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8

This is a classic "cabbagehead character," who allows you to gradually unveil your worldbuilding as he leaves his isolation and goes out into the larger community. Nothing wrong with this at all. First example I can think of is Garion from David and Leigh Eddings' pentology The Belgariad (and second pentology The Malloreon). He is exactly what you describe:...


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 ...


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 ...


4

I personally find it a little odd when authors go out of their way not to call something what it is. If you have an undead entity that sleeps in a coffin, hates sunlight, and drinks blood, why not call it a vampire? If it's because the word "vampire" is cliche, why is the creature itself not cliche as well? That being said, there are a few ways around using ...


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

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

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 ...


2

Are you sure you have to justify to the reader why you've chosen to write about certain people in a certain century? Sure, there is the question, why does the story start here? But it could be as simple as your protagonist has come of age and are starting to see his abilities manifest, or some antagonist has finally found a proof that the magic ones exists ...


1

Start with your story's POV. Since your plot has a big secret hidden inside, you will want to tell it from a limited, non-omniscient perspective. It is that point of view character which is going to make your story unique. Who they are, how they see the world and what leads them to uncover the secret is what makes your story interesting. Your story ...


1

There's no intrinsic reason using a familiar setting means creating a derivative work. How many different stories have been set in New York, for example, or Paris? If your plot and characters are original and distinctive, it shouldn't be a big problem if the setting is vaguely familiar --unless you're actually ripping off details from someone else. What ...


1

You see three options: 1) I like history so I like option 1. 2) involves a change in the abilities or plans or desires of Earthlings who go to the secondary world, so that more of them change things there. This involves a sociological change in all Earthlings in recent history, or a change in a small subset of Earthlings that you define as the ones able ...


1

Possibly, this might be better off on Worldbuilding. Either way, what do you mean by a feeling of many races/cultures? Even in Tolkien's world, the races did not mix a great deal, nor did people move around on a global scale. You could use a similar mechanism - the main protagonist, being human, has, of course, heard of the other races, but hasn't had a ...


1

One of the best things about those stories, especially the Final Fantasy series, is that the technology changes drastically from continent to continent and village to village. In most cases there is the evil empire or corporation that is technologically superior, but only because they cull it from everything and everyone around them. The poverty stricken ...


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

In urban fantasy style fiction with multiple supernatural characters, is it understandable to the reader if race names of each group are a combination of stereotypical species names (such as 'vampire' or 'fairy') with made-up names or regular names that have been altered somehow? A quick example for the sake of my question could be spelling fairy as 'fayree' ...


1

You might end up with The Walking Dead problem. No one calls a zombie a zombie. It becomes a distraction. "Dead?" Yup. "Drinks blood?" Yup. "Turns into a bat?" Yup. "Is it a vampire?" No, we call it a plasmosucking werebat. "Err... you know what a vampire is, right?"


1

Tolkien wrote a wonderful essay called "On Fairy Stories" in which he essentially rejected the notion of suspension of disbelief as an explanation of what is going on when a reader reads any kind of fantasy (and science fiction is a branch of fantasy). Tolkien argued that a story is an act of sub-creation (under God's creation). The author creates a world ...


1

In my experience, language that conveys higher social-economic status generally has a wider vocabulary, uses more complex or rare words (and more foreign words), is (at least superficially) more polite, and is more indirect and euphemistic. It tends to be abstract and emotionally removed, and can be poetic in a clever or intellectual way. It's basically an ...


1

I often create characters, and factions for my stories before developing a more polished plot. Generally after creating a character I have a rough idea of where my plot is going, and what I want to do with these characters. From there world building takes over, and I make notes in Scrivener for future reference as I write the story.



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