Random Nonsense

World Crafting: How do you get your ideas?
Cthonic Cultist at 7:10PM, Jan. 9, 2009
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I get mine from a mixture of reading, playing games, watching TV and movies, my imagination, and talking to my friends. It's mostly the last two, but gaming and reading have a not small part of it as well. They give me reference material for ways in which a world CAN work, but my imagination allows me to recombine them in a new way.

How do you do it?

(Posted in response to Harkovast's topic)
Boring and talentless I am.. At least I am occasionally insightful, maybe?
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
harkovast at 1:57AM, Jan. 10, 2009
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Thinking a lot is the main one.
I'm always stewing over ideas.
Often I will see something or think of something and start wondering what the Harkovast equivalent would be, such as today I was wondering how Nymus sleep. They've got wings on their backs, so they can't lay on their backs, and sleeping on your stomach is not always very comfortable, so I was wondering what posture they might adopt.
I'm thinking about them kneeling down to sleep at the moment.
Another good source of ideas is history. World history is fascinating, and the range of cultures and styles is staggering. If I want inspiration I just need to go read some articles on history (or play medieval total war 2, which is awesome) and I will soon be buzzing with ideas and concepts.
Also it is often good to find something a little bit odd or little known that you can throw in, as some historical cultures can seem very alien to the modern reader. You will see more of this come through as the story develops.
Once I have an idea of how each race and culture views the world, it is easy to see how new ideas would fit in and which race should do what etc.
I do have a lot of conversations with my friends and wife about what I am planning, which I think is very important. It is easy to make things that have glaring faults if you don't have anyone to bounce ideas off.
That was a fairly meandering answer, but I suppose that is because there are a lot of places to get inspiration.

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
Wordweaver_three at 10:10PM, Jan. 28, 2009
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Oh, crap! We're supposed to figure all that out beforehand?

Tolkien once commented that he started with a map. I guess I start with a map too, just a very small one, as much as the first character I create can see. I don't so much “craft” a world as I stumble over it. I never liked to put effort into creating all these definite rules and locations, especially if I'm not likely to touch on many of them. Why worry about the history and politics of elves if you only introduce one elf for a handful of pages? If for some reason I need to explain the animosity between elves and dwarves I can simply say it was due to the War of the Shatterspine Mountains that occurred X-hundred years ago. Since I have no map, nobody can point to it and say “But there is no such place as Shatterspine Mountain”. Since I have no history no one can say “But I thought the elves were all participating in the 20 decade yoga class X-hundred years ago”.

I start with characters, because characters are far more interesting to me. Then I drop them into a broadly defined and purposely vague setting, such as fantasy. I rein in the setting as I see fit while I write the story. Then I give them a relatively simple goal, how difficult it is to achieve that goal remains to be seen. People and places don't come into existence unless they are vital to the characters. I don't really like fluff, so interesting, but unimportant information is rare.

I find that all my best ideas occur at the last minute, but sometimes I'll just be going about my daily life and suddenly *ding* a light-bulb goes on and I'll file that idea away for later use. Gaming helps, and so does reading, but I find talking out of my ass is most useful. If someone asks me a question that I don't have an answer to I'll just make it up on the fly as opposed to saying I don't know. Half the time what I come up with off the cuff is pretty good.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
harkovast at 1:46AM, Jan. 29, 2009
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Thats the opposite of me, I've come up with cultures and peoples that don't feature for ages, or in some cases barely feature at all!
I just inherrantly enjoy making stuff up though, so to me it is lots of fun to think about.
The map for Harkovast came very late on, I made up the story then built a map around it.

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
D_Dude at 10:19AM, May 8, 2009
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I usually make worlds based on a concept, rather than actual characters. Then I end up making a map shortly after, followed by some sort of history.
Individual characters come in rather late in the process.

But that is just my way of doing things.
FEAR THE BADGER!
It's not overkill if you don't hit him.
Sir! We are surrounded! … Good. Then we can charge in EVERY direction.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
harkovast at 11:56AM, May 8, 2009
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D_Dude thats how I do things as well.
I think up cultures for Harkovast then I add them into the world, then think of characters that might fit into that setting only then do I build a story around it.
I think that way it feels like the setting does not exist just to express this one story, but could potentially involve lots more exciting goings on.

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
Genejoke at 12:09PM, June 4, 2010
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I do all sorts, however the spark forms. Once I have some idea or conceot I mull it over and flesh it out and talk it over with friends and out of that more spins out and voila. I have a fantasy epic in me that someday I may unleash. The world has been building since the late nineties and has been the setting for a number of role playing campaigns.
A crude version was a dungeons and dragons campaign in the 90s, as that didn't quite fit my setting I tailored the story teller game system from vampire the masquerade and a more developed version of the world was used for another campaign and since then it has been refined many times. Now I have a world… I just need a story and the confidence to pull it off. the time will come, someday.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
Renard at 6:45PM, June 6, 2010
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I do a bit of writing:

I usually get a vague idea of the world I'm writing, and shortly afterwords the people who inhabit it. Then I start coming up with outlines of individual characters who are key to the plot (they actually develop and change as I write the story, and often the protagonists end up seeming like monsters).

I never have a map to go by, just a rough idea of where things are, and I make up what each place is like as the characters arrive there (which works out great as often my characters don't have a good idea of where to go and what they'll find when they get there).

All I can say is I start out with an idea that works for me and just play with it, eventually I figure out where to go with it, making it up as I go, planning out some details in advance, but usually it becomes steadily darker as I write and edit.
Sweat save blood, blood saves lives, and brains save both. -Field Marshal Erwin Rommel
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
harkovast at 10:35AM, June 7, 2010
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I dont start with any map at all.
After I have made up all the places and countries and peoples, a map is just an after thought.
I actually drew the map more for the interest of my reads and to give hints of things to come, rather then because I felt I needed one.

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
n9261andvari at 5:24AM, June 9, 2010
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I get ideas and stuff from reading comics and playing video games. Although at times I tend to just let my mind wander and explore the depths of my imagination and several minutes later I have the basic concepts for a world. I've already made a world (or worlds rather) of my own (complete with histories and the different events happening on specific years), so much so that it's too big for me to ever express in comic or writing! And the sad part is, as time goes by I tend to forget bits and pieces of it. =S
Another source of inspiration or ideas I get for creating worlds is from my dreams. I have a few stories based on my dreams of what's left of what I can remember from them. It's kinda funny though, the world I have in my mind is so clear, yet when I wanna draw it out it disappears into the darkness of my mind only to be called upon again when I need a setting for a particular comic. xD
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
harkovast at 9:54AM, June 9, 2010
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The only character in Harkovast who is directly inspired by my dreams is Black River.
I dreamed about this fox person with a partially skeletal face and he sort of developed form there.
In the dream it was just part of his snout that was bare bone, but I liked the empty eye socket. Also the name Black River and his powers and properties were added later.
But the basic concept of this dark and mysterious shaman came to me in my sleep.

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
dwrean at 4:46PM, Sept. 6, 2010
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ya know, ive grown up around some pretty unimaginitive people, so its neat seeing other people talk about having a world, or a construct of similar design.
my creative process is reverse engineering while having my own research lab develope new ideas. i dont have a world, more like a universe under constant construction. i have one idea i have been working on since i was a kid and is quite complex if disjointed, smaller worlds with more story driven action, and then fanfictions that i make because i want mull around ideas in my own image. face it, thats kinda what we do in our heads. im suppose to write a history for a fanfiction right now, but i get distracted easily. time and place are my biggest issues, as nothing i make has a map or a timeline.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM

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