn to characters of setting and unique history...at least at first. Its better to develop the character in the early part of the book and then start incorporating all the new cool world building. Brandon Sanderson calls this World Builders Disease, you have it bad. As mention write a really cool ...


1

For me, writing boils down to resonating with myself and my audience which means both good news and bad news for anyone looking to avoid cliches: Bad news: Cliches are the typical way to resonate with your audience What makes cliches so common is that they work well and things that work well tend to be foundational. Stray too far from the accepted ...


1

Developing your world around a central concept or thought experiment that you want to explore is a tried and tested method, as is basing it on the needs of your plot and extrapolating from there. Both might, however, fail to provide you with inspiration for the details that are not directly connected to that central theme, in which case you might end up with ...


1

i am new to this so treat me kindly- the things that you need to worry about, are three factors to gain originality according to me: magic/tech/maybe both: have something new and interesting- something that people are willing and eager to read more about and understand this new system that you are bringing alive. in case of tech, just because the tech is ...


1

The short answer is no, having a slightly fantastic setting won't make your story harder to fall into, unless you do things that break your readers' willing suspension of disbelief. Rather than write a bunch of stuff about suspension of disbelief, I'll just direct you to this question from a few years back: What breaks suspension of disbelief? My advice ...


1

A story set in another world is harder to get into as the differences between what we (the readers) experience compared to what happens to people on the other world. The other answers are incorrect that it has to do with how good of a writer you are. What matters is how well the story you are writing connects to the reader. Plenty of fiction (mostly ...


1

ultimately it depends how how good your writing is! Some are able to very fluently create alternative worlds and places and have a natural ability to describe the nuances that matter. So really it comes down to your skill as a writer. But then why do you need to specifically state where it is? Describe your world as a place that will have an earth feel ...


1

YMMV as to how relevant this is, but basically superpowers = magic. And there is no one who has more clearly thought through the necessity and workings of magic in the context of a novel than author brandon sanderson. If you're not really sure what role your magic/superpowers are going to play in your story, you should take a look at this. ...


1

Hire someone else to do it instead. There are thousands of conlangers looking for work and eager to work on any project, whether it be a motion picture or a short story collection. You can hire conlangers using the LCS Jobs Board. That said, when it comes to using the language in the book, Card's advice is pretty good. Even being a professional language ...


1

This sounds like a fun project --I once had a similar idea, that I never followed up on, to write a story, set in the current day, with accurate modern technology, but as if it was written 50 or 100 years ago. The biggest problem with your idea is that you can't unknow how technology actually developed. It's hard to deliberately make the mistakes of ...



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